General News of Wednesday, 9 January 2013
President John Mahama has been criticized for asking the former ministers to stay on as caretaker ministers until substantive appointments are made.
A Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Kpessah Whyte said the directive does “not send the right signals” especially when those ministers had been asked to submit their handing over notes a month ago.
President John Mahama announced his first list of appointees making Mr. Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani as the Chief of Staff, Dr. Raymond Akongburo Atuguba as the Executive Secretary to the President, Senior Policy Co-ordinator in the Office of the President, Dr. Sulley Gariba and Secretary to Cabinet, Mr. Roger Kwesi Angsomwine.
The statement which announced the new appointees further asked “various substantive Ministers, including Regional Ministers, whose tenure of office expired at midnight on the 6th of January 2013, in caretaker positions of the various Ministries and Regions they previously occupied,” to hang on as caretakers until substantive appointments are made.
This Dr Whyte maintained was worrying given that the president had almost a month to select his team of ministers.
“Unlike President Kufuor and President Mills who had one week to form their cabinet, the current president had at least one month to have reflected on who out of the 24 million Ghanaians he wants to choose to form his cabinet and also to appoint as ministers at various levels.
“If for nothing at all, one would have expected that some of these early appointments will involve some pronouncements around ministerial issues.
He was quick to add though that the delay in announcing the ministerial positions could mean the president is doing a “more thorough job.”
“The problem with this is that the president is actually closing down on himself a window of opportunity to clearly define himself different from the era of President Mills. It would have been better for him to go ahead and do his appointment as he so wish than to have allowed those people to go back into office, especially if he wants to change them and appoint new people in their positions," he said.
A Senior law lecturer at the Ghana Institute and Public Administration, in part, agreed with the concerns of Dr Whyte.
Ernest Kofi Abotsi is convinced that Chief Directors at the various Ministries ought to have acted in the absence of the substantive ministers rather than asking outgoing Ministers to hang on.