Members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have threatened to boycott the President’s message on the State of the Nation which has been scheduled for February 20, 2020.This follows the non-release of the MP’s share of the Common Fund which is purposely meant for Monitoring and Evaluation of projects being executed by the Assemblies with Common Fund releases.
The Minority MPs contend that the third quarter of 2019 Common Fund has been disbursed to all the Assemblies with the District Assemblies’ Common Fund Secretariat failing to release the share of the MPs to enable them monitor and evaluate the projects.
Addressing journalists on the sidelines of parliamentary sitting, Wednesday, the NDC MP for Bodi, Sampson Ahi, said he suspects it was a deliberate ploy by the government not to release their share of the Common Fund to prevent them from carrying out the constitutional mandate in their constituencies.
“The Akufo-Addo-led government just wants to deprive us from getting money to work in our constituencies just because we are in an election year. If we don’t hear any good news from the government latest by Friday, February 14, 2020, we will consider boycotting the President’s message on the State of the Nation”, Ahi told journalists moments after making his concern known to the House.
He added “We cannot be part of the State of the Nation address and pretend that all is well whereas you can’t even pay our share of the Common Fund. If they don’t pay us we will not come and sit in the chamber. It is a deliberate ploy and we know it”.
However, the second deputy Majority Whip, Moses Anim, responding to the issue said the Minority MPs has no case to boycott the President’s message on the State of the Nation.
He said it beats his imagination for the Minority to make such a demand and tie it to the message on the State of the Nation.
“The President’s message on the State of the Nation is constitutional. Therefore, it is important for all MPs to be present. But if the Minority has decided to boycott the event because of non-release of their share of the Common Fund, I’m sorry this is purely childish and it doesn’t make sense. Can a teacher who has just been recruited into the system and going through the process, sometimes, six months, for his or her salary to be paid, also decide not to go to work? It is never done anywhere. They can’t tie the non-release of their share of the Common Fund to the President’s message on the State of the Nation and boycott it”.