By:  Stephen Odoi-Larbi

Mp for Wenchi, Prof. George Yaw Gyan-Baffour

The Member of Parliament for Wenchi, Prof. George Yaw Gyan-Baffour has taken a swipe at President John Evans Atta Mills, accusing him of further dividing the country, instead of uniting it.

During his state of the Nation Address delivered to Parliament last week Thursday, President Mills in his message told Parliamentarians that “he had no intention of bringing violence to Ashanti.”

But his political opponents sees his statement as uninspiring and tribalistic, at a time the country is highly polarized and is in dire need of a unifier to bring an end to the factionalism that has bedeviled the country.

“Madam Speaker, the people of this country are hurting. They know that the division and deep factionalism are unprecedented and inherently dangerous to our democracy. If any violence should occur in the Ashanti region during this election, the President would solely be held responsible,” noted Prof. Gyan-Baffour.

The former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning made this statement on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, when contributing to the debate to thank the President for his State of the Nation address.

The Constitution enjoins the President, under Article 67, to deliver to Parliament, at the beginning of each session, and before dissolution of Parliament, a message on the state of the Nation.

Notwithstanding the above critique, Prof. Gyan-Baffour also took the Associate Law Professor to the cleaners on his (President Mills) call for collaboration between the Judiciary and the Executive arm of government in clamping down on corruption, drugs and other illegal activities in the country.

According to him, the two institutions have separate powers in the discharge of their duties and there was no way the two could come together to spearhead an agenda of the President.

“Madam Speaker, the President insinuated that there is a perception that the judiciary is on the side of wrong doers, which was in bad taste, and an indictment on the Judiciary.

Madam Speaker, then in the next breath, the President was reminding the Judiciary that they are an arm of the government, as if they don’t know, and urging them to be in partnership with the Executive to fight corruption, drugs, and other harmful activities.

Was this an attempt by the President to bring the Judiciary down and cow them into submission?” argued the Wenchi Legislator.

The Wenchi MP, also a Ranking Member of the Special Budget Committee said he felt very sorry for the president when he blew away the opportunity offered him to give a statement of the conditions in which people find themselves as a nation.

He told members of the House that what the president delivered as his message on the state of the Nation was rather a glorification of the 2012 budget which was delivered in Parliament by Dr. Kwabena Duffour in November, 2011.

Continuing with his critique, Prof. Gyan-Baffour asserted that over 80% of what was said by the President was culled from the 2012 budget, and described Mills’ action as a clear testimony of a chief enjoying power at the expense of his subjects.

He described the prospects of the country as very bleak, since all the intervention measures promised by the President to put the nation in the limelight of economic advancement have not been met.

According to him, despite the start of oil production in commercial quantities, the economy was still in shambles, since all the growth projection made in 2011 was not realized.

“Madam Speaker, on the economy, the President said that the economic growth in 2011 was approaching 14%. He was not sure where to peg the figure.

“The truth of the matter is that the economic growth, even with oil, dropped to 12% in September, 2011. Again, without oil, the growth in 2011, as recently revised was 8.2%, lower than the growth rate of 8.4% in 2008.

“Furthermore, the growth rate in 2012, with oil, is projected to be 8.5% and the non-oil growth rate is projected to be 7.5% -in 2012, compared with 8.4% in 2008. This shows that despite the oil, the economy is in retreat and the non-oil economy is in reverse gear,”

He described the country in its current state as “dark as the night and as dull as the Erebus.”


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