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Rumor Mill of Monday, 15 May 2006

Source: Independent

Ministers Dazed At The Castle

Insider information available to The Independent indicate that most deputy and regional ministers were last Thursday and Friday caught up in shivers and in a high daze at the Castle when President Kufuor invited them for the final leg of his reshuffle.

According to our sources, the ministers were in a state of stupor in the full glare of some staff of the Office of the President and security personnel and their worry was what would be their fate in the impending reshuffle which has been quote named as Kufuor?s tsunami.Our sources who were eye witnesses to the drama of emotions over uncertainties of fates, told the Independent that two of the Regional ministers and a deputy minister (whose names were withholding) virtually broke down when earlier news and gestures by highly-placed officials at the Castle indicated to them that they might not survive the reshuffle.

Our sources said when the deputy minister and the two ministers were beckoned to enter the President?s office to face the panel they lost their way to the President?s office, a place they have been frequenting for the past years since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) assumed the reigns of government.

The Panel was headed by President John Agyekum Kufuor with Vice President Aliu Mahama, the Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Kwadwo Mpiani; Minister designate for National Security, Mr. Francis Poku and Mrs. Chinery-Hesse supporting.

According to our sources, there was uneasy calm that fell on all the Regional and Deputy Ministers at the Castle last Thursday as they awaited their turns to know their fate which was as a result of the overwhelming tsunami that swept some ministers of state off their feet exactly two weeks last Thursday. One deputy minister, our sources disclosed began to shiver as he sat impatiently to be called and complained of having caught cold and immediately called for some pain killer to relieve him of his headache and cold.

The source said the deputy minister began holding his head and two of his colleagues that helped to rejuvenate him and cautioned him against making history as a deputy minister who collapsed in view of his suspicion of being reshuffled from office. Our sources said as many as ten of the ministers were seen shedding tears as they took turns to leave the Castle one after the other, refusing to look up, let alone exchange pleasantries with their colleagues who were also waiting to know their fate.

One deputy minister, our source disclosed had to be assisted by his friend before he could leave the precincts of the Castle and enter his vehicle to be driven off. ?It was really a tug of war in Kufuor?s office, a combination of sadness and sobbing as the deputy and regional ministers came in and out of the President?s office,? the source said adding, ?for once the ministers were seen openly displaying that they were afraid.?

The President, our source said, thanked all the ministers he wanted to remove for their invaluable services to the nation before he dropped the bombshell and then went ahead to offer a piece of advice to them with the other members of the panel looking on. The source also disclosed that President Kufuor told those MPs that he was withdrawing them so they could go to support parliament by continuing their services there.