Politics of Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Source: Kwame Ntim Hammond
There is deep-seated anger at the seat of the Presidency- Flagstaff House- over the activities of the Chief of Staff, Mr. Prosper Douglas Bani.
The man, who is supposed to oversee the appointees of the President is being accused of courting dislike and disdain for President John Dramani Mahama with his action and inaction.
In a matter of two days, Mr. Bani has succeeded in making the President the number one enemy of Customs, Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as a result of certain promotions he did whiles the President was attending an African Union summit in Ethiopia.
Mr. Bani made the promotion without recourse to GRA laid down procedures for appointing and promoting CEPS officials.
Luckily, the President upon hearing the anger of CEPS and GRA staff, has reversed the promotion made by the man who is to protect his interest.
In fact, CEPS officials had vowed to leave various revenue doors ajar, a situation which will cripple the already stressed economy.
Insiders have it that President Mahama was very furious upon his arriving from Ethiopia to hear of what his Chief of Staff has done.
As if that was not enough, Mr. Bani after causing so much disaffection for the President among the state revenue collectors, led a group of people in a charter flight to Equatorial Guinea to watch Ghana’s quarter-final game against Guinea in the ongoing AFCON.
The move by the Chief of Staff has angered lots of Ghanaians and top government officials, who have described the trip as useless.
Insiders at the Presidency have said that the Chief of Staff embarked on the trip without the knowledge of the President.
It is unclear who chartered the flight, but insiders say Mr. Bani should be the last person to embark on such a trip when government has decided not to send supporters to Equatorial Guinea.
As a matter of fact, radio discussions last Monday was centered on the trip and how irrelevant it was.
Interestingly, the foul guns were all turned at President Mahama, who many accused of failing to put checks on the activities of the Chief of Staff.
Insiders at the Presidency has it that the Chief of Staff is usurping the powers of all appointees by the President and to some extent, that of the Civil and Public Service Commissions.
It is instructive to know that former Presidents, J.J. Rawlings, and J.A. Kufour had absolute control over their appointees because of how their Chiefs of Staff worked.
Nana Ato Dadzie under Rawlings was diligent and meticulous that he would not embark on irrelevant trips and effect promotions in departments he had no jurisdiction over.
Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani worked in the interest of President Kufour and the NPP administration that he was referred to in many quarters as the Prime Minister of Ghana.
Mr. Martey Newman, Chief of Staff under the late Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, was also on top of his job.
Mr. Bani, according to insiders at the Presidency, has his hands in too many plates that his output at the end of the day is virtually zero.
On the lighter side, the insiders claimed that they were not sure if Mr. Bani could recognize any regional party chairman of the NDC, apart from that of Greater Accra and his home region.