Mills drops bombshell

Kwesi Pratt Jnr and Said SinarePresident John Evans Atta Mills is on the verge of releasing names of party loyalists penciled for ambassadorial appointments – a bombshell that is certain to ruffle a lot of feathers.

The announcement is expected to be greeted with protests as a dress rehearsal was staged yesterday by supporters of Said Sinare, amidst threats to leave the party should their icon be left out in the sharing of the ‘spoils of war’.

For many National Democratic Congress (NDC) personalities, the diplomatic privilege is too juicy to let go without a fight, as they have already lost out in the ministerial turf.

Some of the names making rounds include Said Sinare, a vice chairman of the party, who was stranded in Burkina Faso last year when he undertook a ‘very important’ mission to that country in the name of President Mills; Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Ashanti Regional Chairman; Baba Kamara, a businessman and former NDC deputy National Treasurer; and Kwesi Pratt, Field Commander of the pro-NDC Committee for Joint Action (CJA), whose leadership has been depleted due to the fact that members have taken up various governmental positions.

Pratt is said to be going to a familiar terrain where he would have more time to pursue the release of the Cuban Five, an agenda he has been pursuing for a number of years.

The Insight Managing Editor, DAILY GUIDE learnt, is being posted to Cuba with oversight responsibilities on a number of Caribbean countries as well as Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. 

Like with other appointments, the President would have had to take a lot of factors into consideration, coupled with pressure from other power-brokers in the ruling party.

DAILY GUIDE has gathered that barring any last-minute alterations or realignment of names, Daniel Ohene Agyekum is scheduled to move to the United Kingdom as High Commissioner.

This station rivals with the best in terms of stature and therefore lobbying for it has witnessed heightened activity. Ohene Agyekum who takes delight in dragging his adversaries to the dreaded river goddess, Antoa, was once Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada. 

Like that of the United States and Japan, the President is under intense pressure to consider specific names because of their outstanding contribution to the fortunes of the party.

Heading for Nigeria is Alhaji Baba Kamara, a leading NDC personality who was once promised the running mate slot by then Candidate Mills.

With close links to President Mills, his appointment has come as no surprise.

A one-time Deputy Treasurer of the NDC, Baba Kamara is a Salaga boy whose mastery of the Hausa language would endear him to the elite class of the Hausa/Fulani in the northern states of the oil-rich country.

Martin Amidu, whose partnership with the then Candidate Mills failed to do the victory magic for the NDC, is being rewarded with an ambassadorial positing to neighbouring Burkina Faso, just a stone throw from his Bawku hometown.

Serving in a country which is close to home, the lawyer will definitely have some advantages in the Blaise Campaore-led country.

One station however remains controversial as the name of Alhaji Said Sinare continues to be the target of firing by those uncomfortable with his choice.

DAILY GUIDE has however learnt that the man who failed to dispossess Sheikh I.C. Quaye of the Ayawaso Central constituency seat in the Greater Accra Region has threatened to resign from the party if he is not appointed Ghana’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, a noisy group was on radio loudly lobbying for him to be appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Hon Rashid Bawa was the last Ghanaian envoy to the oil-rich Arab country.

An Islamic cleric with higher education in both secular and Islamic education is being considered and it appears he is standing a better chance than Said.

The cleric is currently serving the country in a critical establishment having studied in prestigious institutions at home and in an Arab country.

The Saudi station is very critical to the interests of Ghana because of the annual pilgrimage to that country and the country’s oil exploitation programme.

Those in favour of the cleric claim that with his education and open-mindedness, he would be the best person for the position.

With the fallout of the appointment of the District Chief Executives (DCEs) fresh in his mind, President Mills must be praying that he is given the chance to make the diplomatic appointments with little or no interference. Unfortunately, the prevailing circumstances will not oblige him the wish and so anything could happen to the list the First Gentleman has penciled.

President Mills, as he embarks on a trip to the United Kingdom where he is expected to hold serious discussions with Gordon Brown and look out for a handout, will leave behind sulking and excited groups over the appointments.

For those who failed to make it, the stage is set for grumbling and protests as witnessed by the nominations of DCEs.

The President is embarking on a trip to a fifth country since assuming office, the first being the one for the ECOWAS engagement in Abuja from where he took time off to visit Prophet T.B. Joshua.

Other travels have been to Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo.

By A.R. Gomda