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General News of Tuesday, 20 July 2021


Sputnik V deal: Kwaku Agyeman-Manu must resign – Volta NDC

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

•The Youth caucus of the NDC in the Volta region are calling for the resignation of Kwaku Agyeman-Manu as health minister

•The group believes the minister acted in bad faith in the now botched controversial Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal

•Agyeman-Manu has admitted "he did not think properly" ahead of going for the deal

A Deputy Regional Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress has called for the resignation of the health minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

Mr Agyeman-Manu was hauled before a bi-partisan Committee of Parliament to probe a controversy surrounding the botched Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal.

Appearing before the Committee on Monday, July 19, 2021, the health minister admitted that he did not act in good faith in the procurement processes of the vaccines done through a middleman, Sheikh Al-Maktoum.

“I relied on the Executive Instrument 61 which was passed by Parliament to hide behind the emergency clauses that had been invoked to try to see that if I could do that [procure the vaccines], and later inform Parliament that this is what I had done, and I needed regularization…I was seriously in a situation that could not make me think properly,” the health minister told the committee.

As part of the calls for his resignation over the handling of the matter, Kwame Asiemoah Junior of the NDC believes the health minister must resign immediately over the botched deal and responses given to the committee.

Answering questions from a bi-partisan parliamentary committee set up to probe the controversial Sputnik V vaccine procurement through a middleman, Sheikh Al-Maktoum, the Minister of Health said the urgent and critical nature of the circumstances at the time, did not permit him to use the right channels.

“The Minister of Health of the Republic of Ghana giving these excuses for signing a contract for the supply of Sputnik V vaccines to Ghana without Parliamentary approval; which was later found out to be inflated by almost 100% market price is the most bizarre excuse a public officer of his caliber could give.”

“This sort of gross incompetence and agenda to throw dust in the eyes of Ghanaians for failing in the fundamental duty of transparency and accountability should not be countenanced. At this point it would do the Minister a lot of good to follow the examples of health ministers across the globe who resigned for less atrocious reasons in the fight against COVID-19,” Asiemoah Junior opined in a statement.

He continued, “It beats my imagination how a low middle-income country such as ours which goes on begging spree to fight the coronavirus pandemic can be so callous in making important decisions in protecting citizens and the economy. It will be a great disservice to this republic if the President does not act in this case”

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