President John Dramani Mahama in his final state of the nation address to Parliament urged Ghanaians to give maximum support to the President-Elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on as he assumes office.
President Mahama who would in two-days’ time hand over power from to Nana Akufo-Addo, likened governance to a relay race and advised Ghanaians to “cheer him on as he runs his portion of this relay for Ghana”.
Outgoing President Mahama of the National Democratic Congress lost the presidential elections held on December 7 to Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party with more than one million and a half votes.
His address to Parliament was in fulfilment of a Constitutional requirement to deliver a message on the State of the Nation before the dissolution of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic, and handing over power to the new elected president on January 7.
The House, which sat in plenary, gave President Mahama a cordial reception, first as a foremost gentleman of the land and a former colleague.
President Mahama told the House of having worked with Nana Akufo-Addo, another former member of the House, at the committee level and called on the nation to accord his successor the needed cooperation.
He said he could only say that he had done his best, given his all and done so much for the best of Ghana.
The outgoing President’s address touched primarily on the various interventions undertaken by his administration in the areas of macro-economics, education, health, social protection, water and sanitation, road and transport, power and governance.
He noted some of the challenges in the international economic performance, and stated that Ghana has had to survive and make progress despite the negative world economic outlook.
President Mahama observed that he would allow history to be the judge of his tenure of office, but could not say what the verdict would ultimately be, in as much as he had done his best in executing the mandate given him by Ghanaians.
He asked the incoming government to place the wellbeing of the nation first and not to abandon the projects being undertaken by his administration, as well as maintain the macro-economic gains made so far by the nation.
President Mahama urged the Akufo-Addo Government to continue with Ghana’s Extended Credit Facility arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until the end of the year.
He explained that the continuation of the deal would ensure debt sustainability and macro-economic stability in the economy.
President Mahama was occasionally distracted by side comments by some lawmakers on the minority side, but he stuck to his text and delivered his address devoid of his also usual side comments to those who heckled him.
In the House were also Vice President Kwesi Amisah Arthur, the Chief Georgina Wood, former President Jerry John Rawlings, Former President John Kufuor, Service Chiefs, members of the diplomatic community, the clergy, traditional rulers, political party representatives and other dignitaries.