General News of Thursday, 10 January 2013

Source: Al-Hajj

Cracks in NDC, After JM’s first Appointments

…Kwesi Pratt leads protest

By A A Yayra

Even though no top brass member of the National Democratic Congress has come out openly to express discontent or otherwise of President John Dramani Mahama’s first appointments, The Al-Hajj’s investigation indicates that there seems to be growing consternation among leading members of the ruling party over the President’s nominations.

Senior members of the NDC in secret conversations with a top media practitioner have been expressing grave concern and displeasure over the appointments, The Al-Hajj can confidently report.

Hours after the President’s nominees were made public through his spokesperson, John Jinapor, the Managing Editor of The Insight Newspaper; Kwesi Pratt Jnr, who, himself not enthused with the appointments; began contacting some party gurus of the NDC on their impressions.

Many of those he contacted, according to our investigations expressed disappointment, citing several reasons why they are not happy with the President’s decision.

“There should have been wider consultation on the part of the President before appointing people to such sensitive positions. Those positions are the heartbeat of the success of our party in government. A position like the Chief of Staff ought not to have gone to an unknown person outside our party” one leading member of the NDC bellowed.

President John Mahama on Tuesday appointed Mr. Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani as the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Dr. Raymond Akongburo Atuguba as the Executive Secretary to the President, Mr. Roger Kwesi Angsomwine as Secretary to Cabinet and Dr. Sulley Gariba as Senior Policy Co-coordinator in the Office of the President.

Echoing the sentiments of some of the NDC gurus on the Presidents appointments in an interview yesterday with Alhassan Suhuyini, host of Radio Gold’s morning show, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr unequivocally opposed President Mahama’s appointments. According to the ace Journalist, the President ought to have taken into account regional, gender and ethnic balance before making such an appointment, adding “though I don’t have anything against the competency of those who have been appointed, I think the President would have moved beyond reproach, if he had engage in wider consultations before taking that decision”

According to the Managing Editor of The Insight, Mr John Mahama was elected president on the ticket of the NDC party and therefore, has the responsibility of consulting the party hierarchy in nominating people to such positions, noting that the office of the Chief of Staff is the heartbeat and link between the party and government, therefore occupant of such position, irrespective of his competency or personal relationship with the President ought to have been a known party person.

Our investigation reveal that, Kwesi Pratt in discussions with some leading members of the NDC moments after the announcement have questioned the suitability and credibility of the newly appointed chief of staff in particular. “ If the man he has appointed were to be widely known in the NDC circles, I don’t think even leading members of the party would have been bickering among themselves, asking who he was” he added

The bitter heart NDC gurus, though have coiled in their shells and have remained tight lipped seems to have found voice in Kwesi Pratt’s public outburst and tongue lashing of President Mahama.

“Kwesi Pratt seems to be speaking and expressing the sentiments of most of us…you know, though we have issues with the appointments, we cannot come out openly to criticize him like what Kwesi is doing” one leading member of NDC later told The Al-Hajj.

The Al-Hajj’s further investigation reveals that some top hierarchies of the NDC, who played major roles to ensure the party retain political power in the just ended election, have resolved to decline appointments from the President. To drum home this point, the chairman of the National Communication Authority and hard working strategist of the party, Totobi Kwakye in a reaction to a publication by The Crusading Guide, which projected him as one of the prospective candidate for the position of National Security Coordinator, noted through an SMS message to Alhassan Suhiyini that “I am not ready to demote myself from the position of National Security Minister to National Security Coordinator”

According to him, he has served as a National Security Minister under former President Rawlings, which per administrative strata is higher than the current position the newspaper publication has mischievously linked him to. Sources at the Presidency disclosed to The Al-Hajj until yesterday afternoon when Mr Bani was confirmed as Chief of Staff, Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman of National Development Planning Commission was penciled for the position. This dramatic turn of events, a source told The Al-Hajj has irked some of the old party gurus.

Stay tuned for more anon…