Panafrican News Agency

Ghana: Mahama’s final State of the Nation address played up in Ghana media

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – President John Dramani Mahama’s final State of the Nation address to Parliament and preparations for the inauguration of president-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo were the major stories highlighted by the media this week.

“Thank you,” was the headline of the state-owned Graphic newspaper as it summed up President Mahama’s appreciation for the support he enjoyed from Ghanaians during his 4-year presidency, which ended at midnight on 6 January.

The newspaper said barely 48 hours before handing over the baton to Nana Akufo-Addo, President Mahama trumpeted some of his achievements in the areas of health, education, the economy, energy, road, transport and governance before expressing gratitude to Ghanaians for their cooperation.

He particularly thanked the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, and Members of Parliament (MPs) for the passage of several legislation and called on the House to pass the Right to Information Bill before rising on 6 January.

The newspaper said unlike previous State of the Nation addresses which took at least two hours to present, President Mahama spent about 40 minutes to provide a snapshot information on the current state of the nation.

After the delivery of the address, MPs of Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) waved sheets of paper with the inscription: ‘JM Ayekoo’, meaning ‘JM well done’, while the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs waved white handkerchiefs and shouted ‘goodbye’.

Mahama said he had done his best, given his all and “done so with the best intentions” for the country.

He said his government had grown the economy, expanded infrastructure, increased school enrolment, improved health care and rolled out a number of social intervention programmes.

He said history would be his judge in terms of his contribution to the socio-economic growth of the country.

“I will allow history to be the judge of how I have served our nation, how well I have done my part in running my lap of the relay. What that verdict will ultimately be, I cannot say.

“I can only say that I have done my best, given my all and done so with the best intentions for my country, our country,” he said.

The Graphic in another story under the headline, “Mixed reactions greet President’s address” said the Majority and Minority MPs expressed varied views over the address delivered by President Mahama to Parliament

While Majority MPs described the address as precise and conciliatory, MPs from the Minority side said the address was empty and short of salient points that Ghanaians needed to know.

Both sides, however, agreed with the call by President Mahama that all Ghanaians should rally behind the incoming president describing the call as “commendable and a mark of mature politicking”.

“Dawn of new era” was the headline of the Graphic on Akufo-Addo’s inauguration later on Saturday.

The newspaper said thousands of people from all walks of life would converge on Independence Square in Accra to witness the swearing-in of Nana Akufo-Addo as the 5th president of the 4th Republic.

It said millions of people, mostly members of the NPP across the country, would be glued to their television sets to watch the event.

It said former presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and heads of state from Togo, Gabon, Liberia, Zambia, Benin, Nigeria, Guinea and Equatorial Guinea were also expected to attend the ceremony.
-0- PANA MA/AR 7Jan2017