Big Fight For Ministers
BARRING ANYLAST minute hitch, President John Dramani Mahama would release his list of Deputy-Minister nominees by this weekend, DAILY GUIDE has gathered.
Sources said the Presidential Villa at the Flagstaff House has been taken over by countless party lobbyists who are desperately rooting for their favorites for the over 30 deputy ministerial slots.
Flagstaff House, the new seat of government, was yesterday inundated with the lobbyists who wanted their candidates to be included in the list to be released anytime soon.
It is not clear if President Mahama would bow to pressures from the lobbyists who want some names to be substituted for others.
However, Presidential sources told DAILY GUIDE the pressure is having its toll on the President, who wanted to be left alone to have a free hand to nominate his choice of deputy ministers.
Some of the lobbyists have solicited the services of influential people in society like chiefs and priests to drum their credentials in the ears of the president.
Among the list of names that DAILY GUIDE has stumbled upon is that of hardtalking member of the communications team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Felix Kwakye Ofosu, who has been penciled to be the next deputy minister of information, consigning his former bosses like Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to the dustbin of history.
If nominated and subsequently approved by Parliament, Felix Kwakye Owusu would partner Mahama Ayariga to man the controversial Information Ministry.
If Mr. Kwakye Ofosu does not get nominated for the Deputy Ministerial position, he is said to be seriously considering the option of contesting in the upcoming congress of the NDC for the position of National Propaganda Secretary, as a fallback strategy. The title is currently being held by Richard Quashigah.
Also tipped for appointment is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa North, lawyer James Agalga, who has been penciled for the position of Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, while his colleague MP for Nanton, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, is said to be likely to be nominated as Deputy Minister of Transport.
Kwame Awuah Darko, who contested and lost the Parliamentary seat of the Ayawaso West Wuogon, is being tipped as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
The name of James Agyenim-Boateng has also popped up as likely to be nominated for the position of Deputy Minister of Tourism where he once served in the same capacity.
Meanwhile, new entrant to Parliament and MP for Ledzokuku, Benita Sena Okiti Dua has been tipped for the position of deputy in the controversial Ministry of Children, Gender and Social Protection.
It is unclear if Mrs Okiti-Dua has had any experience in gender advocacy, but she would be the right hand person of renowned but controversial human rights and gay advocate, Nana Oye-Lithur.
Before they are finally confirmed, the deputy ministers would face the lopsided Vetting Committee of Parliament.
Incidentally, Sena Okiti Dua is a member of the committee and has been criticized for asking questions that appear to be staged-managed.
Dr Dominic Ayine, MP for the newly created Bolga East constituency, is likely to partner Marrieta Brew Appiah-Opong as Deputy Attorney General.
Other names being bandied about are Hannah Bissiw, former deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing,
Richard Quashigah, MP for Keta and NDC Propaganda Secretary and Kojo Adu Asare, former MP for Adenta.
BY Raphael Ofori-Adeniran