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Opinions of Sunday, 5 August 2007

Columnist: Asiedu, Frank

Injury time ministers equally good as the injured

The Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday, 23 July 2007, started vetting what has come to be known in some media circles as “injury time” Ministers.

Many were those who believed that with the exit of NPP G8 Minister – aspirants, President Kufuor’s administration will suffer a serious downside. With all the issues that surrounded the exit of the Minister – aspirants and the suspense around the reshuffle, I had the pleasure to witness the first two days of the vetting process for the first time. The idea was to have first hand information as to what will become of President Kufuor’s administration and the competent level of the “injury time” or the “stop guard” Ministers.

The nominees vetted for the first two days were Nana Akomea, Mr. Osei Agyei, Mrs Oboshie Sai Cofie, Nana Obiri Boahen, Mr Alhassan Samari, Mr Joe Baidoe–Ansah, Mr George Hikah Beson and Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei. The centre of attraction was Mrs Oboshie Sai Cofie who is taking over from her boss, Hon. Kwamena Bartels as the Minister of information & National Orientation.

Some people were of the opinion that some Ministries are very demanding or if you like hot and that “injury time” Ministers or women Ministers should not be sent to those Ministries especially when election 2008 is approaching. One of such Ministries they believe is Ministry of Information and National Orientation but they had a change of mind after the vetting of Mrs Oboshie. She made President Kufuor who nominated her, the government and NPP proud. NPP should rather say they have the men and women not that they have only the men.

The alacrity, deep thinking, mind burgling and the fluent flow of answers to the questions of the committee by Mrs Oboshie drew thunderous applauses from members of the observatory. She was the favourite of every single observer and to my surprise when I was at the Speakers Conference Room on the second day of vetting; people were still talking about the marvellous performance put up by the nominated Minister of Information & National Orientation.

Immediately Mrs Oboshie Sai Cofie was discharged by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Hon. Freddy Blay, members of the committee including the minority NDC started congratulating her. Hon. Asamoah Boateng gave her a hug and said “you have dazed Kumbuor” (NDC MP for Lawra). According to Asabee, the ‘ble’ (English) of Mrs Oboshie is at par with that of Nana Akuffo Addo and Mr Jake Obestsebi Lamptey.

One observer by name Mr Mensah said “the appointment of Hon. Oboshie Sai Cofie to the position of substantive Minister was long overdue.” According to him, he does not see Mrs Oboshie as an “injury time” Minister but she is equally good as the outgoing NPP Minister – aspirants.

The feathers of the three heavy weight question punchers, Hon. Bagbin, Hon. Twumasi Appiah and Hon. Kumbuor were clipped by the fabulous performance of Madam Oboshie. On the contrary, Hon. Alban Bagbin said in the middle of the vetting that “you are likely to get the nod.” Also the Chairman of the committee, overwhelmed by the performance of the nominated Minister of Information & National Orientation, unknowingly, called her ‘Deputy Speaker’ when he was about to discharge her.

I have heard Mrs Oboshie on several occasions even though I don’t know her personally; I believed that she was fit for the job. But on the said day, I realised that she was worth more than I thought. Her Lordship Lady Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Wood and Mrs Oboshie Sai Cofie together with the other distinguished women in our society are indeed mentors worth emulating by our young women who are aspiring to higher heights. They have proved that the days of relegating women to the back burner are indeed over.

I have no doubt that Hon Oboshie Sai Cofie at the end of her tenure in office will go into history as one of the best Information Ministers in our political calendar. I say “Ayekoo” to you, Auntie Oboshie, as I am told she is affectionately called and more grease to your elbow.

Frank Asiedu

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