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Opinions of Saturday, 4 August 2007

Columnist: Ablakwa, Samuel Okudzeto

Kyeremanten is already president of Ghana ...


The 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana reserves the privilege and duty of appointing ministers and deputy ministers a sole preserve of a sitting president.
This exclusive privilege of the president which has only few restrictions such as the fact that majority of these ministers must be from Parliament and that there should be regional balance makes it obvious to us that the president has indeed a large pool of Ghanaians to consider and a large room to operate.
However, if the NPP’s own connoisseurs and activists must be listened to, then probably unlike any other time in this country’s history, the present ministerial reshuffle, appointment and disappointment appears to serve a succession purpose and not the responsibility of running the affairs of our country in the national interest.
It is now very obvious that President Kufuor has laid hands on Alan Kyeremanten and ordained him as his successor. Before I am pounced upon, let me remind dear readers that I am not an inventor of this assertion neither am I an NPP insider to know this but considering that apart from party activists on the ground who like the crocodile reporting what is happening in the sea must be believed, some other presidential aspirants like Dr. Arthur Kennedy and Hon. Osafo Marfo have been bold to ask President Kufuor to in their words – “stop it!”
To proceed further, this presidential cum castle support for Alan receives credibility when one considers the number of sitting DCEs and MCEs including until recently a very beloved ex-minister in whom his boss is well pleased though CHRAJ would have us believe otherwise who are all desperately queuing to announce from roof tops, their support for the ordained Alan.
Nevertheless, my interest is in the national interest. As I write, this is a country engulfed in energy crisis, water crisis, education crisis, environmental filth, bad planning of our towns and cities with any little rain causing floods and then deaths though I must add quickly that it is us, who led by our pastors, disturb the heavens for rain so Akosombo can be filled but we forget that we have never been ready for the rains. I must add to this list of crises, the current phenomenon of hawking on our streets including our so-called ceremonial streets. I recall that before 2000, most of these hawkers were dog-chain sellers but today this is a booming industry – I have observed that presently, one can just wake up in the morning and hit the streets and by the time he/she gets to his/her destination he/she can buy a brush and toothpaste for the teeth, a comb for the hair, a pair of socks, assorted underwear, good clothes to wear, hand bags and briefcases to match and less I forget, a good perfume to complete the one-stop state of the art street shopping.
To my mind therefore, a country that is engulfed with all the above cannot afford to further toy with the destinies of its people by the appointment of Ministers whose primary task is to ensure that they deliver the President’s choice of successor and not that they deliver the people from the quagmire confronting our nation state.
Having said that, do the people of Ghana deserve this, and is it fair on the mandate they have given the NPP led by President Kufuor? It is also worth asking that why should our president be so keen on having his ordained successor take over from him? Does he have anything to hide? Would he want to be a shadow president after 2009? These are all legitimate questions that as tax paying citizens we must demand answers in the face of these symptomatic Obasanjo cum Yar’Dua acrobatics.
Nevertheless, in the face of all these, since the NPP’s own assertion is that Alan Kyeremanten’s “men” are now the people running the country, can we logically conclude that Alan Kyeremanten is the real President of Ghana at least for this last lap of the NPP’s mandate and not President Kufuor? As I said in the beginning of this article, our Constitution makes Ministerial selection a sole privilege of the sitting president, if what the NPP would have us believe is true, then it is unimaginable that President Kufuor would have done his recent ministerial selection without consulting his ordained successor or even asking him (Alan) to bring up names of those he trusts and who have been committed or loyal to his presidential bid.
Again, considering that Alan is the safest option for all appointees of Government, be it Ministers, Ministers of State, Deputy Ministers, MCEs, DCEs, etc. to place their bet, then one is confronted with the issue of loyalty. Where will the loyalty of all these appointees be? Will they not having observed the trends, go out of their way to convince Alan beyond reasonable doubt that he has their support and by this will do Alan’s bidding and who cares whether the State suffers or not – it is human nature (or shall I say the African’s nature) for these appointees to consolidate their positions first and then their country can come second thus if it comes at all. Therefore with this inevitable development flowing from the endorsement and blessings of Alan by President Kufuor, then President Kufuor must expect loyalty to be shifted to Alan for after all he is expiring and Alan is taking over – at least he President Kufuor has said so. So if this is the case, shall we in all confidence state the obvious- is Alan Kyeremanten already president of Ghana, or is he not?

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (Former President, NUGS)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.