Opinions Sun, 20 Feb 2011

Who Is Hannah Bissiw?

The Hon deputy minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, Dr Hannah Bissiw is alleged to have been clandestinely seeking the removal of her boss; Hon Alban Bagbin to pave way for her to become the substantive head of the ministry. Let me hint that if these allegations are anything to go by, the deputy minister is heading toward failure.

Hannah is noted for her gross disrespect to her bosses in time past and she is believed to have the pedigree in doing what she knows best, that is lobbying for her immediate superiors to be jettisoned for her to be catapulted to the top. What the deputy minister refused to acknowledge is that, in the unlikely event that Hon Bagbin is even exiting the ministry, she will never be promoted to head that office.

Dr Bissiw does not have the effrontery to disregard the fiats from the minister because; they are mostly issued at the behest of the President. The so-called power-brokers in the castle that has continuously emboldened Hon Bissiw and her cohorts to flagrantly disobey political heavy weights in the stature of Hon Bagbin in the NDC are quite unfortunate.

Somebody should expressly draw the attention of the deputy minister to the fact that Hon Bagbin is not only a cabinet minister, but has successfully led the NDC in parliament for eight years which has won him a lot of respect across the entire political divide. The minister almost single handedly with the co-operation and support of his colleagues from the NDC side in parliament held the party together at a time the then majority was eagerly doing everything to extradite the party.

Hon Bagbin was applauded for his leadership role in parliament by almost all Ghanaians including the rank and file of the NDC. The minister, who is additionally a member of parliament, is a political marksman in his constituency winning countless elections with landslide margins. I entreat the deputy minister to focus on building herself at the grassroots in order to annex the seat from the NPP and stop jostling for power that is far from her considering the exigencies of the time.

President Mills has received several reports suggesting the removal of Hon Bagbin from cabinet; however, one unique demeanor of president Mills is that he is imbued with infinite wisdom that makes him treat such allegations with scorn and disdain and at worse consider them banal. This usually happens because undercover findings always point to the contrary. I hope Dr Bissiw and her associates will come to terms with these realities and rest their energies for more productive engagements.

I am not by this insinuating that Hon Bagbin is impeccably a saint but machinations by Hon Bissiw and her cronies cannot axe the Hon minister. He is not perturbed by these developments at all but having his eye on delivering the deliverables, and president Mills will not at the instance of these unsubstantiated allegations act to satisfy the whims of people like Dr Bissiw whose votes contribution to the party is infinitesimal.

Civil society and governance think tanks will be appalled by the attitude and behavior of some women including the likes of Dr Bissiw who are public office holders. The campaign for gender sensitivity in politics is gradually gaining currency but people in the class of the deputy minister are seriously eroding the gains made so far. I just want to caution that, if she continues angling to head the ministry by constantly sabotaging her bosses; it will not pay off.

It will even be calamitous on her part now that she is gearing up to seek the mandate of her constituents to represent them in parliament. This issue transcends the deputy minister as a person but bothers on the corporate standing of the NDC as a political party. It will be appropriate for the party hierarchy to wade in and call Dr Bissiw to order to forestall any reputation management crisis during the 2012 elections.

If this is allowed to continue, I am confident party members within the fringes will be compelled to open the Pandora’s Box on the deputy minister which could be used as a political arsenal by opponents in her constituency. These can dash her legislative ambitions into a complete jeopardy which will be distasteful to all NDC members as they are seeking to broaden the support base of the party.

David A. Banamini


Columnist: Banamini, David A.