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General News of Saturday, 21 September 2019


The President can’t appoint his enemies – Gabby responds to ‘Family and Friends’ criticism of Akufo-Addo

Gabby Otchere-Darko is a leading member of the NPP Gabby Otchere-Darko is a leading member of the NPP

Leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere Darko has shot down accusations that President Akufo-Addo is running a family and friends Government, ABC News can report.

The Private Legal Practitioner in an interview with Metro TV’s Paul Adom Otchere indicated that no government or President can appoint his enemies and successfully work with them to deliver on his mandate.

Giving his take on the criticism, Mr Otchere Darko explained that anyone who is given a higher position from among his peers or family will have the responsibility of giving any support they can to help the less privileged ones.

“I think the situation is not new to a lot of people in our country, where if you are privileged so to speak, in a sense, you are seen as better than other members that you associate with, whether in your community, or in your family, extended family, or even in your party, people will want to look up to you to give whatever support that you can, that is the community that we live in but I think, you know, the family and friends thing, now, first of all, I don’t think anybody expects a government or a President to appoint his enemies so that’s the friends’ aspect dealt with” he stated.

According to the President’s cousin, it is the case that every government that comes to power has members of their family running or being part of the government because they are elites.

“It looks like every government, there’ve been some members of my family in every government, You know my maternal granddad, Ofori Atta the first, was prolific in terms of his reproductive prowess and what he did was he also invested in their education, indeed we have his diaries where he used to have all the children’s exams results and he will mark it so he was particular about education and if you remember, he was the first traditional leader to build a secondary school, Abuakwa state college so he was particular about education, so even when the struggle for independence came, his children and his own younger brother, J B Danquah were very much part of it, of course, so he was very much interested in education, he has so many children and he educated them, even in Nkrumah’s government which my family by and large opposed. So like I said, me, I don’t see myself like a politician, but it’s in my DNA so I felt that I had a responsibility and I still feel that I have a responsibility to see that the role, however little that I can play to help realize the dreams of our forefathers, I think that’s where you have to look at from that point of view because, from Nkrumah’s government, you had uncles as ministers” he indicated.

Mr Otchere Darko, however, noted that claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the Akufo-Addo administration is largely run by his family members are not completely true, adding that even if that were the case, they are in positions of power based on their merit and not by their relationship with the President as is being speculated.

“They [NDC] add people who are not even family members, they add Gloria Akuffo, they add Sophia Akuffo, they are not family members, if you want to stretch it, then everybody from Akropong is related to the President including the late Akufo who died, the general, but they are not. You can stretch it because at the end of the day it was a relative of ours who went to set up the Ofori Kuma and the Ofori Panyin, so you can stretch it and say that we are all related in some way. Amoako Attah, the Roads Minister, he’s not related to us in any way but he’s counted as one of the cousins, he’s not related to us. But my point is, are you going to say that a person like Ken Ofori Atta, who resigned from a Bank that he’s set up to devote the rest of his life to the NPP and his money, his resources, doesn’t deserve to be a Cabinet minister? would you say that even Gabby, the work that I’ve done for the NPP, it will be strange if I was a Minister? he quizzed.

When asked if the President will be able to crack the whip once Ministers who are his relatives err, Mr Otchere Darko said “Based on what I know, I would say so…go and ask your friends who are cabinet ministers about Atta Akyea and Ken Ofori Atta, how the President treats them at cabinet meetings”.

According to him, there has not been a single instance where the President has failed to punish any of his appointees for the reason that they are members of his family.

“But name me an instance when he was supposed to crack the whip on a friend, a family member or someone he’s close to in government, they say his close friends is the Agric Minister, is he not delivering? Would you say Ken is not delivering in Finance?