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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Columnist: Al-hajj

Mahama must stop appointees’ arrogance

-Or pays a price

President John Dramani Mahama and his National Democratic Congress may have high hopes of retaining power in the 2016 general elections, but creeping indiscipline and arrogance of power entering the heads of some his appointees if not checked could make John Mahama a one-term President.

There is no doubt government is upbeat about extending infrastructural development to all parts of the country and also working to stabilize the economic challenges and at the same time bring the debilitating power crisis under control, but this enviable achievements will yield to naught if awful conduct of some government appointees continues.

For unexplained reasons, some appointees of the Mahama-led administration are gaining notoriety in conduct unbecoming of public officers and care less about the damage their actions/inaction and utterances are doing to the NDC’s dream of remaining in government after 2016.
Surprisingly, it appears the President’s hands are tied, in some instances, to let the hammer fall some of these misguided appointees sliming his chances of making history as the first Northerner to secure a second term bid.
Emboldened by President Mahama’s relative compassion, these power drunk appointees openly engage in mindless acts that tend to expose government to public odium, ridicule and scorn.

The latest to join the long queue of appointees digging the political grave of the Mahama government is deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Murtala Mohammed, who doubles as NDC MP for Nantong constituency.

The Nantong MP in an interview on Diamond FM in Tamale alleged an MP whose name he refused to mention is plotting with other MPs to unseat him.
In a no holds barred interview, the angry deputy Trade Minister said “someone has said to three people, Murtala has not incurred my wrath I simply don’t want him to succeed: I just don’t want him to succeed in life.”
“Are you God, who are you,” he ranted.

He went on to say "...They should not underestimate the consequences of my actions. And no one; no Malam or chief should dare call me when I begin to speak out.

"People are so subsumed that people come and give them filthy money, ill-gotten money and they will shut up. Because they give them money,” he stated.
Murtala went on to allege that “I ask those sycophantic elements to ask the said MP whether it is ethical to buy a tablet and a mobile phone for a lady friend of a colleague cabinet Minister to get nude pictures of that colleague of his, available WhatsApp messages, text messages and audio.”
He has since apologized for his conduct after media reported he was summoned to the Flagstaff House.

Reports are that there is serious turf war between appointees of the Mahama government in the Northern region over who wields enormous power. This has created division among the rank and file of the power, and presently the NDC’s chance of increasing its votes in the three Northern regions is under threat.
This imprudent infighting among government officials and officials of the NDC is not peculiar to only the Northern region. The Western, Ashanti, Volta and other regions are all facing similar challenges.
Recently, the President had to sack the hardworking Ashanti regional Minister, Dr Samuel Sarpong and his deputy, Joseph Yamin, for creating needless division among supporters of the party.
After this dismissal, the problem in the Ashanti region, which the ruling party is seeking to annex one million votes or not less than 30% votes, is still simmering, and there are reports the party is in dire need of the needed unity and coherence to prosecute the upcoming campaign.
The situation in the Western and Volta region is not different. Some appointees of the government in cahoots with the former regional Chairman are fighting the current regional Chairman who is also enjoying the support of some appointees.
In the party’s World Bank, some Metropolitan and District Chief Executives and party stalwarts are said to have been divided along the regional Minister and her deputy.
While this dangerous trend lingers, the National Executives, who should originally be the arbiters, are also divided along Portuphy and Asiedu Nketsiah lines.
Considering these developments, which is akin to circumstances that led to the thrashing of Goodluck Jonathan and his People’s Democratic Party, President Mahama must step in to nib the ugly situations in the bud before the 2016 elections or risk paying a price.