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Opinions of Friday, 14 April 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

PAC minority cannot hold Akufo-Addo government hostage

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

By: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe

They have not acquitted themselves creditably on the Parliamentary Appointments Committee (PAC), and so I don’t see all the hoopla and the relevance surrounding the decision of the minority National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) members of the PAC to boycott the vetting of the remaining ministerial appointees-designate of the Akufo-Addo Administration (See “Minority Boycott Vetting; Cites Lack of Planning” MyJoyOnline.com / Modernghana.com 4/5/17).

According to the Parliamentary Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, the majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) members on the PAC are trying to stampede their opponents into rushing the vetting process before the Easter recess which officially begins on Friday, April 7. Mr. Iddrisu and his associates would have the Easter break commence on Wednesday, April 5. This is rather funny for me, because the man, at least judging from the identity of his name, does not even seem to be a Christian.

I also see several issues at play in the decision of the minority members of the PAC to boycott the vetting of the ministerial nominees. One may have to do with their “sitting allowances.” To-date, nobody has publicly disclosed precisely from what budget these sitting allowances are disbursed. Mr. Mahama Ayariga, the notorious Member of Parliament for Bawku-Central, in the Upper-East Region, recently hinted at the fact that the evidently well-loved sitting allowances may be bribe monies, after all.

I have also not seen any semblance of due diligence done on the part of the minority PAC members, and so it is not clear just what Mr. Iddrisu means by his complaint that the parliamentary majority PAC members are trying to rush the vetting process, so as to save some of the ministerial nominees-designate the desired rigorous scrutiny. This is rather farcical because most of what passes for due diligence on the part of the PAC minority members is an invariable referendum on what the nominees appearing before the PAC think of former President John Dramani Mahama. It is also quite obvious that the NDC-PAC members want to stall the fast-paced manner in which President Akufo-Addo has, so far, been handling the day-to-day affairs of his administration.

It is part of their political strategy to ensure that President Akufo-Addo comes up short in the fulfillment of his electioneering campaign promises. But here, also, like the 2016 general election, the NDC apparatchiks are bound to fail miserably once again. Complete laziness on the part of these punch-drunk and battle-shy NDC operatives may also have a lot to do with their decision to boycott the PAC’s vetting of the ministerial appointees. The good news here is that the NPP-PAC majority has the numbers to legitimately approve of these nominees. And even as Mr. Titus Glover, the NPP’s MP for Tema-East, stated in the wake of the announcement of the boycott, the NPP-PAC majority members intend to do precisely that.

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