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General News of Tuesday, 10 August 2021


Sputnik V saga: Will President Akufo-Addo sack under-fire Health Minister?

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

•Some CSO, politicians and Ghanaians want Agyeman-Manu fired for his role in the Sputnik V scandal

•Pressure is mounting on the President Akufo-Addo to sack him

•It remains to be seen if the president will bow to public pressure and dismiss him

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is under increasing pressure to show one of his trusted appointees the exit.

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu is one of few ministers who retained his position in the second term of the Akufo-Addo administration has previously been praised by President Akufo-Addo for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The President, however, faces a huge decision to dismiss the experienced lawmaker with pressure building from all sides of society.

From Civil Society Organization to pro-NPP speakers like Kweku Baako, there appears to be a consensus that the firing of Kwaku Agyeman-Manu is non-negotiable.

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has courted public outrage with his handling of the Sputnik V vaccine purchase leading to calls for him to either throw in the towel or be sacked by the appointing authority which is the President.

OccupyGhana and IMANI Africa are two CSOs calling for his exit. They want him to resign on principle or be fire by the President.

“It is on the basis of the foregoing that we demand that the Health Minister resigns from office. Even if he meant well under emergency circumstances, those did not justify bypassing our constitutional and statutory processes. If the Health Minister does not resign of his own accord, then we call on the President to relieve him of his post.

“While calling for this resignation, we also believe that Ghanaians ought to be told which other officials were involved in the processing and paying the monies, without demanding and seeing the requisite approvals; those officials ought to be similarly sanctioned. Also, Ghanaians should be told when we expect to receive a full refund of the outstanding amount from the recipient, excerpt of a statement by OccupyGH on Monday, August 9, 2021 reads.

On Saturday, August 7, 2021, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako posited that it will be unconscionable for Agyeman-Manu to continue acting as Health Minister for Ghana.

“It is an unmitigated disaster. [There was] No cabinet approval, no PPA approval, and no parliamentary approval. It is a mess. It was an unmitigated disaster. He must do the honourable thing and resign because he cannot defend it. If he was minded to resign, I will vote for him.”

Former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak has also called on President Akufo-Addo to show courage by firing Agyeman-Manu. “The President should be courageous enough to sack him because this is bad. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t sack him because he lacks the courage to do these things,” he said.

The Minority side in Parliament are also making similar demands. Some Ghanaians on social media have also embarked on a campaign #AgyemanManuMustGo to press home the need for him to leave his post.

So far, the government has failed to comment on the issue but the President’s resolve not to fire Agyeman-Manu is being tested and it remains to be seen if he acts or not.

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