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Opinions of Friday, 27 February 2009

Columnist: Ali, Ibrahim Anchong

Deputy Ministerial List -Do I need glasses

Sources close to President John Evans Atta Mills have it that his Excellency is set to announce a list of deputy ministerial nominees for the various ministries this week. This list according will be dominated by many of the youth activists of the ruling NDC. I accept this news because as a Ghanaian youth, I realize it is time we are taking seriously. A quick glance at the list makes me feel proud and have high hopes for my beloved Ghana. A couple of these youth are well known within Ghanaian political circles – Baba Jamal, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, just to mention a few. Most of them are committed to the course of CHANGE that President Mills promised bringing Ghanaians. Personally, Okudjeto was my year mate during my undergraduate studies at the premier University of Ghana three years ago. As president of the National Union of Ghana Students, he strived against all odds to change the face of student leadership in Ghana. My fears now are that these young promising citizens may join the political bandwagon in the country – deception, corruption, greed, victimization and self centeredness. I am looking forward to being proven wrong.

Another major concern is the number of deputy ministers appointed nominated by His Excellency the President. I am wrong in recollecting that the President promised Ghanaians he was going to reduce the number of ministerial positions. Even last week, he assured Ghanaians he was going to cut spending because the huge National debt his government inherited from the Ex-President. Maybe he was going to reduce the number of ministers but increase the number of deputy ministers. From the list, some ministries had more two deputy nominations. Are they going to bear the same title? Possibly share the same office?

Finally, I think the president should reconsider his decision and appoint people based on merit and not as a reward for party activism like some of us view his nominations. Ghana is a beacon of hope in Africa and so our current president should govern in a way for other countries to emulate. I wish all the ministers who were approved all the best at their various ministries. Those of you who have been nominated, good luck and those of you who are still lobbying for positions – please know that Ghana is BIGGER than your interest. May the Almight God who lives and reigns forever bless us all!

Ibrahim Anchong Ali

University of Washington, USA