The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of surreptitiously promoting Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo into a Prime Minister position.The framers of Ghana’s 1992 constitution rejected the position of a Prime Minister in the country’s governance system, but appointing someone as a Senior Minister is a straightforward acceptance of that position, which contravenes the constitution, Mr. Ayariga explained.
Summing his argument in a 6-page document to the President, the former Sports Minister believes the Senior Minister position is also discriminatory.
“Why the discrimination? You consciously seek to elevate Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo to a status akin to that of a Prime Minister,” he argued.
This is the second time someone has been appointed as a Senior Minister under the Fourth Republic. The first was Mr. J.H. Mensah under former President Kufuor in an NPP-led government. The position was ignored when the National Democratic Congress government won power in 2008 until they left office in 2017.
The Senior Minister will sort of supervise the works of other sector ministers.
“I have, myself, heard Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo grant interviews and say on radio that he is going to oversee the work of other Ministers of State you have nominated, especially for the economic sectors.
“That is to say that he will superintend over the work of other Ministers of State. That interview betrays the real motives for creating the ‘Senior Minister’ post.
“It is going to function very much the same way as a Prime Minister. Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo does not understand that you don’t intend to breach the Constitution by creating a Prime Minister status for any one particular Minister of State, if mu assumption is right. For him it is not a mere accolade based on his age and wealth of experience.”
The MP who is a member of the Parliament’s Appointments Committee reminded the President: “The Constitution does not make that differentiation when it comes to ministerial appointments. Being advanced in age does not entitle you to be vetted by Parliament and given the accolade of ‘Senior Minister’”.
Better still, Mr. Ayariga suggested that Mr. Osafo-Maafo should be made to head the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) where he would be able to “superintend over the Minister of Finance and all other Ministers of State, as you may desire”.
Yaw Osafo-Maafo is 75 years old, and has had an exemplary career as a banker, consultant, politician and a statesman. He is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, an Engineer and Project Analyst by training, and a fellow of the Ghana Institute of Engineers.