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Opinions of Thursday, 22 July 2021

Columnist: Arnold Appiah, Contributor

Health Minister Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu must resign

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu

The NDC Professional Forum, North America has learnt with shock the revelations by Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Health Minister at the parliamentary probe into the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines.

The Health Minister who is a 4th term Member of Parliament for Dormaa Central, qualified Chartered Accountant, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning under former President Kufuor's administration (2001 to 2008) and former Chairman of the Public Account Committee of Parliament, a committee charged with the responsibility for scrutinizing all Government payments was heard saying he made an error with respect to the prior approval of the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines.

Secondly, he said, he was in hurry to save Ghanaians from the COVID-19 second wave as such he relied on the Executive Instrument 61 passed by parliament to hide behind emergency clauses invoked under the EI, hence his reason for not seeking parliamentary approval.

The Health Minister blatantly disregarded the Supreme Court ruling in Attorney General v. (1) Balken Energy Ghana Ltd (2) Balken Energy LLC and (3) Mr Philip David Elder and Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which required all international business or economic transactions to which Government is a party be approved by Parliament. The Minister knew he was offending the law but regardless, went ahead to engage in an unapproved deal on behalf of the state.

His actions beg the question, why did the deal not go under a certificate of urgency to receive the necessary parliamentary approval if indeed he was under pressure to procure the vaccines to save Ghanaians?

The NDC Professional Forum, North America chapter is unfurled by the comments of the Hon. Minister. We believe his actions are irresponsible and undeserving as a Minister of State.

The Minister’s best judgement as the Head of the Ministry has been a bad judgement and therefore not fit to be in office. Suffice to note that, best judgement is a key component in leadership and the Minister failed in this instance.

Also, we believe, Hon. Agyeman-Manu lacks the moral fortitude, integrity to continue as a Minister for Health and as such the NDC Proforum, North America is calling on him to honourably resign with immediate effect.

We are giving the Minister a 7-day ultimatum effective today, July 21, 2021, to save Ghanaians of any future disregard for the Constitution and tender his resignation.