General News of Wednesday, 2 February 2005
Accra, Feb. 2 (Lens) -- Wondering why the much-publicised nomination of Hon. Asamoah Boateng as Minister for Aviation has not come to fruition?
The Lens can authoritatively reveal that President John Agyekum Kufuor decided at the last minute to scrap the idea to create a Ministry for Aviation and to nominate Hon. Asamoah Boateng as the first Minister for that Ministry due to what he considered to be attempts by Asamoah Boateng and Chief of Staff, Mr. Kojo Mpianim, to unduly push his hands.
Impeccable sources at the Presidency told your authoritative Lens that President Kufuor scrapped the whole idea and reprimanded the Chief of Staff for going public with news that Asamoah Boateng had been nominated as Minister for Aviation at a time that the President had not given his final approval for the nomination.
According to our sources, following a compelling case made by the Central regional caucus of NPP parliamentarians, including CPP's Kwesi Ndoum, to the President through the Chief of Staff, for additional Ministerial appointments from the region to reflect the regions' crucial support for Mr. Kufuor as evidenced by the results of the 2004 elections, there were discussions at the presidency to compensate the caucus through the appointment of Asamoah Boateng as a Minister and give him a ceremonial title of Minister for Aviation.
The sources disclosed that the President had intended to defer announcing the nomination until after government spin doctors and apologists in the media had done enough preparatory work to ensure that when the announcement was finally made it would not trigger off negative reactions, because he was keenly aware of the possibility that notwithstanding the fact that the title 'Minister of Aviation' was essentially an empty ceremonial title, the public, unless carefully prepared, might think otherwise, which could negatively affect the government of Mr. Kufuor.
However, apparently believing that the President was moving too slowly on the idea, the Chief of Staff reportedly went public with the announcement before the government spin doctors and media apologists could get down to work out a strategy to sell the idea to the public.
Asamoah Boateng himself granted a couple of interviews to a number of radio stations, notably Joy FM and Peace FM, where he strutted and prattled about his nomination, going on and on about his so called ministry.
Highly infuriated by these moves, Mr. Kufuor, according to our sources, called the Chief of Staff and handed him a good dressing.
"Asamoah Boateng might as well scrap any dreams he might be entertaining of serving in the Executive for now. The Chief of Staff on the other hand will soon realise that his powers have been severely curtailed, and it is even being said that the President is considering his removal and replacement with a much younger prot?g? of his," one source revealed.
In answer to our enquiry about the fate of the Aviation Ministry, The Lens obtained this from a highly placed source. "its on the backburner it may well come up at a later time or not at all depending on how things play out."