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19.02.2007 General News

We treat address with contempt-NPP


The ruling majority New Patriotic Party on Monday said it would treat with contempt the address of the Minority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin, which the minority opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) called the "true state of the nation address" delivered in Accra on Wednesday February 14, 2007.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Chief Whip, told a press conference in reaction to the address of the Minority Article that 67 of the national constitution empowers only the President of the Republic to deliver to Parliament, and by extension the nation, the state of the nation address.

"There is only one President and no other person presumptuous person can assume that role. Anybody other than the President who purports to do so can only be described as an usurper," the Majority Chief Whip said.

The Majority said the impression coming from the NDC that there was 'desperation, despair, doom, gloom, fear and insecurity for this country' was not expected.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu accused the NDC of human rights abuses, and "brazen arrogance of power" when they were in the Majority, preceded by the then erstwhile government of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

"They stripped women naked, whipped the bare-backs of human beings in public, killed judges and insulted our bishops and chiefs. And the tradition of arresting and keeping people in custody without trial... continued into the NDC era."

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu took Mr Bagbin on for calling the President John Agyekum Kufuor arrogant and said Mr. Bagbin would not debate him on Joy FM, an Accra radio station "because in Bagbin's mind Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is not his equal."

"That is not haughtiness; that is not arrogance. If Bagbin's logic is extrapolated it will mean that if ordinary citizens ask questions of Ministers and other key government officials they should not respond because they are not of the same class."

The Majority Chief Whip debunked accusations by the Minority of selective justice, saying that, for the Minority Leader to base his critique on mere 'allegations of interference in the work of judges by the Chief Justice' is most unfortunate.

The Majority Chief Whip accused the NDC and its supporters of injecting tribalism into many national issues, and said the nation must not be allowed to slide into ethnic hatred and suspicions. "We are all one people in one nation with a common destiny.

On the celebration of Ghana's 50 year's anniversary celebrations, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said it is an occasion that engenders festive celebration.

He said the argument that the must not celebrate its 50 anniversary because it was poor and guinea worm is affecting some people is convoluted.

"The NDC celebrated the 40 year of Ghana's independence in style. Is Alban Bagbin saying that at the time there were no reported cases of guinea worm? Is he saying that in 1997 women were not dying in childbirth? Indeed President Kufuor could not have said it of such people that 'they know the cost of everything. But know the value of nothing'".

The Majority Chief Whip said the NPP wanted to set the records straight for prosperity.