PRESIDENT Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected today to deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) since he took office January 7, 2017.
THE State of the Nation address is a constitutional obligation enshrined in Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution which requires heads of state to address Members of Parliament (MPs) at the beginning of each session.
SINCE the inception of the Fourth Republic, successive heads of state notably from the camps of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been performing this constitutional mandate.
UNFORTUNATELY, this constitutional exercise, which is supposed to show the way forward for the country’s development agenda, has become a political football or ritual where a political party in power uses the platform to espouse its party as agenda at the detriment of the whole nation.
THIS has accounted for many failed promises made by past governments in their State of the Nation addresses making mockery of such a significant constitutional exercise.
THE irony is that no individual or institution holds our presidents accountable for the things that they say in their State of the Nation address. Our leaders have therefore found it convenient in treading on the path of promising heaven on earth when in parliament.
THIS, we find worrying especially as incumbent presidents have seen that as an opportunity to make unthinkable and unachievable promises. We therefore think that this trend ought to stop, especially where promises made are not fulfilled. We cannot continue to allow our leaders to ride on our backs for their political expediency while we keep on marking time hoping that things will be well in future for the country.
IT is time the State of Nation address became action-oriented where our leaders will be made to account for their stewardship by extension what they say in their State of Nation addresses every year as required by them by the constitution. For instance, President Akufo-Addo should tell Ghanaians the things he was able to do in his first term in office- 2017 and, what he could not do before he gives us another litany of promises today.
AND until we begin to hold them [our heads of state] responsible and accountable we will continue to live in our shadows without making any positive impact as a nation. Let us all come together as nation irrespective of our political lineage and demand accountability from our presidents through the power of the thumb.