General News of 2014-02-14

Nobody can stampede Mahama into reshuffling

The Government has issued a statement denying President John Mahama intends reshuffling his Government soon and says the President will not be railroaded into doing so at the behest of rumour-mongers.

Rumours of an impending reshuffle have been circulating on social media for some time now.

Former President Jerry Rawlings has also called for a reshuffle on two different occasions.

However, a statement issued by Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga, says President Mahama has no such intentions and his hands will not be forced with such rumours.

It said: “Government will like to state that the reports are an elementary political tactic designed to stay the hand of the President assuming he plans to undertake a reshuffle or to stampede His Excellency into carrying out a reshuffle if he intends otherwise”.

The Presidency added that: “The last two weeks have recorded stringent steps by the Government to halt the free fall of the local currency and stabilise the economy. His Excellency will therefore not be distracted from pursuing and delivering on the priority areas of the better Ghana agenda”.

According to the statement, “if at any time His Excellency the President decides to reshuffle his cabinet, his decision will neither be influenced nor clouded by such reports but will be done through sound judgment and a careful consideration of the resources at his disposal”.

Mr Rawlings’ recent reshuffle call was on Thursday. He said Mr Mahama should have done the reshuffle last year and wondered why the process has delayed.

“These changes I believe should have taken place towards the end of last year when Ghanaians had reached their saturation point with what they perceived as the incompetence or the non-performance of some of the appointees, but it didn’t happen. There is a bit of anxiety, some sense of expectation that is where my name becomes a convenient tool to be misused.”

He, however, denied rumours that he is holding on to the list of those likely to be affected by the reshuffle.

“Yes I am not unaware of the occasional misuse of my name by elements in the party and government to cover up their own weaknesses. No such list has come to my office.

“And let me assure you, if such lists were to come to my office it would take no longer than thirty minutes on my table because all I would have to do is tick, cancel out or put a question mark to any such suggested names. And send it right back to where it would have come from.”

He stressed: “But make no mistake, some of us who are perceived to be part and parcel of the changes or these developments, I hear it also on the air like most of you. I find it extremely mischievous that some of the leaders in the party tend to create this false impression that Rawlings knows and approves of everything going on in government.

“This is not true. The elected President is the coach as he said and that is where our attention should be directed, and not at me.”

The former president disagreed that the young appointees should be given time to find their footing, saying the NDC has “personalities with lots of experience, this is not the time to be learning in government, no, no, no. We have people with lots of experience, lots of integrity, they could have helped, could provide wise counsel.”