The reason why former President John Mahama could not appoint his family into government, as President Akufo-Addo has famously done, is because, between the two families, one has more educated members who qualify to serve in a government under their ‘family and friends’ government.This reasoning is the defense Hon Kennedy Agyapong, Member of Parliament for Assin Central gave in defense of President Akufo-Addo’s appointment of his daughter, cousins and other family members in powerful government positions.
In an interview monitored by MyNewsGh, the lawmaker said President Akufo-Addo cannot be blamed for having family members who qualify to be in government and occupying enviable positions.
“It is not Akufo-Addo’s fault that his family members are more educated than Mahama’s family members. They are very qualified for the position they are occupying”, Ken Agyapong said.
Asked whether it was right to dabble in the same ‘family and friends’ government they accused NDC of, Mr Ken Agyapong agrees they said a lot of things when they were campaigning, but next time they will check their campaign talks, adding that so far as he is concerned, Akufo-Addo’s family members are qualified that’s why they were appointed and there is no need for noise about it.
Family Appointments Vs Family Contracts
While the list is long, Ken Agyapong had said what Akufo-Addo is doing in direct appointments to his family members, President Mahama did a double in terms of contracts to the Mahama brothers, insisting that all the major contracts that came up under the Mahama administration went to companies linked to one of his brothers in one way or other.
The number of relatives of the President in government has been criticized by many Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo’s direct cousins in government include Nana Asante Bediatuo who is the President’s Executive Secretary; Works and Housing Minster Samuel Atta Akyea, Transport Minister Kwesi Amoako Atta and Attorney-General Gloria Akufo.
Gloria Akufo’s direct brother allegedly occupies the District Chief Executive slot at the Shai Osu Doku District in the Greater Accra Region.
Akufo Addo’s daughter, Gyankroma Akufo Addo serves on the Creative Arts Council Board.
The President’s younger brother, Edward ‘Bumpty’ Akufo Addo is reported to have formed a quartet with his cousins, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta and Duke Ofori Atta as well as his nephew, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, popularly known as Gabby is believed to control business and financial interests around the presidency without holding any position. Gabby is said to be the most powerful man in the Akufo-Addo administration second only to his uncle.
Gabby’s wife and daughter-in-law of the President, Nana Adjoa Hackman sits on the Board of state Petroleum firm Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC).
Two other cousins of the President, Nana Yaa Ofori Atta and Fredua Ofori Atta both siblings of Ken Ofori Atta the Finance Minister are also said to hover around the Presidency in undefined capacities.
President Akufo Addo has again appointed another cousin, Rhodaline Baafour-Gyimah, to the board of national oil trader, GOIL. Mrs Baafour-Gyimah joins her husband and brother-in-law of the President, Alex Baafour Gyimah, who chairs the Board of the Gaming Commission.
Dr Edward Kwapong, a distant cousin of the President, from his father’s side from Akropong, has been put at the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.
Kwame Akufo, an Accra-based Lawyer, and nephew of Akufo Addo has been made a member of the Board of Petroleum downstream regulator, The National Petroleum Authority.
The list goes on and on.