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Opinions of Sunday, 7 June 2009

Columnist: Anipa, Marlon

Mubarak and James Agyenim-Boateng Must GO

Since the inception of the Prof John Atta-Mills government, it is becoming increasing clear by the day that the President has been dithering over a number of issues. He has been dithering on key economic policy initiatives, over his appointments and matters relating to the security and safety of Ghanaians. Where there is the need for a clear policy direction, the Mills administration comes out with poignant explanations that leave more questions than answers. However, what appears to be apparent is that President J E Atta-Mills may be somewhat eager to do well. He thinks he can smile his way to a better Ghana. His message has always been the same whether he is talking to chiefs, NUGS executive, in London or in Bawku. He appears to only talk about the need for integrity and transparency and how public officials will be held responsible for their actions in his quest to build a better Ghana. We want to let Mills know that goodwill and pontification alone cannot lead to a better Ghana. President Mills must provide leadership and effective policies for Ghana to move forward. Again, it does not take a genius to work out that the NDC message, time and energy is principally directed at the previous NPP government though the NDC administration has consistently denied this. This obsession to pursue the previous NPP administration has paralysed the NDC administration into a state of comatose and ineffectiveness. The cabinet has become dysfunctional rendering the Prof J E Atta-Mills’ government completely dysfunctional. The government is falling apart in front of our very eyes.

It is against this backdrop that it is imperative for President Atta-Mills to put back some credibility to his administration for the sake of our dear country Ghana by acting in a decent, straight-forward and decisive manner regarding the plethora of financial malpractices that Alhaji Mubarak is involved in. Secondly, he must sack the Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Agyenim-Boateng for deliberately lying to Ghanaians. This Deputy Minister told Ghanaians that Mr Kwadwo Mpiani was being interrogated by BNI in the presence of his lawyer when this was not the case.

The issues with the two members of the President Mills administration call for effective and drastic measures to be taken. It does not appear that President is taken these matters seriously by his action or rather his inaction so far. President Mills has asked Alhaji Mubarak, the Sports Minister for a written report on the financial malpractices that he was has been involved in since his appointment as a Minister. What a lame response to the allegations of such proportions.

The directive to Alhaji Mubarak by the President is unacceptable as it amounts to dithering of the highest order. What does the President expect? That Alhaji Mubarak will submit a report to implicate himself? Alhaji Mubarak has been given an opportunity to wipe out the records. So what we have been presented with is a whitewash. There must not be a whitewash as that will be dangerous, dubious and tantamount to abuse of office, we must warm.

So far President Mills’ action is undermining his whole campaign on integrity and transparency and utterances that public officials will be held responsible for their actions. Again, this is not a good way of treating whistleblowers as he has left the whistleblowers very vulnerable and appears to be leaving the Minister off the hook.

Alhaji Mubarak must be interdicted now. He must be suspended whilst investigation is going on. He should not be allowed to interfere with the investigation as he is most likely going to be prosecuted and jailed for his actions if found culpable.

Is this not the same Alhaji Mubarak who had an altercation with Sulley Muntari of the Black Stars on the eve of a world cup qualifier over player bonuses ad other entitlements?

James Agyenim-Boateng

In the case of Mr James Agyenim-Boateng, his claim that Mr Mpiani was interrogated in the presence of his lawyers has been described as “palpable untruth, in fact lies,”

It was unacceptable for a Dep. Minister of Information to be deliberately peddling falsehood ad flagrantly deceiving Ghanaians. The Dep. Minister had the opportunity to cross-check his facts and we have no reasons to believe that he did not. So in spite of having the facts, he opted to lie to the public. This is not only an insult to Ghanaians but also is abusive and grossly disrespectful and must not be countenanced. No public official should lie to the public and be allowed to get away with it. James Agyenim-Boateng must resign or be sacked as he has lost the moral authority of being a Dep. Minister of State. The issue with Mr James Agyenim-Boateng is as serious as it goes to the heart of the government’s credibility. If he has lied this time round, how can Ghanaians ever trust him again? Once a liar, always a liar. The Dep. Minister of Information is an important mouthpiece of government. He must be the source of truthful information. By lying he has broken trust and faith, two fundamental principles of information dissemination. Once he has undermined the trust between him and the public, then his position becomes untenable.

President Mills has a responsibility to rule the country and should be in control of his cabinet. These Ministers have brought his government into disrepute. President Atta- Mills has no choice other than sacking them. The President must not shirk his responsibility, the President cannot connive with wrong-doing and the President must not abdicate his responsibility. The people of Ghana deserve to be told the truth and treated with respect and dignity. We therefore urge the President to show leadership and put his anti-corruption campaign into action. Ghana deserves better.

Marlon Anipa Organiser

On behalf of NPP (UK & Ireland Branch)