Feature Article of Sunday, 27 January 2013
Columnist: Andoh, Isaac Kyei
An indication of where his priority lies.
On Monday 21st of January 2013, Ghanaians woke up to the news that Alban Bagbin, E T Mensah and Cletus Avoka have been appointed by President Mahama to oversee the execution of his most important priority projects dubbed, ‘Presidential Priority Projects (PPP).’
These projects include the construction of 200 senior high schools, 10 teacher training colleges, 1 university for the Eastern Region, Regional and Specialist Hospitals, Regional Airports and one International Airport.
These appointments has since generated a lot of debate with some analysts describing the roles assigned to the “three wise men” as they have come to be known, degrading and a demotion given their experience and previous positions.
Contrary to the views that they have been demoted, the enormity of the task assigned them, points otherwise.
The re-election of Presented Mahama in 2016 is largely dependent on how well he is able to fulfill the promises he made to Ghanaians during his campaign throughout the country. Of the many promises he made, the ones that could easily be remembered by Ghanaians are the above mentioned projects. If these promises are met even half way through in his first four years, it would go down as the very best four years in the history of this country and automatically guarantee his second term bid. The cost involved in executing these projects far exceeds the budgets of 5 Ministries.
Of the over 6.5 billion people on this planet, I doubt if there is any who would entrust such projects in the hands of incompetent persons.
It is therefore not surprising that, President Mahama did not assign these most important projects in the hands of “nonachievers” as some will want us to believe but in hands that have been tried and tested.
Even with his election being challenged at the court by the NPP, President Mahama still has his eyes firmly fixed on 7th December 2016 and the factors that would determine his re-election.
He knows Ghanaians would make an evaluation whether choosing his offer of quality and accessible education over NPP’s much publicize free SHS was a mistake or the right decision.
To make assurance double sure, he could not have entrusted these projects in better hands than those he has designated.
In Alban Bagbin, the NDC has arguably the very best MP in the history of the Fourth Republic. After excelling in various leadership positions such Minority and Majority Leader in Parliament, he was called to the Executive by the late President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills to wither the storm in the Ministry of Water, Works and Housing which had entered into agreements on the proposed STX Housing project.
He managed to, with the help of Parliament, knot the loose ends of the documentation but hit the dead end of boardroom wrangling of the Partners which saw the dead end of an urgent national priority. He was subsequently moved to the Ministry of Health.
Another troubled Ministry that was plagued with so many problems and industrial unrest. After 10 months in the Ministry, there has been remarkable stability and a new breeze of fresh air and hope in the Ministry.
This is one of the reasons why he was adjudged the most Respected Minister of the year 2012 by the Institute of Policy and Strategy Development (IPSD).
E T Mensah on the other hand comes with a wealth of experience. After serving in various positions during the revolutionary era, including the position of Mayor of Accra, he braved the trail of the National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Party when it was formed in 1992.
He is one of the longest serving Ministers in the Fourth Republic.
He served in both terms of former President Rawlings’ government as the Minister of Youth Sports and also in the President Mills/Mahama’s government as the Minister of Water, Works and Housing.
E. T. Mensah was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Volta by President Kufuor’s government
Cletus Avoka on the other hand is a former Minister of Lands and Forestry, Environment, Science and Technology and the former Majority Leader in Parliament. With the above credentials of the “three wise men” it is only logical that they are given a bigger challenge.
Instead of resorting to mischief to discredit and destroy all what these illustrious sons have done for the nation, we must pat them on the back for their outstanding contribution to the deepening of democracy in the Fourth Republic and the development of the country.
We should rather commend, motivate and encourage them to implement these laudable projects instead of condemning and devaluing them. The crafters of the name the “three wise men” in reference to them is spot on. They are indeed “The Three Wise Men”
By: Isaac Kyei Andoh.