The issue on the table today is partly related to the Woyome scandal, specifically, consequences of it, but I will not discuss the Woyome matter proper, for reasons I have already given (in my last article.)  Today’s issue is about some of the men and women President Mills appointed, and the contradictions in the theoretical and practical reasons for the appointment of others, which contradictions could be found in the stipulated reason for their appointment compared to the way the president treats these particular appointees when serious problems of critical national interest arise in the ministries they superintend.

I raise this issue for discussion, because it goes to the very heart of what all of us as the state, the people of the Republic of Ghana, collectively endorsed for ourselves in our Constitution.  It also goes to the very heart of the broad spectrum of all the things we do with ourselves and what we have, our culture, and whether these are contributing to our progress or regression.

There is an axiom that says, the rotting of a fish starts in its head.  If you bring that into the affairs of men, it means the fortunes of a country could be measured by the quality of leadership it has.  Lack of space will not allow me to go into a philosophical exposition on that, but I could state that that proverb is more so of a country, such as Ghana, than it is of another country, say Japan, especially in the short-term.  Two of the factors that make that axiom very true are the issues I intend to deal with in this article: One, those who a president selects as his ministers of state, and two, whether he holds their foot to the pedal and demands personal accountability for each stroke they put in.

Security Appointments

The first problem I saw with President Mills’ appointments in 2009 was putting persons closest to former President Rawlings rather than himself in top state security positions.  For the position of National Security Adviser he chose Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, made Gbevlo Larry Lartey his National Security Co-ordinator and appointed Major-General Joseph H. Smith as Defence Minister.

 “I can picture a scenario where the professor went to some professionals who are capable and could have helped him start solving the problems of Ghana.  But all of them said “NO,” because of at least three key factors: the open and vile insults we trade at the highest levels of our politics; the needless time-wasting distractions, which form about 90% of all public discourse, and; the broad daylight stealing and the abetment of the rape of the Consolidated Fund by public officials, actions that taints national administrations that seem not to care about the erosion of their moral and legal authorities.”

I told friends (even back then) that it was a huge mistake, because top security personnel know – I daresay better than everyone – everything that goes on in a country.  Hence a president must appoint to those positions persons who owe direct (personal) allegiance to him rather than persons who are the confidants of another person.  When top security personnel owe direct allegiance to a president, that president is in full control of the country.  Thus those appointments, collectively, were the first signal that President Mills, taflatse, knew neither what he was about or doing.

Ministerial Appointments

The second signal had to do with some of his appointments to the position of ministers of state.  The president is a highly educated man and a teacher of law, and it was easy for observers to expect his performance, in some respects, to meet certain basics, at least.  However, his appointments did show that he was not aware of the seriousness of the job he had been given.  Ghana has always had huge development problems, and if we are to believe what the president himself and his men and women kept saying in the first six months of 2009, that by January 2009 the economy of Ghana was in “intensive-care,” then I could safely state that the sort of personnel he appointed for his administration showed he was not ready to start solving our problems.

When President Mills announced his ministers and deputy ministers in 2009, however, few are those who did not raise eyebrows for one reason or another.  For one thing, he did not appoint any new faces from among his own friends or mates in academia and accomplished personalities from professional fields.  His best appointments were from the second-rate team of the Rawlings eras.  These are persons that had been ministers in the Rawlings eras, but who did not distinguished themselves in any way and thus left behind no track record.  No wonder, one of the NDC’s own, Ekow Spio-Garbrah, described Mills’ men and women as “Team B.”

This may be the subject for another day, but it is necessary to pen few lines on it due to its relevance to the issue on the table.  I can picture a scenario where the professor went to some professionals who are capable and could have helped him start solving the problems of Ghana.  But all of them said “NO,” because of at least three key factors: the open and vile insults we trade at the highest levels of our politics; the needless distractions, which form about 90% of all public discourse, and; the broad daylight stealing and the abetment of the rape of the Consolidated Fund by public officials, actions that taint national administrations that seem not to care about the erosion of their moral and legal authorities.  There is yet another reason I cannot state here for the sake of national interest.

If you keep all those factors in mind, you will not be surprised that with all the talk about patriotism and how honourable it is to serve one’s country, no decent intelligent man would like to be in a national administration in a country such as Ghana.

Deputy Ministers

And then there were those of his appointments, largely into positions of deputy ministers that left a lot to be desired.  Fiifi Kwetey is still a deputy Minister for Finance; Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and James Agyenim Boateng are still deputy Ministers for Information, and, Hannah Bissiw has for three years been a deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing.

All these deputy ministers are young, and if they were intelligent they could have learnt fast and fitted into their jobs easily and contributed meaningfully to the progress of Ghana.  Upon the inexperience of youth, however, these young persons have come along piling on a penchant to fight the NPP rather than with an intellectual tendency to quickly soak up what is there to learn for the sake of progress.

Haruna Iddrisu and Mahama Ayariga are also young, but I have left them out of that lot for one reason only: On the average, they are more intelligent than the four I have named above, plus they have the critical ability/outlook that every person in a position of responsibility must have plus the modesty to learn more.

Yet even they, in the light of the problems contemporary Ghana faces, were not ready for jobs in national administration.  Iddrisu cannot prod the National Communication Authority to compel mobile-telephone companies to make simple corrections to deficiencies in rudimentary customer services.  Indeed, a recent report by Today newspaper revealed the belief in certain sections of the mobile-telephony industry that Ghana is like a toothless bulldog, hence they could afford to hold out on investment they need to make to correct vexing deficiencies in the services they provide to Ghanaians.  In the case of Ayariga, he has been in the Ministry of Education for quite some time and we are yet to see any innovation in dealing with the many intractable problems that beset education in this country.  Then there is this recent revelation of him, a deputy minister, signing a whopping $44 million contract for the supply of atlas to Ghana schools.

Fiifi Kwetey, on the other hand, is like Richard Quarshigah, in that, he always tries to speak in a way that is at best pretentious onto philosophising; he is always trying to make a dash with an intellectualism that never flies.  And more than once I have asked myself if that is why he wears glasses, to make up for his intrinsic intellectual and philosophical inefficiencies.  To call the creature by name, his best abilities are to take truths and half-truths and misuse them for propaganda, and when inflamed to insult.

No, Dear Reader, I am not insulting him.  I simply wish you, Dear Readers, to see clearly the full abilities of the person who is a minister of a country, placed in the strategic position where he deals with our money matters.

ARTICLE BY: OSIKANI YAW

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