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01.02.2006 General News

JAK is a visionless leader -Haruna

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Reactions to President's address GLAMOUR, NO SUBSTANCE, JOBS IN GRASS CUTTER REARING, AND COCOA SPRAYING After the Presidents delivery of the state of the nation address, the parliamentary watch went to seek the views of some members of the house and ministers of state.

Haruna Iddrisu the minority spokesman on communication, has described the president's address as full of glamour, no substance and a recycled speech from a visionless leader.

Post budget state of the nation address is a redundant or anachronistic state of the nations address because all the issues have been delt with by the budget itself.

On the GDP growth of 6%, he said that is doubtful and very questionable because our economy is not and cannot grow at 6% given the performance of the cocoa and agricultural sector.

“I think the president got it wrong”.

He added that the Economic Commission on Africa even questioned the 5.8% in the 2005 fiscal year.

Haruna stated that the president was in love with Valco because Valco was not yet a real success story.

They had to move out of Ghana because they could not cope with the kind of competitive energy prices we were given them.

“The 250,000 jobs he spoke about might be in grass cutter rearing and cocoa spraying”

He noted that the president contradicted himself when he spoke about the FCUBE and the capitation grant, because though he said at a recent press conference that ¢103 billion has been spent, today he quoted ¢95 billion.

He said the justification of the passage of the representation of the people amendment bill by the president is a regrettable signal, which means that the president has not got the democracy, peace and stability of the country at heart.

“We would do all in our power to perpetrate the NPP in power to protect the filth he is sitting over”.

On the presidential palace, Haruna said it is a misplaced priority to build a presidential palace with a loan facility from India.

“GPRS investment should be in the social sector, not a presidential palace”.

Cecilia Dapaah The MP for Bantama and deputy minister of water resources, works and housing, said the president did not mince words and spoke authoritatively, and that she personally finds new vigour in his strides.

She said the heckling was a jolly set of noises and does not think it was acrimonious, adding that they were happy the president was with them and was speaking from his heart, which is good for Ghana.

John Mahama The MP for Bole said they would do whatever the constitution legitimately allowed to block the passage of this bill.

“We shall demonstrate and go to court.”

He stated that the president started well and there was a very good atmosphere, but moods changed towards the end, especially when he spoke about a particular bill saying his government would pass it whether they like it or not, knowing they had the numbers.

He said the criticism on Bagbin was because he had spoken about instability of the bill should it be passed, and thinks this bill should be reconsidered because it has the potential of dividing the people and creating chaos in the country.

Dan Botwe The Minister of Information said the president was determined to move the country forward from the different circles of the country.

He added that they were still working on the three priority areas as stipulated by the president.

“This is the first time in our history that the address is read after the budget.”

The bill, he said, should see the light of day because the former president, ten years ago, spoke about it; to say therefore that it is not a priority is neither here nor there.

“Ghanaians should be able to elect their leaders irrespective of where they are.”

Ben Kumbour The MP for Laura Nandom told the parliamentary watch that the threats and affirmative language the president was using, in terms of what the government will do, is quiet worrying.

He added that on controversial policies in the state of the nations address, the president should be finding avenues of negotiating and arriving at common position, and that the tone must be such that people can relate to it.

“The debate on the bill is already acrimonious.” He said they are going to get into a kind of eruption, that the government would even be surprised at what the bill is going to be like.

“Wait and see what happens.”