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Opinions of Monday, 25 January 2016

Columnist: Badu, Pius

Reshuffle: Mischief at the Presidency Must be punished

Waking up Wednesday, the worst one could expect is to be greeted with confusing from the Flagstaff house, the seat of government on the authenticity of a release supposedly signed by Presidential Staffer, Stan Dogbe. Sad to note that appointees at the Presidency have failed to follow laid down procedures on how government communications get to the media. This situation has presented the Presidency as the most reliable point of leaked documents which is creating issues on credibility for the flagstaff house. It has become common to see in the media confidential government decisions and documents which are not for public consumption with no one taking responsibility for such leaks.
A few days ago, as expected a source from the Presidency released the names of the second batch of the on-going Ministerial reshuffle only for a confutation to follow promptly. Even when the release was a carbon copy of how the first bunch of the reshuffle got into the media. The rapid wave of denial from the office of the Flagstaff house alone would have given even President Mahama the slightest hint that the list of Ministers was intentionally leaked to the media on mischievous purpose.
History will remind us that, during the government of Jerry Rawlings, similar leaked appointments surfaced and a senior member of the current parliament lost his Ministerial appointment for Deputy Minister of Interior. Again, the late Attah Mills was forced to review some appointments when such appointments were in the public domain before official government announcement.
It has become clear from the above precedencies that some powerful elements who may have been privy to the second batch of the Ministerial reshuffle have consciously and strategically leaked it to cause some tension so President Mahama may reconsider the reshuffle. Whether these individuals who feel they created the now vacant Power Ministry therefore John Jinapor is an outsider to head the Ministry and are trying to stifle the appointment is yet to be seen. Or are some interested and lobbied for the juicy Finance Ministry but have been ignored by the President so are peeved?
It is only appropriate that whether it was leaked or not, the President go ahead with whatever appointments he may have strategically made to accomplish the goals he has set in an election year. Ghanaians have faith in President Mahama that he is one not to be bulldozed into dancing the tunes of some greedy individuals. We have already seen that in his retention of Vice-President, Amissah Arthur even amid public outcry for him to be changed. The President was resolute on his mind and did not succumb to the pressure from several power blocks within the party to drop Amissah Arthur. It is with this same resolute mindset that we hope President Mahama will maintain whatever appointments he has made before leaving Ghana for Davos, Switzerland. This will eventually stop future occurrences of such mischievous acts in our politics.
With the many crisis the country is facing leading to growing public criticism of his government, there is no better time than now that the President makes very strategic appointments to strategic Ministries. The President needs stronger performers for strategic government Ministries, departments and agencies to implement proactive policies and program to win back the heart of Ghanaians.
It is expected the President release the next reshuffle in earnest to ease the building tension amongst appointees, more so, when unseen hands are trying to hijack what is his sole prerogative- to hire and fire. It will be important also that the President intensively investigate how such sensitive document could leak to the media from the hands of those he trusted. Given stiff sanctions to those responsible will serve as deterrent to others whose habit is to leak important government documents to serve their selfish egos.

Pius Badu
Concerned Citizen