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Opinions of Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

President Mahama Has No Cojones

Ghanaians by now might be having a buyers remorse by having brain exercises whether they made the right decision in voting for Mr Mahama. Barely a week after some approvals from the vetting committee of nominated Regional Ministers, President Mahama has done a juggling act by re-assigning the Ministers to different Regions. I don't doubt the rationale and intelligence behind the move because there is no law that says a Regional Minister should come from the Region he or she is posted to. I remember when I was in class three in Ghana in the early seventies, Colonel Baidoo, a Fanti was the Regional Commissioner for Ashanti Region as we used to call the Military Regional Ministers and he turned out to have been one of the best Regional Ministers ever to head the Ashanti Region so what President Mahama did a day ago is not a novelty but why he did it is the problem.

I have a problem with this reshuffle not because it is not a good decision but why the President did it. As a President, one should have cojones to stand his or her ground and defend all decisions made. There is nothing wrong at all to listen to the people but when you continue to doubt your decisions as this President continue to do, then we have to question his judgement. What he is doing is a formula for disaster. President Mahama seems to be clueless as to what he is supposed to do as a President. This caving in to demands made by some yahoos in his administration has gone on for too long for somebody who have been the President for only two months. There have been four instances in this administration where Mahama caved in to the demands of the NDC foot soldiers and others. The last one being this reshuffle.

This reshuffle was precipitated by the demands of the Youths in Upper West Region who started burning his banners and throwing away Mahama key chains because he had appointed another Dagarti to partner Bede Zieden, another Dargarti as the Upper West Region Minister. In order not to look like he has once again caved in to the demands of the yahoos in his party, he came out with this changes to avoid the tribal stupidities going on in his administration.

"Angry NDC Youth Burn Prez Mahama's Banners

Date: 11-Mar-2013

Some remaining campaign banners of President Mahama have been burnt by some angry youth of the ruling National Democratic Congress in the Upper West regional capital in protest to the nomination of Abu Kabiebata Kansangbata as Deputy Upper West regional Minister. The youth have told XYZ News that the appointment of two Dagatis to run the affairs of the region smacks of discrimination against other ethnic groups in the region. The Regional Minister Bede Ziedeng is a Dagati as well as his prospective deputy who was named on Sunday March 10, 2013. The irate youth said they do not understand why the President should slight the Sissalas, Walas and Brefors by appointing two Dagatis as Minister and Deputy Minister respectively."

If this had been the first time, I would have given him the kudos for doing it as Colonel Acheampong did in the 70's and was successful by posting Ministers to Regions they were not from but Mahama has done this caving in demands too many times in two months administration than Rawlings, Kuffour or Mills did in their rule.

Mahama did not put his foot down and tell some Chiefs in the Western Region who demanded he should appoint somebody from the Region to head the Oil and Energy Ministry when rumours started that, Haruna Iddrisu was going to be appointed to head that Ministry and what did we see? Mahama did a Micheal Jackson moonwalk dance and appointed one Buah from Western Region to head that Ministry to appease the Western Region Chiefs.

That was not to be the last retreat by the cluelss and 'cojoneless' President. When he was almost done in his Ministerial appointments and Haruna Iddrisu who had been penciled in as the Energy Minister was torpedoed by the Western Region Chiefs and it was looking like Haruna Iddrisu was going to be "Ministerless", the Azorka juggernaut machine from the Tamale township was cranked up by the Iddrisu supporters who immediately demanded that Iddrisu should be appointed as a Minister or Tamale will burn. This is despite the fact that Fuseini, a Tamale Central MP has been nominated as a Minister, Mahama gave in to the NDC Azorka boys and Haruna was appointed as the Minister of Trade and Industry. What about the quickest and the record reshuffle that Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo was subjected to? He was amongst the third batch of Ministerial nominations presented to the vetting committee for appointment.

"A third batch of "ministerial nominations" has been made by President John Mahama, according to a statement signed by Dr. Raymond A. Atuguba, Executive Secretary to the President.

Below is the list of the appointees;

1. Dr. Henry Seidu Daannaa, Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs. 2. Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, Ministry of the Interior. 3. Hon. Mark Woyongo, Ministry of Defence. 4. Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, Ministry of Trade and Industry. 5. Hon. Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts."

He was nominated for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Ministry but the people in Creative Arts industry opposed his nomination and these are the people in the film industry like Juliet Ibrahim, Mr Beautiful and others who campaigned for Mahama so what did Mahama do? You guess it. The moment the people in the film industry opposed his nomination, Mahama immediately reshuffled him to the Castle as one of the Ministers at the Presidency.

Now Pelpuo is cooling his heels at the Castle as a Minister at the Presidency. We have six of these Ministers at the Presidency doing practically nothing and drawing huge salaries and bonuses adding to the government wage bill which stands at 72.3%

Mahama is messing up big time. When is President Mahama going to stand his ground as the President and tell these yahoos to hit the road? What he is doing is giving credence to the belief that, he is mentally weak.

Justice Sarpong