…but Ghanaians don’t Know the Ministers
President Akufo-Addo has formally drawn down the curtain on speculations over the existence or otherwise of a Cabinet under his administration.
The President has confirmed he has indeed, constituted his Cabinet in conformity with Article 76 (1) of the 1992 constitution.
Even though the President was boisterous in alluding to the existence of Cabinet, maybe, to shame critics, but he was unable/or, refused to name Ministers among the 40 sector Ministers who constitute his Cabinet.
The President’s loud silence on the composition of his Cabinet has furthered deepened allegations that, his Cabinet is overly bloated and skewed. The Presidency and government officials have been tightlipped over the existence of a Cabinet despite persistent calls by well-meaning Ghanaians including, the minority in parliament.
Perhaps, in order to silence critics who have accused him of not forming a Cabinet five month after taking office, President Akufo-Addo told Ghanaian residents in faraway Conakry, Guinea over the weekend that, a Cabinet sub-committee has been set up to find alternative livelihoods for people engaged in galamsey.
“60% of our water bodies in Ghana we are told have been polluted by mining activities. That is completely unacceptable. I made a decision that if God willing I was to win the election, I was going to make the fight against galamsey one of my priorities. And we are doing it… a whole Cabinet committee has been established headed by a well eminent scientist and technologist, Prof. Frimpong Boateng to recommend “alternative sources of livelihood for the people who are involved in this [galamsey] activity.”
“We want people to respect the laws of our country and make sure that our environment does not suffer from mining and that is what we are going to do”, Mr Akufo Addo added.
The demand for the President to make public his Cabinet got to a head last week when Joy Fm reported him (Akufo-Addo) to have said; he settled on his cousin, Justice Sophia Akuffo, as Chief Justice after consultations with Cabinet.
Ahead of the official announcement of Justice Sophia Akufo as the new Chief Justice of Ghana, Accra based Joy FM reported that President Akufo Addo “after frank discussions with his Cabinet last night at which other names such as Justice Jones Dotse and Anim Yeboah came up, the President made a strong case for Madam Sophia Akuffo.”
The President’s failure/refusal, to “outdoor” his Cabinet five months after taking office has set tongues wagging with many referring to it as a “secret cult whose membership is known only to members of the cult.”
The aL-hAJJ has consistently been reporting that while the President has indeed, constituted his Cabinet, he is unwilling to make the list public because it is bloated and lopsided.
According to the paper, two regions, Western and Central, do not have representation in Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet.
The paper further reported that President Akufo-Addo breached the constitution by appointing twenty six out of his 40 sector Ministers to form the nucleus of his Cabinet. This will be against the maximum of nineteen the constitution permits.
The paper also reported that fourteen out of the 26 Akufo-Addo appointed Cabinet Ministers are from the Eastern and Ashanti regions.
Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu and a Presidential Staffer under the Mahama administration and now, MP for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak among other well-meaning Ghanaians; have been relentless in their calls on President Akufo-Addo to announce his Cabinet.
Haruna Iddrisu charged President Nana Akufo-Addo to name his cabinet ministers to Parliament in accordance with Article 76 of the 1992 constitution. Seconding the motion for the approval of regional ministers-designate in Parliament on Friday 17, 2016, the minority leader said 46 ministers have so far been approved by the House and the time has come for the President to name his cabinet ministers.
This, according to him, will enable Parliament to hold such ministers to respond to actions and inactions of government. Haruna Iddrisu said, “If for nothing at all, I want to know the status of my leader in Parliament (Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu),” who is the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
To Dr Apaak, the president is “not a democrat” as it appears his “Cabinet does not exist”. He wondered why, four months into President Akufo-Addo’s tenure, Ghanaians do not know the ministers in the President’s Cabinet even though the constitution mandates the formation of a Cabinet.
“It is a constitutional mandate… Some have tried to argue that there is nowhere that the President is mandated within the context of timelines to announce his Cabinet, but similarly there is no timeline considering the prerogative to appoint ministers. But he has already done that, so why not complete the processes by letting us know… As at now there is no Cabinet. It does not exist because we have not been told,” the MP noted on Class Fm.
But president Akufo-Addo official confirmation of the existence of Cabinet dovetails with suggestion by a deputy Director of National Service Secretariat, Nana B, that the President had indeed constituted his Cabinet following which he appointed Secretary to Cabinet, Mrs Mercy Yvonne Debrah-Karikari on February 14 this year.
“We have a Cabinet…I have had like two or three meetings with the Minister of Education where he told me they are going for Cabinet meeting. For my Minister, my senior brother, Hon Mathew Opoku Prempeh they’ve been times where I have a meeting with him but he told me we should meet after Cabinet meeting. So there is cabinet,” Nana Boakye confidently stated.
Source: The Al-Hajj