Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana took to social media platform Twitter to seek the views of his followers on the decision of the Minority in Parliament of Ghana to boycott President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 4th State of the Nation Address, Thursday.
With a picture of the scene, the diplomat tweeted, “NDC opposition party leaving Parliament before President‘s State of Nation speech. What’s your opinion on that?”
The Minority which earlier announced they will be boycotting the sitting made their way out just as the national anthem ended.
Clad in black, they moved out repeating a part of the anthem that says ‘and help us to resist oppressors rule with all our will and might forever more’. Members of the majority side, however, sent off their colleagues with chants of ‘away’.
About a week ago, the Minority expressed frustration about the delay of their share of the Common Fund for the third quarter of 2019, stressing that it is delaying the execution of projects in their constituencies.
While threatening to boycott the State of the Nation Address, they mentioned that the delay is a deliberate attempt to deprive them of working effectively and consequently competing fairly with their opponents, especially when the general election is some months away.
At a press confab addressed by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu shortly after the walkout, the side justified their actions.
Among other things, they cited the Electoral Commission’s resolve to compile a new voter’s register, the closure of pro-opposition radio stations [Radio Gold, Radio XYZ], removal of Charlotte Osei from office as Electoral Commission chairperson, the failure of the president to implement the recommendations of the Emile Short Commission as the reasons for walking out of the House before the president’s speech.
these are not normal times. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Our tradition is credited for laying the foundations for this Fourth Republican dispensation. It is our moral duty to the Constitution we swore to protect and the people we serve in this House to rise and resist oppressor’s rule – in that enduring and rallying call of our national anthem.
Our walkout was, therefore, a bold protest against tyranny and to send a very clear message directly to President Akufo-Addo that enough is enough. We shall no longer accept the growing levels of impunity and unconstitutional masked by duplicitous and hollow rhetoric.”
Here is the reaction of the German Ambassador to Ghana