Ghana: Press highlights second term programmes of President Akufo Addo, others

The programmes that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo plan to execute over the next four years and the demand that…

The programmes that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo plan to execute over the next four years and the demand that the perpetrators of the chaos that characterised the election of the Speaker for the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic must be brought to book are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been sworn into office for a second term as President of Ghana. In his inaugural speech delivered Thursday in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo gave an indication of what he hopes to achieve over the next four years.

In his address, the President said he hopes to complete some infrastructure projects including the provision of roads within a year while others such as establishing a strong economy did not come with any timelines.

According to the Graphic newspaper, “establishing a strong economy and undergoing structural transformation to value-added activities, which will generate jobs for our young people and enhance their living standards, will be the main preoccupation of my second term.”

According to data from the World Bank (2018), 82.4 percent of the Ghanaian population have access to electricity.

The newspaper says that a Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the perpetrators of the chaos that characterised the election of the speaker for the 8th Parliament of the 4th republic must be brought to book.

During the sitting of Parliament on Thursday, January 7, 2021, the NDC MPs sat at the majority side in the chamber. The MP for Tema West, Carlos Ahenkorah also snatched ballot papers, leading to some chaos and the subsequent invasion of military personnel on the floor.

In a Facebook post, Mr Ablakwa wrote: “There must be soul searching and far-reaching consequences for the despicable scenes in Parliament over the last few hours. Nothing must be swept under the red carpet of the hallowed chamber when that time comes. Those who viciously assault our democracy must know there’s a heavy price to pay”.

“For now, the epic victory of Ghana’s most decorated legislator, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin as the first Speaker of the House from a different party of the sitting President must be well and truly celebrated for the great prospect it holds for our democracy and parliamentary oversight,” he added.

“Coupled with the equal numerical strength of the two leading parties (at least for now), it can be expected that the era where the executive railroads and makes the legislature its appendage will be a relic of the past”, he further stated.

The Times says that 14 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have spoken against the violent activities, security interferences and disorder which occurred during the elections and inauguration of the eighth parliament in Accra yesterday.

In a joint statement issued and copied to the Ghanaian Times yesterday, they said, such occurrences and disturbances at the floor of parliament was a dent on the country’s developing democracy.

The statement said: “The scenes witnessed by Ghanaians, and played out before the international community betrayed our political leaders’ proclamations, and expressed commitments to democratic principles, the rule of law and the pursuit of the public interest.”

The 14 CSOs include, the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI), Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), and Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre (NORSAAC).

Others are, the Ark Foundation, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Citizens’ Movement against Corruption (CMAC), as well as IMANI Africa.

The remaining CSOs are, the Africa Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), SEND Ghana, STAR Ghana Foundation and the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI).

The Organisations have since urged that, “As a nation, we must quickly move away from this developing pattern as we move forward. Also, for a temporary period, the unruly antics of Members of Parliament-elect threatened to prolong a dangerous constitutional and governance situation, where there was no Parliament and no President to govern the country.”