General News of Saturday, 3 May 2014
Contrary to suggestions that the removal of Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey from office as National Security Coordinator was informed by his recent fracas with University of Ghana authorities, The aL-hAJJ can confirm that the President’s decision to replace his spy chief predated the Legon tollbooth saga.
Long before the Legon tollbooth saga this paper was aware of the president’s decision to replace his National Security Coordinator with the out-going boss of the Bureau of National Investigation, Mr Yaw Donkor; a decision taken by the President John Mahama immediately he was sworn into office on January 7, 2013, but had to be shelved as a result of security concerns including one relating to the novel election petition.
Like all other security capos, and as customary of any new administration, sources at the seat of government have long hinted this paper about the president’s intention to replace security chiefs including the National Security Coordinator, but for the threats posed to the nation’s security arising from the disputed election results and the subsequent petition engineered by the opposition NPP at the Supreme Court; Larry Gbevlo Lartey was asked by the president to temporary hold the fort.
Indeed, The aL-hAJJ in our October 4, 2013 publication headline “Major Shake-up In Gov’t - Gbevlo, Tony Aidoo, Nunoo Mensah Move On” revealed how the President had decided to make changes in his government by redeploying some persons in his administration including Col Larry Gbevlo-Lartey.
It is an established practice in most democracies across the globe that elected Presidents, in order to consolidate their authority and to ensure absolute loyalty appoints persons they feel comfortable working with as security chiefs and President John Mahama is no exception.
The president on Tuesday replaced Col. Gbevlo Lartey with the Director of the Bureau of National Investigations, Mr. Yaw Donkor. A deputy Director of BNI, Mr. Pious Awelinga was also appointed acting director of the same state security agency.
Media reports have since gone viral; extrapolating that Col Larry Gbevlo-Lartey’s dismissal was as a result of a running battle he had with authorities of the UG regarding the decision of authorities at the nation’s premiere university to toll a road it had sourced funds to construct.
Adding to this wild guess was a suggestion by a security expert at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, Dr. Kwesi Aning, that the remilitarization of the national security outfit by some of its operatives under Col Larry Gbevlo-Lartey’s supervision could be the reason for his removal, citing a recent demolition at Adjei Kojo in Tema, in which an anonymous operative halted a parliamentary investigation into the demolition.
“There is also no doubt at all that there was certain militarization or remilitarization of national security,” he stated, adding, “one can list a whole series of incidences and incidents in the last 18 months that caused a certain disaffection and unease in society as to whether we were going back to the dark days of military dictatorship.”
But, The aL-hAJJ can confirm without any scintilla of doubt that Col Larry Gbevlo Lartey’s dismissal has nothing to do with all the reasons being bandied in the media but a decision President Mahama had taken that predated those events.
Read below The aL-hAJJ’s story of October 4, 2013 headlined:
Major Shake-up In Gov’t -Gbevlo, Tony Aidoo, Nunoo Mensah Move On
Story by: A. A. Yayra & Alhaji Bature Iddrisu
Reeling under intractable weighty challenges arising from the recent protracted election petition contesting his legitimacy coupled with allegation of pervasive corruption in his administration and the topical astronomical hike in utility prices, President John Mahama is been compelled to reinvigorate his almost one year old administration with a massive shake up in government, The Al-Hajj can today confirm.
Somewhat different from reshuffles under his predecessors, the President, who in recent times has come under intense firing from senior members of his party for varying and obvious reasons, is said to start his “cleaning up” exercise from the seat of government through to the Ministries, sweeping through some para-statal organizations and ending up with the appointments of some top kingpins of the ruling party to ambassadorial positions.
Highly engrossed with delivering on promises made to Ghanaians in the run up to the 2012 polls, something that would feature prominently in the 2016 election campaign, President Mahama, also mindful of the almost one missed year as a result of the election petition is said to be leaving no stone unturned in the remainder three years left, hence has decided to reinforce his administration with much experienced hands.
With the petition storm having been lifted off his head and in order to make-up for the almost one year lost, President Mahama is expected in the coming days to announce major reforms and introduce new policy initiatives which will also necessitate extensive and massive reshuffle of his administration between now and the first quarter of next year, sources at the seat of government disclose to The Al-Hajj. Among some of the portfolios to be affected our sources reveal include the office of the Chief of Staff, the National Security Advisor, National Security Coordinator’s outfit and the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency.
It is uncertain yet the fate of the Executive Secretary to the President, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, who insiders say is not to be in the best of working relationship with the president’s pal and Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani and may probably revert to his law faculty contract at Legon and perhaps, combine it with his former role at the Constitution Review commission now at implementation stages.
But what is certain, this paper can assuredly report is that, the days of Chief of Staff, Prosper Douglas Kwaku Bani; National Security Adviser, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nunoo Mensah; Head of Policy and Evaluation, Dr. Anthony Kwabena Aidoo; National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey and his two deputies, K. B Dankwa and Kosivi Degbor at their respective jobs at the presidency are numbered.
These personalities according to impeccable source are to be reassigned. The Chief of Staff, Mr. Prosper Bani, a face representing the Volta region in government and a buddy of the president since their School days at Legon and teaching period at GIJ, whose deprived social relations is said to be bothering is expected to be shifted to become President’s Special Advisor on Governmental Affairs, a portfolio once occupied by Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu under Jerry Rawlings regime, whiles General Nunoo Mensah also travels to a newly created office as Presidential Advisor on Human Security.
National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col. Gbevlo Lartey and his two deputies, K. B. Dankwa and Kosivi Degbor, this paper is in the know have their Curriculum Vitae presently before the Council of State and according to a ‘bird’s whisper, are being considered for foreign service operations.
In line with the President’s vision and policy, the present Monitoring and Evaluation Unit headed by Dr. Tony Aidoo, a former Deputy Defence Minister under ex-President Rawlings’ regime is to be done with as it overlaps the offices of Senior Policy Coordinator, Dr. Sule Gariba and the outspoken NDC stalwart according to our reliable source has been penciled to be dispatched to The Netherlands as Ghana government’s representative.
It is however, not yet clear as at press time if the outspoken NDC capo who recently bitterly decried neglect of his office since the death of President Mills who established that office, would take up the new post. The fate of Director of BNI, Yaw Donkor is also yet to be established by press time but other high level officials to be affected by the President’s impending restructuring include, Stanislav Xose Dogbe, presidential Staffer who is also reported to be generating ‘difficulties’ at the presidency. Our information is that, he is likely to be be moved to the Information and Media Relations Ministry as a deputy minister.
Others to be affected by the President’s planned shakeup include Chief Executives and Chairmen and members of Board of Para-statal organizations including Cocobod, GNPC, GETFund, Ghana Gas Company, National Communication Authority (NCA) and the National Investment Bank (NIB) among others.
However, four key portfolios political observers are watching with keen and bathed breath is board chairmanship position for the GNPC, NCA, Ghana Gas Company and GETFund presently occupied by able confidantes of the late President Mills and kingpins of the NDC party.
The GNPC and NCA are currently occupied by the revered Ato Ahwoi and the smooth-operator and former National Security capo, Totobi Quakyi whiles Ghana Gas Company and GETFund are headed by Ghana’s longest serving former Finance minister, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey and Dr. Kwabena Adjei, NDC Chairman.
The positions of three Chief Executives who are also influential members of the NDC, Dr. George Sipa Yankey of the Ghana Gas Company, Dr. P A Kuranchie of the NIB and Mr. Sam Garba of GETFund are also under close ‘surveillance’. This comes on the heels of the axing of another Mills aficionado, Kwame Peprah as SSNIT board chairman by president Mahama.
Meanwhile, economic analysts are whispering that it would be prudent for the number one gentleman, as part of his impending re0rganization to consider strengthening the office of the exchequer with at least a tried and tested finance person in the caliber of Fifii Kwetey to partner Minister Seth Tekper.
In a related development, The Al-Hajj is yet to obtain information on the whereabouts of Col. Lawson and Koku Anyidoho, former ADC and Communication Director respectively to the late President Mills and Dr. Don Arthur, a former Presidential Staffer.
Indeed, this paper can authoritatively confirm the President’s decision to effect changes in his government with Ministers, Deputies and Regional Minister Positions tasting some altering. More anon. Stay tuned.