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Criticisms about Minister’s suspension 'much ado about nothing' – Obiri-Boahen

The Deputy General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Obiri-Boahen has described as perplexing the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) criticism of the suspension of the Upper West Regional Minister Sulemana Alhassan by President Akufo-Addo.

Mr. Alhassan was suspended Thursday February 1 after reports that he shielded some suspected NPP thugs who invaded the regional office of the National Disaster Management Organization (NAMDO) and attacked some staff of the office.

He would remain on suspension “pending the outcome of the investigation into the unfortunate incidents that occurred at the premises of the Upper West Regional office of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), in Wa, on Wednesday, 31st January, 2018,” a statement by the Director of Communications at the Presidency Eugene Arhin stated.

Members of the opposition NDC including the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga described the suspension as unconstitutional. He argued in a telephone interview with Host of Morning Starr Francis Abban Friday, February 2, that Ghana’s constitution does not provide room for the suspension of a minister.

“It’s illegal, it is unconstitutional. It is not an action contemplated under our constitution,” said Mr. Ayariga who was also a former Sports Minister.

“There is no provision in the constitution that empowers the president to suspend a minister. The president cannot suspend a minister; it should have been a dismissal,” he added.

Also, a former deputy minister Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed described the directive as “a complete joke.” “Since when did it dawn on the president to start taking such actions?” he wondered, arguing that the directive was a “complete violation of the Constitution.”

In his reaction, however, Mr. Obiri-Boahen told Starr Today’s Naa Dedei Tetteh that the claims by the NDC and its members are hollow.

“Honestly speaking I think what Mahama Ayariga is saying is much ado about nothing,” he stated.

According to him, the action of the President is strongly supported by the constitution saying: “I’m saying it and I maintain unreservedly that whatever the president did, he did so in his capacity as the president and he is strongly covered by the constitution.

“My good friend Mahama Ayariga was talking about there is no provision in the constitution which talks about suspension. Also there is no provision in the constitution which says if Minister ‘A’ at Energy Ministry goes on leave it is Mr. B or C of his Ministry to take over. We don’t have that clear cut provision in the constitution. But, by operation of the constitution….by convention and tradition it is so clear. We have been doing it and there is nothing untoward about it.”

Source: starrfmonline.com

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