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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

President Mahama and Speaker Doe Adjaho must get serious

President Mahama having a chat with Speaker Doe Adjaho President Mahama having a chat with Speaker Doe Adjaho

To be president of a teething democracy such as Ghana must be a daunting task.

Yes the Human Resource well in Ghana is gravely poisoned and compromised but the president of Ghana, still has a serious responsibility to appoint qualified and impeccable individuals to do the business and bidding of Ghana.

The president must appoint and hold his appointees accountable and responsible given the total reward that they receive. Our people deserve far better. As Jack Welch, erstwhile CEO of General Motors once effused, the team that field the best players wins.

This realization is rudimentary but profound in both government and private sector. This is why the war for talent is at such a fever pitch. We must match appropriate talent to key opportunities at all cost.

The ideal, would be, appointments that reflect the entire human resource arsenal across the entire political spectrum. Unfortunately, our winner take all politics and the need to gorge the partisan base with goodies, makes, looking outside the parochial confines of the partisan tent, unattractive.

To hear NDC partisan factotums warn party members that appointments will be based on how hard one works for his or her party, not merit, is to know how spine-chilling the prospects of shoehorning round pegs into square holes abound. For how long can we tolerate this asphyxiating regime of no-nothings?

The nomination of Oti Bless as Deputy Minister designate is a slap in the face of Ghanaians. This slap is coming on the heels of another appointment that made a Dining Hall Prefect a Deputy Minister. Where is the president getting this zeal from?

To be brutally frank, this doggedness and fondness, to appoint, obviously unqualified personnel, revitalizes the perennial charge of incompetence associated with President Mahama’s government. I can deduce that the president detest and is obviously irked by this tag of incompetence. If the latter is true, then the president has to seriously purge the people around him who walk him lock-step into these buzz saws.

Unless of course, the president is very much aware but could care less. I am not sure whether the latter or former is true. Perhaps both! What I am sure of, is that, the president cannot be serious with these banal appointments.

Who did due diligence on Oti Bless? Who recommended to the president that this unqualified person should be appointed Deputy Minister of Local Government? Did the person or group, do their work with the same dexterity a bear will deploy to unearth a clam? Did they review his resume? Did they check his work history? Oh this is another political calculation huh? And this man is in parliament? Lord please have mercy on us!

Oti Bless, a current MP, is unqualified to be a Deputy Minister in Ghana because of the following reasons. One, he did not do his national service. Two, his remarks concerning the chief justice was not only reckless, but dog whistle for mayhem. He lacks judgment and temperament to lead a ministry, which, for all intents and purposes, will be staffed by not only NDC folks, but Ghanaians from all walks of life.

Lastly, his speaker of parliament induced apology, says a lot about his level maturity. To admit that one, he was misled and two, it was youthful exuberance that ginned him to spout such thrash about the Chief Justice, makes him plenty and patently unqualified to lead.

To be honest, Oti Bless deserves to be in jail with the Muntie 3. It actually should be the Muntie 4. That he is a free man, doubling down on his imprudence, by hitting back at those that criticize him, is a stain on our democracy and rule of law. Shouldn’t an MP be made up of much more sterner stuff than we see in these trifling parliamentarians?

The Supreme Court risk losing credibility if it does not deal with Oti Bless swiftly. NDC folks must show love of country by urging the Supreme Court to act precipitously on Oti Bless instead of cheering on into a ministerial position.

I drag Doe Adjaho into this quagmire because he is aiding and abetting this rotten effort to get an unqualified person into a key position in government. Mr. Adjaho, in his haste to do his master’s bidding, advised Oti Bless to apologize to the chief justice as a way of moving his nomination forward.

Mr Adjaho sees nothing wrong with moving along a nominee who has a muddle up resume, cannot even spell his own name right and has not honored his national service obligation. Mr Adjoho believes that an apology is enough to put this square peg in a round hole. Yikes!!

Why do we wonder about the upsurge of incompetence if you have a Doe Adjaho, Speake of Parliament, helping to elbow through, misfits like Oti Bless? Doe Adjaho, has more loyalty to his beloved NDC than he does towards the country that pays and feed him. Over and over again, we see Doe Adjaho selling the people of Ghana short.

It is time that we take on this misguided speaker! An apology, while ok in some circumstances, must not erase the need to punish those who should have known better to start with. The Speaker should sit up or let up! On another occasion, I will make a stronger case against the incalculable transgressions the Speaker has visited on Ghana.

Is Oti Bless the finest that the president can find? Is it impossible for the president to reach across the various political parties for a much more competent Ghanaian to serve as Deputy Minister of Local Government? Must it be an unqualified NDC party agent provocateur? I just can’t bring myself to understand or accept the forces that jolt the president to make such inappropriate nominations.

Is President Mahama taking his sacred duties and responsibilities seriously? Does he realize the importance of a viable and effective local government system is a toddler democracy like ours? Here is a president who is asking to be reelected but continues to throw red hot pepper in the bright eyes of Ghanaians?

Mr. President, please withdraw this nomination immediately. Ghana deserves far better! Surely, you can do far better than Oti Bless. Indeed, appointing qualified individuals can only help your cause if you really care about the country we all love. Why shoot yourself in the foot with such troubling nominations for key positions? Enough of the partisan fervor and proclivities!

Ghana is a place where political maturity is scarce. Other than that, why would qualified NDC members, not rise up against the nomination of Oti Bless? Are the NDC folks waiting for the Supreme Court to solve this problem too for them? What does it take, for a well-meaning NDC member, to ask the president to withdraw this nomination in the face of such damning evidence?

Observe closely the revolt in the Republican Party (USA) and uprising in the Democratic Party’s National Committee (USA) and you will get the essence of what political maturity is or ought to be. Don’t we see Republican and Democrats bucking against their own party in the name of country and sanity? Yes political maturity is an evolutionary process but why short circuit it with such unwarranted machinations? We need to grow up real fast if our budding democracy is to survive.

The best and piercing criticism for any progressive group, comes from within the group. Self –criticism is the best balm any well-meaning group can tolerate and dispense. I am sure the critics of Donald J. Trump and Hillary R. Clinton, were they to be in any political party in Ghana, will be kicked out, silenced and permanently marginalized. We need political party members to speak up!

We need party members to put country first! We need party leaders to tolerate dissent if we are to mature politically. Without Ghana, the NDC will not exist. Political parties will come and go but our Country is here to stay! Let us put country first!! Viva Ghana!!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman is the host of PAE MU KA, a political talk show on Highlife Radio. Join us every Saturday morning 9-12noon EST.