Ethnic Nepotism at the Presidency
By Cletus D Kuunifaa
Not all political jabs must be responded to and indeed, some of them are held opinions fueled and driven by penned up feelings of frustrations coming from some disgruntled individuals whose number one duty and goal is to disorientate the President of the Republic of Ghana from his vision of fixing the mess left over a decade ago. Why should the appointment of a Senior Communications Advisor and Head of Communications at the presidency as well as the rumored appointment of Presidential Aide for National Security be categorized as an ethnic nepotism at the presidency? (Refer to Ghanaweb, 22 January, 2014) http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/artikel.php?ID=298480
The ranting and raving from a certain Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe are totally misplaced. Is Okoampa-Ahoofe criticizing the President’s decision because the appointees are of a certain ethnic extraction? Or he is making a case against the appointees’ competencies?
Mr. Ahoofe should understand that at this point in the history of Ghana, President Mahama is the President of the Republic of Ghana. The President has the sole prerogative to appoint Ghanaians he deems competent to deliver on his agenda for the country. As a matter of fact, he is answerable to the good people of Ghana on whose mandate he owes a duty to deliver. Since we are a democracy and elections will be organized in the not-too-distant future to decide on renewing the mandate of the current incumbent government or for a regime change, the Mahama administration would not have been unaware of the repercussions of the task ahead to recklessly slip off message and focus by some kind of appointment. Therefore, Mr Okoampa-Ahoofe must be advised to clam up, to suck it up and to deal with it for now, while waiting for “Godot” (futile waiting) to play their tribal politics.
Much as this article finds Mr. Okoampa- Ahoofe’s characterization of the appointment by the President as ethnic nepotism totally shameful, embarrassing and very nauseating, his depiction of the appointment smack of envy yet comes across as particularly offensive.
When it was former President Kufour’s tenure with his kith and kin in positions that was good politics by then…good governance …huh? I am not even trying to compare the appointments rate based on ethnic background of the two presidents, because they are simply incomparable! What is clear, thus far, on the contrary is that the appointments made by this current president have been regionally balanced, and does not even match by any stretch of imagination nor has he gotten close to that feat of ethnic-based appointments chalked under former President Kufour’s administration. Does Okoampa-Ahoofe remember former President Kufour’s comment that he did not find any qualified individual from the Upper West to serve on his cabinet, when his attention was drawn to the fact that he refused to appoint any person from the region as a cabinet minister? (Refer to Saturday, December 6, 2008) http://ghanaelections2008.blogspot.com/2008/12/npp-has-no-respect-for-people-in-upper.html
As I write this piece, news is currently rife about Lawyer Abu Samuel Jinapor, a former Nana Addo’s aide’s defection back to NDC. But what is most intriguing about this rumored defection is the revelation attributed to insiders owing to mistrust for him within the NPP especially Nana Addo’s kitchen cabinet, made up of his many cousins from Kibi and Akropong-Akwapim, all in the Eastern Region. (Refer 22 January 2014) http://elections.peacefmonline.com/pages/politics/201401/186806.php
Does that ring a bell about Nana’s kitchen cabinet?
Since Mr Okaompa-Ahoofe and co are living in a dreams land and are not moved by whatever this sitting President does, who cares by the way, they should perhaps be informed of the responsibilities of a Communications Director according to my categorization: I envisage and insist that the President’s appointment of Mr Ben Dotse Malor would have been very strategic. Strategic in the sense that;
1) The voice and vision of the president must be clear enough; hence Mr. Malor will ensure the president’s message would be successfully delivered throughout the media outlets
2) President would have thought of developing and implementing a very effective communications strategy, by tapping from the rich professional experience of Mr. Malor in a bid to help strengthen his political propaganda machinery as we approach the next elections. Therefore, would it not have been appropriate for President to think beyond and own a research and message development orientated tank for legislative and electoral campaigns?
3) Let the empty barrels understand that President would have thought about amplifying and driving his campaign activity
4) Since Mr Okoampa-Ahoofe has been detached from our motherland and separated by space and time, he must be schooled to understand that working in partnership with a unique, media savvy and skilled personality like Mr. Malor is paramount to help inform prospective electorate to know what this president is doing to change the nation for the better.
5) Last but not least, needless to stress the added advantage of the proliferation of social media in the Ghanaian political terrain as a fertile ground to reach out to teeming supporters on message.
With these in mind, to suggest that the president’s appointment is ethnic nepotism defies logic and does not stand the test of democracy. What has obviously stood the test of competency is the appointment of Mr. Ben Dotse Malor as Senior Communications Advisor and Head of Communications at the presidency.
By Cletus D. Kuunifaa, Long Island University, LIU Post, New York. Can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or Follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa