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General News of Saturday, 15 December 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Panic Hits Ministers

Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates an extreme jostling for positions in the new National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, with the Vice President and Chairman of the Transition Team, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur asking current ministers to prepare their handing over notes.

Sources told DAILY GUIDE that current ministers are seriously lobbying to either keep their current portfolios or get reassignments. People who think they contributed to the NDC victory are already dusting their CVs with the hope of crafting a befitting one to serve the purpose of winning a slot in the impending administration.

A lot of old faces in the current administration such as Comfort Ama Benyiwa Doe, Central Regional Minister; Mike Allen Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources; Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister; Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister; Dr Joe Oteng Adjei, Minister of Energy; Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture; Benjamin Kunbuor, Attorney General and his deputy Ebo Barton-Odro, among others, are likely to give way to new faces.

Meanwhile, others outside the ministerial circles are also said to be frantically scheming to take over from their contemporaries currently in government.

A statement signed by Minister of Information Fritz Baffuor, on Wednesday, said the directive for ministers to prepare their handing over notes followed the inaugural meeting of the transition team in Accra on Thursday.

According to the Information Minister, the deadline for the submission of these notes would be announced after the team’s next meeting on Friday December 14, 2012.

The special aide to former President Jerry Rawlings, Kofi Adams, has warned that attempts at lobbying were futile because President Mahama had already penned down his choice of ministers in his new administration. “I think those who are lobbying should just cease lobbying,” he told Citi News.

Tempers are said to have gone through the roof as some persons in government are already disgruntled after concluding that they are going to be sidelined by the new administration.

Some functionaries have however denied jostling for positions.

Member of Parliament for Keta in the Volta Region and the Propaganda Secretary of the ruling NDC, Richard Quashigah, has denied lobbying.

He was quoted on radio Thursday afternoon as saying he did not need to lobby because if he was destined for a ministerial appointment, nothing could stop it and vice versa.

The government’s transition team said the call for submission of handing over notes by ministers was in compliance with the provisions of the Presidential (Transitions) Act.

It is unclear when the new ministers would be appointed, but it is likely that the new list of ministers would be out after January 7, when President John Dramani Mahama is expected to be officially sworn in as the President of the Republic of Ghana.

On Wednesday, President Mahama inaugurated a 24-member transition team chaired by the Vice President.

The transition team is required to make a comprehensive arrangement to regulate the transfer of the new administration that will be sworn in on January.

Hassan Ayariga’s stake in the pie

Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Hassan Abdulai Ayariga, is said to be a likely candidate for a ministerial post in the Mahama administration.

A group within the PNC has accused Hassan Ayariga of accepting to be used by the NDC because of his ambition to become a minister in the NDC administration.

Mr. Ayariga is said to be towing the line of the NDC to the detriment of his own party which performed woefully in the December 7 presidential election.

A group in the PNC calling itself the ‘Caucus For Strategic Progress’, alleges that Hassan Ayariga’s presence at the recently held NDC Congress in Kumasi and other NDC events only goes to show Mr. Ayariga’s unflinching support for the NDC.