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Opinions of Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Alima Mahama acted constitutionally as a presidential deputy


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For the information and enlightenment of Mr. Abraham Amaliba, the foulmouthed and pathologically unruly member of both the Legal and Propaganda (or Communication) teams of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), there is absolutely nothing “unconstitutional” about the executive order issued by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to immediately vacate their posts and hand over their keys, official vehicles and other documents pertaining to their duties to the relevant Metropolitan, Municipal and District Coordinating Directors (MMDCD) for further instructions.

I hope that as of this writing, the Board Member of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) would have already received his dismissal letter from the relevant cabinet appointee-designate of the Akufo-Addo Administration.

Yes, on the face of the law, Ms. Alima Mahama, the Minister-Designate for Local Government and Rural Development, has not yet been confirmed by the Parliamentary Appointments Committee and thus not yet officially conferred with the executive powers of her new portfolio. Nonetheless, Ms. Mahama acted expressly within the ambit of the country’s 1992 Constitution as the deputy for the duly sworn President of our august Republic, to wit, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

So in reality, it is the latter Chief-Executive-of-State who is duly exercising his popular mandate. Consequently, I don’t see why as a professionally trained lawyer – if, in fact, he is actually what he claims to be – Mr. Amaliba should find it so difficult to appreciate this simple fact of political reality.

I also know that many of the NDC apparatchiks are still traumatized and in a funk of denial. But, unfortunately for such political conservatives and slow learners, Nana Akufo-Addo does not have the luxury of getting regressively sidetracked by bureaucratic red-tape. Besides, the confirmation of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development-Designate is largely a formality. But even more significantly, the Chief Resident of the Jubilee-Flagstaff House has not issued any public statement or official announcement countermanding Ms. Mahama’s order.

But I guess the psychological hang-up making people like Mr. Amaliba fail to fully appreciate the “constitutionality” of the Local Government Minister-Designate’s MMDCEs’ dismissal letter is something called “Male Chauvinism,” and this disease significantly afflicts mostly people who are heirs to cultures in which male domination is the norm.

Thus, for example, most Akan-descended Ghanaians are relatively far less likely to be afflicted with this psychological anomaly or clinical disorder, because we come from a Meta-Culture that fully and healthily recognizes the centrality of the power of women in both domestic affairs and the public and political arena of nation-building. Indeed, until very recently, women had a decidedly marginal role among the top-hierarchy membership of the Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress.

In other words, what people like Mr. Amaliba need by way of an effective therapy is epistemic enlightenment or knowledge about the practical relevance of women in executive positions of public trust, and the imperative need to empower even more women to assume such responsible positions in modern, civilized postcolonial states like Ghana.

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