Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has expressed disappointment and displeasure at what he describes as inconsistency and hypocrisy on the part of the two major political parties; New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as far as staffing at the presidency is concerned.
He is at loss as to why both parties are quick to ‘slit the other’s throat’ over the huge number of staff employed at the presidency when in opposition but comfortably toe the same line when given a chance to lead the country.
Speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrookoo show, Mr. Baako cited previous instances under the Kufour era where the then government was massively criticized by the NDC over numbers at the presidency. The same persons who criticized the numbers he explained, failed to do any better with their coming into office.
He sees the same plot playing out over time for which reason he believes both governments are merely being hypocritical or mischievous either by criticizing the numbers or defending it depending on who stands where.
“Before 2014 we had gone through the same cycle before where the actors changed dependent on who’s in government and who is not”
“The same thing happened with the NPP side in Parliament trying to clarify and so you ask yourself why in 2014 despite the clarification, they did not pursue the same line in terms of consistency”
“That is what we have done with this presidential office staff matter. From day one, so in 2018 we are discussing some of the issues the same way. Is it ignorance? Is it mischief or a combination of both?” Kweku Baako quizzed.
His comments come on the back of the uproar sparked by a list of 998 presidential staffers presented by President Akufo-Addo last week in accordance with Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463) which requires the President to submit a report on the staffing position of the Office of the President.
The list which includes nine Ministers of State, 27 presidential staffers, 256 other/junior appointees and 706 employees of the public/civil service staff was met with mixed reactions from the public, majority of Ghanaians expressing worry over the implications of the figure on the public purse.
While critics have accused government of failing on its promises to protect the public purse with the huge numbers it has implored under its government, some government officials including Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, in defense have maintained that the number though high is having less effect on the public purse compared to the 678 figure under the Mahama administration.
Meanwhile, Kweku Baako on the same show chastised members of the NDC for ‘hitting’ the NPP over their ‘super-sized’ staffers by referencing them with past comments they made in the same regard when they (the NDC) were still in office with 678 staffers.
He called them ‘cowards’ who only use the same ‘equalisation’ mechanics they have previously accused he (Kweku Baako) of imploring in his arguments because it suits them and comes in handy in this situation.
“Their defense mechanism is to shout equalisation. They themselves indulge in that thing they call equalisation when it suits them, every time” According to Mr Baako both the Mahama-led administration and the current one led by Akufo-Addo have violated the laws requiring that they submit a list of employees at the presidency within three months of the end of every financial year.
He said the Mahama administration failed to submit the list to Parliament in 2015. Current president Akufo-Addo also failed to do same in 2016.