Politics of 2013-12-04

Mahama’s promise of all-inclusive gov’t is failing - NDC Guru

A leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Switzerland, Mr Ohene Kusi, has called on President John Dramani Mahama to let his promise of all-inclusive government reflect in his appointments.

Making the call through the Daily Graphic in an interview in Kumasi, he observed that the recent ambassadorial appointment made by the President had not reflected his promise of “all-inclusive government.”

He said recently the President named 10 former ministers and heads of institutions in the NDC as ambassadors-designate, “and looking at it, it seems it’s a transfer from ministerial to ambassadorial appointment.”

The 10 include former Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidency, Dr J. Tony Aidoo; a former Information Minister, Mr John A. Tia; a former Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel Victor Smith; a former Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Magbengba and a former Secretary to Cabinet, Mr Ben C. Eghan.

The rest are former Minister of Youth and Sports, Madam Akua Sena Dansua; a former Minister of Tourism, Mrs Zita Okaikoi; former acting Chief Executive of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Mr Sam Pee Yalley; a former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo; and a former Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Mohammed Khalid.

“From the recent appointments of ambassadors, President Mahama’s promise of all-inclusive government is failing, in terms of youth and middle-aged members of the party,” he stated.

He decried the perception that ambassadorial appointments were made to compensate senior politicians of a political party who were aged 65 and above.

He said if the perception was translated into reality, it was likely to cause a deep schism on a global basis, adding that “it will continue to sink Ghana’s global relations with other countries.”

Though he commended Prof. John Evans Atta Mills for appointing young and energetic members of the NDC like Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Haruna Iddrisu and Fiifi Kwetey, who had shown some significance in governance as ministers, he said President Mills made the mistake of appointing “aged” senior politicians of the NDC as his ambassadors and “from the look of things, there is no shred of doubt that President Mahama is following the same track. His recent appointment is mimicry of that of President Mills.”

The aged politicians that President Mills appointed as ambassadors included Mr Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Dan Abodapki and Hajjia Jalulah, “who, as a result of their age, had been ill-performing.”

“President Mahama started pretty well in his appointments, especially in the ministerial appointment, by tapping the resources of youngsters like Felix Kwakye Ofosu and Murtala Mohammed, but for the appointment of ambassadors so far, he is really trailing,” he stated.

Mr Ohene Kusi was of the view that there were many serving senior politicians who had had setbacks and doubted their ability to deliver if not sandwiched with some middle-aged politicians who had the requisite qualification.

He also suggested that there were middle-aged and youthful members of the party who had studied International Relations, Global Governance and Diplomacy and had vast experience and competence, who, when given the opportunity, could perform greatly.

He added that there was the need to prepare the qualified middle-aged members of the party for the international arena just as they were being prepared for ministerial appointments.

“To be an ambassador or a high commissioner is not a mere representation of government but it requires lots of lobbying, touring the nations and caring about Ghanaian citizens, which would call for enthusiastic and energetic middle-aged intellectuals and diplomats,” he stated.

The perception, if true and not controlled, he anticipated, could mar the future of political parties, especially the ruling NDC. He, therefore, called on President Mahama to take a second look at his appointment of ambassadors.