General News of Fri, 19 Jan 201865

Sometimes I worry for Akufo-Addo; he works too much – Sam Okudzeto

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Experienced lawyer, and a member of the Council of State, Sam Okudzeto, has shed light on President Nana Akufo-Addo’s work ethic, revealing that he frequently works late into the night.

The former President of the Ghana Bar Association said contrary to the popular view that being the highest public servant is a comfortable job, it comes with a lot of tough calls and self-sacrifice – and for Nana Akufo-Addo, who wants to leave a lasting legacy, it can become a source of worry for people close to him.

“It is not an easy job. Sometimes I worry for him in the sense that he works too much...he will wake up very early in the morning and work till about 10 o’clock in the evening...Sometimes I tell him, ‘please take your time and rest and cut down on what you are doing.’

“He is a man in a hurry...a man who wants to achieve results. He needs for us to encourage him and to help him because it is not a one-man job. Governance is not a one-person job...sometimes you want to be sure that your ministers, those you have appointed to the boards and the rest are also doing the right thing,” Mr Okudzeto said.

Mr Okudzeto made the revelations on Upfront, a current affairs programme on the Joy News channel (MultiTV), hosted by Raymond Acquah.

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Thursday evening’s show discussed a myriad of topical issues dominating the national discourse – Trump’s ‘shithole’ outburst, Akufo-Addo’s one year in office, the fight against corruption and Martin Amidu’s nomination as the Independent Special Prosecutor among others.

Hope in Martin

Commenting on the fight against corruption under the Akufo-Addo-led administration, he confessed that he had been wondering whether the President will achieve his desire to nip corruption in the bud.

However, when his choice for the special office, Martin Amidu, was confirmed, his worries vanished.

Mr Amidu is renowned his deep knowledge of the law and unwavering anti-graft fight.

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“That appointment alone gives me hope,” he said, adding that his excitement peaked when the nomination was eventually announced.



“He [Martin Amidu] is a member of the NDC and he knows more than most us know. So he is the right person to unearth some of the wrong things that have happened. But also because he is a person you might call ‘a-no-nonsense-person. The NPP people who also might have the tendency to behave like their predecessors will now be scared. Because Martin Amidu is not the person you can go to and say ‘stop this prosecution against this person.”

He dispelled views that Mr Amidu might abandon his post when political pressure from top government officials starts to mount on him.

Private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri, has predicted that the strong views of Mr Amidu -- a former NDC-government Attorney General -- coupled with contradictions in the law guiding the Special Prosecutor’s Office will cause him to resign before the end of his tenure.

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Mr Amidu's relationship with the NDC fell apart following disagreements with some top officials and he has since become a sworn enemy of the party.

Commenting on the suggestion that Mr Amidu will buckle under political pressure, Mr Okudzeto said it is highly unlikely that the Citizen Vigilante will throw away his hard-earned reputation.

“The job gives him no latitude, no limitation. The President himself appointed him, and if he [President] goes back and says he is removing him, he [president] will in trouble himself. He knows it, that is why he appointed him. I have all the confidence that Martin will do his work. And when he is doing his work we should stop screaming [about witch-hunting],” he warned.

Parliament is still the weakest

Mr Okudzeto in 2014 described the Legislature as the “weakest arm of government” due to its failure to execute its fundamental responsibility of working in the interest of the people.

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Four years on, his views about the second arm of government have not changed.

"Many of them like to play to the gallery instead of doing the actual work," he said on Thursday.

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