In times of anguish and deep national crisis as we are presently witnessing, a convincing and credible response is required from leadership.

The constitutional order we chose for ourselves three decades ago has the immutable principle of accountability as one of its most enduring pillars. Accountability requires those who have the privilege to lead, to periodically render an account of their stewardship.

Since 1993, every President of Ghana, including myself have delivered the message on the state of the nation to Parliament.

It is important for our democracy, which the framers of our Constitution envisaged as the occasion on which the President delivers to the people – the governed – a truthful, principled, and transparent appraisal of the state of the nation, its achievements, and challenges.

This year’s rendition of the address took on an added significance, given the obvious economic distress and widespread hardship that now pervades our nation.

A few weeks ago, President Akufo-Addo performed this constitutional duty and in view of the challenging economic circumstances that now face the citizenry, especially, the poor and the vulnerable, we had all looked forward to an address in which a truthful, objective, and transparent appraisal of the national situation would be presented to the nation.

The occasion offered scope and a unique opportunity for the President to address in concrete terms, the most pressing concerns of the people in these times and rally the nation for the purpose of extricating our vehicle of state from the ditch into which he has led us.

We had hoped that the widespread hardship and suffering that Ghanaians are experiencing in these difficult times will be duly acknowledged, and responsibility taken for the arrogant missteps, wrong policy choices and mismanagement that are mainly responsible for our current situation.

Instead, and rather unfortunately, we were fed the same litany of buck-passing, denial, and nonchalance that the people of Ghana have been served by this President and his government over the last five years. Nothing is ever their fault.

The President’s spirited effort to paint a rosy picture amid national anguish and despair was most disconcerting and gave the clearest indication yet, that the President and his government have fallen prey to the phenomenon of gaslighting!

It is apparent, that those to whom we have entrusted the leadership of this country are yet to grasp the stark reality of our national situation.

As was manifest in his State of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo and his Head of the Economic Management Team (EMT), have sought to shirk and deflect responsibility for the economic mismanagement that has led to these hardships and national economic meltdown.

In the specific case of the Head of the Economic Management Team, who loquaciously postured as the gold standard for economic management while in opposition, we have continued to note his present flight from economic discourse even as the economy tipped into a tailspin.

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The issues of debt, taxation and depreciation of the currency which rolled off his tongue in his overzealous and misplaced narratives against the erstwhile NDC administration has become taboo words for him, until an avalanche of public criticism and demands forced him a few weeks ago, to make a pitiful torrent of unconvincing excuses for the disastrous mismanagement of the economy.