General News of 2014-04-25

Cabinet Shake-Up: Ayariga, Sherry Ayittey out, Spio Garbrah in

Months after intense speculation of an imminent Cabinet reshuffle, The General Telegraph can report that the President, John Mahama, will in the next few days announce a shake-up in his Cabinet and introduce new faces into his administration.

One of the new faces, this paper has gathered, is Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, now Chief Executive Officer of Dominion University, established by Action Chapel International, and also a former minister in Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings' administration.

According to credible sources at the presidency, there are two major casualties in the coming reshuffle. Other members of Cabinet have been reassigned different positions.

Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr. Mahama Ayariga and Madam Sherry Hanny Ayittey, Minister of Health, are on their way out of Cabinet while Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Education in Charge of Tertiary Education, is elevated to a ministerial position.

Mr. Ablakwa, the legislator for North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, is to move from his current position to replace Mr. Mahama Ayariga as the substantive Minister of Information and Media Relations.

Although the MP for North Tongu Constituency is said to have performed creditably with his substantive Minister, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, at the Ministry of Education and had received commendations from the President, he is seen to have the capacity to disseminate information on the achievements of the government very well.

Dr. Omane Boamah, the current Minister of Communications, is being moved to replace his former boss, Sherry Ayittey at the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, former presidential hopeful and ex-President Jerry John Rawlings loyalist, is returning to government as substantive Minister of Communication after years of sidelining in the scheme of the ruling government.

Dr. Spio Garbrah, who was accused of spreading news that Prof. John Evans Atta Mills was seriously sick, is also believed to have what it takes to bring about the needed improvements in the current government.

The General Telegraph can report that, at a highly attended meeting with the president present, the consensus was that it was time for a shake-up in President Mahama’s Cabinet.

It was gathered that the future of the Finance Minister, Seth Terkpeh, who has become the topic of discussion among some ministers and party officials as being a pain in the neck of the government, is still under consideration.

Some party gurus are proposing that Moses Asaga, now the acting Chief Executive Officer of National Petroleum Authority (NPA), should be made to take over the position of Seth Terkpeh as finance minister.

Moses Asaga, who assumed the position of finance minister during the early days of the late President Mills until he was accused of signing documents without the express approval of the president and was, therefore, dropped from the list of cabinet members, is high on the radar to bounce back into government.

Seth Terkpeh has been at the receiving end of flaks from personalities such as Hon. Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Information and Media Relations, and Allotey Jacobs, Central Regional Communications Director of the ruling party.

Ayariga on Joy FM recently stated that the finance minister is the main problem for the government while Allotey Jacobs, also on Peace FM's morning show, claimed Seth Terkpeh should be shown the exit because he had failed the government.

The finance minister who had been endorsed by President Mahama a couple of months ago when the latter was reported to have said that he was under intense pressure from party members to sack the minister, is now reported to have incurred the wrath of the president.

President Mahama at a programme in the Eastern Region said since his government does not borrow money for merry-making and that it will continue to borrow to develop the nation, the finance minister in an apparent swift rebuttal in parliament said the government had indeed placed a ban on loans.

This has generated some misunderstanding among the party members to the extent that the opposition took the government to task for its inconsistency.