Feature Article of Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Columnist: Yawose, John
President Mahama messed up with the recent reshuffle of Regional Ministers and intellectuals and respected opinion leaders rather hailed him. Will Ghana ever make headway with such high degrees of dirty, uncouth and costly flatterings. Is Ghana a nation of gaping sycophants? The whole episode defies scientific management reasoning and effective administration at the highest level. I refuse to accept that we are in 21st century Ghana, well inside 56 years of independence and therefore having several examples of management practices to guide us — in our governance procedures in the civil service, ministerial and presidential level. Where are our governance experts in the parties, universities and GIMPA to lead us?
First of all, serious minded observers have always had a beef with MPs who are appointed Regional Ministers even for their home regions—- taking cognisance of the fact that such dual-office holders will have to operate and manage affairs in Accra, (Parliament House) and their RCC offices. Managing, overseeing, monitoring and evaluating in the dual positions will obviously suffer. So let us take some examples: Hon. Eric Opoku, MP for Asunafo South in the BA Region was originally slated as Regional Minister for BA Region i.e his home region. Similarly, Hon. Paul Aidoo, MP for Sefwi Wiawso in the W. Region was pencilled for W. Regional Minister i.e his home region. So we expected poor Hon. Eric Opoku to give us excellent services as an MP in Accra (as a member of 3 parliamentary sub-committees in parliament house in Accra) and in the RCC offices in Sunyani and also finally as an MP in the constituency office in Asunafo South. (Working in 2 regions). Ok. Ok. —— So Hon Paul Aidoo would have to perform similarly to the satisfaction of Accra, Sekondi and Sefwi Wiawso constituency.(working in 2 regions). Ok. Ok.— They say the arrangement is a constitutional requirement. So we have endured it all along and we are enduring it.
Enter, indecisive President Mahama with his queer reshuffle of his appointees, which is obviously to compound the problems of his appointees. Now, Hon. Eric Opoku has assumed duty as the Ashanti Regional Minister following the President’s recent reshuffle. So the new idea is to expect Hon. Eric Opoku to perform well in 3 regions—– Greater Accra as MP (member of 3 parliamentary sub –committees in Parliament house in Accra) and in the Ashanti RCC Offices in Kumasi and finally in Asunafo north constituency office in B A region. Hon Aidoo is also to trek between Accra, Sunyani and Sefwi Wiawso in similar manner. Haaaaaba! Haaaaaaaba! Is this the best management practice, Mahama can offer?
And President Mahama , Dr Sulley Gariba, Dr Atugugba and toady NDC irritants are touting this careless arrangement as the best ——- saying 1. The reassignment is to diffuse ethnic tensions and unite Ghanaians — saying 2. .That it is part of Mahama vision to ensure the coordination of the single purpose developmental agenda for this country —saying 3. The new assignments are to achieve specific leadership objectives —— and all that dirty jazz which rather confuse and contaminate the issues. If none of the Regional Minister were MPs, very few would have qualms with the arrangement.
Even President Mahama betrayed his lack of trust in his own new arrangements —-by charging the home-bred deputy regional ministers :- ‘’to teach their alien substantive Ministers the ropes to help them navigate unfamiliar territories’’ and said further:- ‘’The regional ministers you are going to work with are not…from the regions in which you are going to serve and so you are going to be, in a way,…their advisors because you understand some of the nuances of the region that they don’t understand because they don’t come from there ———–‘’ These statements from Mahama are clear admittance of serious deficit in the executive management chain he himself has wilfully created, which of course is unwarranted and self imposed.
Observers know that this was an afterthought and the rationalizations from Mahama and his gaping sycophants are damnably funny, watery and incongruous. Insiders have it that Mahama had difficulty getting a Northern Regioner as a Regional minister so Hon. Bide Ziedeng was brought in from UWR to the position. The other regional Ministers were then reshuffled to rationalise the situation. Then Hon. Alhaji Muniru, a Northerner was brought in from the presidential Office to UER to complete the CANTATA comical circuit. This was executed without any thought of the overweight burden put on Eric Opoku, Paul Evans Aidoo and Helen Ntoso etc who unfortunately will be working in 3 regions, as shown earlier.
If Mahama really believed in his plan, the Regional Ministers in the 3 Northern regions should all be heading down south and vice versa. Hon Donkor’s movement from CR to WR and Hon. Eric Opoku from BA to Ash are cosmetic since the environment and values of their old/new regions are the same. How, that Hon. Debrah never took over in ER and was sent to GAR. The dictates of a flip-flop Mahama.
I put forward that Mahama has shown that he lacks control and that the idea was not well thought off and will and can never be a recipe for efficiency. It was just a convenient and mediocre way of solving the Northern region problem—NDC usual, takashie, bugabuga and watery ways of doing things. He and and his policy advisor Dr Sulley Gariba, the newly touted governance expert and the faceless evil dwarfs have failed totally in this regard..