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Pratt, Amaliba chide president over vickyleaks

John Dramani Mahama Shades

Tue, 12 Nov 2013 Source: The Al-Hajj

Two stalwarts in the media with a great deal of sympathies towards President John Dramani Mahama and the governing National Democratic Congress administration have in a political sabre-rattling taken a swipe at President John Mahama for appointing disgraced deputy Communications Minister, Ms. Victoria Hammah when she was not ‘ripe’ for it.

Both the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr and Lawyer Abraham Amaliba, a member of the NDC’s legal team could not fathom why proper due diligence was not carried out on Madam Hammah to ascertain her suitability or otherwise for the position she was made to serve.

Sharing their thoughts on two separate political talk show programs over the weekend, both media stalwarts contended that had proper scrutiny been done, Ms. Hammah would never have been appointed as Deputy Communications Minister in the first place, with Mr Pratt bluntly saying the sacked deputy Minister was a beneficiary of the mess at the presidency whose firing was long overdue.

Miss Hammah was last Friday relieved of her post following a leaked tape recording in which she was heard saying she hoped to make US$1 million in politics before she quits. She also made damning allegations against government. No reason(s) though, was given for her dismissal.

But on Radio Gold’s weekend political talk show last Saturday, Mr. Pratt told host, Alhassan Sunyini “this woman is a beneficiary of the mess at the presidency; she should have been sacked a long time ago.”

Taking his turn on the subject on MultiTV/Joy FM's news analysis programme, Newsfile, on the same day, Lawyer Amaliba described as "disappointing," the failure of the President, his Secretary (Executive), Chief of Staff, Cabinet and the security agencies to scrutinise the dismissed deputy minister to determine whether "she was fit" for the position.

He noted that if proper background checks had been done, Ms. Hammah would never have been appointed as Deputy Communications Minister in the first place.

The Mahama administration has in recent times come under heavy criticism from senior members of the NDC for the way it is leading the country, particularly in the fight against corruption and the calibre of personnel in government.

Party stalwarts have accused wife of the President, Madam Lordina Mahama of influencing appointment of her cronies whether qualified or not, an allegation the First Lady has flatly denied.

Former Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Nadowli-Kaleo, Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin was the bold soul in the party who came out to criticize the president on his commitment in the fight against corruption and style of appointment of persons to positions.

His criticism was swiftly countered by presidential staffer, Mr. Stan Dogbe, who took Hon. Bagbin to the cleaners, describing him as a ‘big liar’ and an ‘enemy within,’ bent on ditching President Mahama, deportment that was widely condemned by many people including a US- based Ghanaian English Professor who tagged Mr. Dogbe’s conduct as “childish and impolitic”

Whiles on it, Madama Victoria Hammah whose strong relationship with the First Lady is not in doubt, was heard on a leaked tape purported to be her voice, among other things, giving an inkling into how her (Victoria Hammah) and other appointees of the Mahama administration’s close ‘affinity’ to Madam Lordina landed them ministerial positions.

On the tape, she was heard blabbing about how politically connected she was and how a colleague deputy minister at the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Hon Rachel Appoh, secured her appointment. She was consequently dismissed by the President.

The dismissed deputy Communications Minister’s leaked tape, which has been christened “Vickyleaks” has generated discussions in both the media and social media platforms.

This unfortunate mishap, Mr. Pratt said “is a big mess! This deputy minister has caused an irreparable damage to the government. The gravity of what she has said is serious; I am frightened”.

"This is a minister who goes to give a public speech; she leaves her office with her speech in her hand, goes to the function and takes her seat. There is opening prayer, introduction of chairman and all of that [but] only gets to the microphone and realizes that there is a wrong speech in her hand after she had started reading. Is she qualified to be a minister? She should have been dismissed at that time not now,” he stressed.

On the other hand, lawyer Abraham Amaliba opined that the embarrassment caused by Victoria Hammah's leaked tape should serve as a wake-up call on the appointing authorities to do due diligence before selecting people for public office.

Source: The Al-Hajj