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Feature Article of Saturday, 26 January 2013

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Presidential Appointments In Ghana

By Kofi Thompson

When asked what I made of the apparent preponderance of Ghanaians from the northern part of the country, in ministerial and other appointments made thus far in President Mahama's new administration, I gave the same answer I gave, when asked a similar question during the Kufuor-era.

During the tenure of President Kufuor's New Patriotic Party regime, I always said that it did not matter whether the president appointed people from the particular part of the country he hailed from exclusively to serve in his administration, as long as they were the best qualified in the country in his view.

I feel exactly the same in the case of President Mahama, too. As long as the people he appoints are Ghanaians and the best qualified to work for his administration in his view, so be it.

After all, we aim to create a meritocracy in our homeland Ghana, do we not - and are we not all Ghanaians: whichever part of Ghana we hail from?

What we should object to in our ethnically-diverse unitary Republic - in which no one tribe is superior or inferior to another - is for President Mahama (or any other Ghanaian president for that matter) to attempt to hijack the entire machinery of state to promote his tribal Chieftain - the Gonjawura in Mahama's case - as a sovereign ruler of a state within a state in Ghana, and to add insult to injury, somehow seek to impose him on Ghanaians as their de facto monarch.

No Ghanaian who qualifies to serve in any position in the public-sector should be denied the opportunity to serve Mother Ghana, simply because he or she is from a particular part of our nation - from whence many other well-qualified Ghanaians (including the president) happen to hail from at that point in time in our history.

Some of us - who love Mother Ghana passionately - did not complain in the past when such issues were raised. We are not about to do so now either.

President Mahama can appoint as many Ghanaians from the north of our country as he needs to, in order to enable his administration to achieve its developmental goals for Ghana. Northerners are Ghanaians too.

The same would apply to a President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, were he in power today and proceeded to appoint his "yen Akanfuo" kinsmen and women into his administration. Akans are Ghanaians too, are they not, I ask?

Every president of the Republic of Ghana, including President Mahama, should be free to appoint those he feels are best qualified to serve in particular positions in his administration. Where they hail from is immaterial.

On his or her part, a serving president of Ghana ought to be mindful of the sensibilities of fair-minded Ghanaians - who want their leaders to be fair at all material times to all Ghanaian citizens whichever corner of Ghana they hail from: in making appointments to his or her administration. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com.

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