These are great days for relatives of top ranking members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) as they flock to the corridors of power to take up juicy appointments at various levels of government.
Some might not have lobbied for it but others did so, making good the adage, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Blood is thicker than waterÃ¢â‚¬Â.
While not seeing the unfolding development as untoward, leading members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have had cause to smile and ask their counterparts why then did they complain after Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor was appointed Defence Minister when his brother was President.
President John Evans Atta Mills has appointed his brother, Dr. Cadman Atta Mills as a member of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to advise him on economic matters.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the President has also appointed the husband of his sister, Emma, as a member of the EAC.
Prof K.N. Afful is the husband of Emma, the lady who is said to be caring for one of the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sons.
The Economic Advisory Council is a 10-member body charged with the task of advising the First Gentleman on matters bordering on economic policy. It includes Togbe Afede, the controversial chief of Ho, whose warriors have issued a fatwa on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Volta Regional Chairman, Kenwuud Nuworsu.
The President himself, when he was a Vice President, chaired the Economic Management Team in the Rawlings Administration.
Also joining the bandwagon of what has become known in local parlance as Ã¢â‚¬ËœKokofu footballÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice who has her brother, Alex Kofi Mould, acting as Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
Her husband, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, one-time Minister of Defence, is a member of the newly-constituted Council of State.
Mrs. Zita Okaikoi, Minister for Information has her husband serving as Chairman of the Disability Council, a position which was held by the respectable head of the New Horizon Special School in Accra.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi did the preparatory work towards the inauguration of the Disability Council and was tipped to hold it, only for the position to be handed to ZitaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s husband on a silver platter.
It is an open secret that the NDC has never liked Prof Gyimah-Boadi and his think tank, Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
The Ahwois are perhaps unrivalled when it comes to family members holding positions in the incumbent administration.
The Ministry of Agriculture is being held by Kwesi Ahwoi, as the others are standing by for juicy board positions, in addition to their current roles as members of the MillsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ kitchen cabinet, a source alleged.
They are said to constitute a critical power centre in the political grouping which is fondly called the Fante Confederacy. Their power centre cannot be messed around with in the scheme of things.
In what was considered as an attempt at justifying his appointment, Dr. Cadman Atta Mills told a radio station earlier that he was given the position because of his qualification and not on nepotistic lines.
Flaunting what he said is his vast experience on macro-economics and economics across the globe, he beat his chest saying he is well suited for the job.
Ghanaians, he observed, should rather consider what he brings to the table rather than his familial ties with the President.
Ironically, this was the exact explanation put forth by ex-President Kufuor and leading members of the NPP when he appointed his brother, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, as Defence Minister.
It would be recalled that at the time, some NDC members teased the then President Kufuor as playing what in Akan is referred to as Ã¢â‚¬Å“kokofu footballÃ¢â‚¬Â, to wit nepotism, as in soccer.
President MillsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ brother said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was a micro-economic sector manager at the World Bank where indeed I managed the micro-economic programmes for 13 countries in central Africa, including such difficult countries as Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and Nigeria. Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea were part of my mandate, and so I think I have very solid credentials of micro-economic management in African countries.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Interestingly, the economies of all the countries he mentioned are in shambles- not even petrol dollars could save those countries.
Continuing to defend the appointment, he said it is pro bono.
He took exception to a DAILY GUIDE publication about the appointment when he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is not surprising that a publication such as the one in Daily Guide would say that Ã¢â‚¬Ëœblood is thicker than waterÃ¢â‚¬Â.
By A.R. Gomda