Special report: Uneasy calm at Flagstaff House

General News of Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Source: Today Newspaper

John Mahama US Chamber

Indeed if the famous quote by the late Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe, “Things fall apart,” the centre cannot hold,” is anything to go by then Today can report that the seat of Ghana’s government—Flagstaff House, is in total disarray.

The paper’s findings indicate that the situation has had debilitating effects on the general performance of governance, thereby resulting in numerous socio-economic problems facing the country like the erratic supply of energy,

The reason, Today uncovered, was about the battle for the “soul” of the Flagstaff House by various blocs within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), party headed by President John Dramani Mahama.

The development, according to a deep throat source at the seat of government, is as a result of a rift between President Dramani Mahama and his Vice, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

The vice-president, the sources revealed, has suffered loads of humiliations in the hands of President Dramani Mahama and his cohorts after the demise of President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills and his subsequent nomination as the vice president by the NDC.

“The issue is that Mr. Amissah-Arthur is being treated like a rag at the Flagstaff House as Mr. Mahama has deliberately decided to ignore him,” the sources hinted.

“Who cares about the vice-president after all that was not Mahama’s choice in the first place,” a close ally of President Dramani Mahama told Today in an interview via telephone.

Today further gathered that there was on going talks within the Mahama bloc spearheaded by the “chief butcher” of the Flagstaff House, Baba Kamala, who is a Presidential Staffer, to drop the vice president in 2016.

And apparently that decision, the sources said, had received the blessings of President Dramani Mahama as he claimed the choice of Mr. Amissah-Arthur was imposed on him by the Ahwoi bloc who are the kingmakers in the NDC.

The sources further hinted that two names-thus Ministers of Trade and Industry and Energy, Spio Ekwow Garbrah and Emmanuel Kofi Armah-Buah respectively, had so far emerged within the Mahama bloc as possible replacement for Mr. Amissah-Arthur.

According to the sources, President Dramani Mahama’s decision to settle on either Spio Garbrah who is a Fante or Kofi Buah who also comes from the Western region is to consolidate the NDC votes in the 2016 General Election as the fortunes of the party were dwindling in these regions—Central and Western—due to the total neglect by President Mahama.

However, some insiders in the party-NDC, have kicked against any one of them being a possible replacement for Mr. Amissah-Arthur in 2016, citing incompetence, lack of commitment to the party values as reasons for their rejection.

“How can you make Kofi Buah your running mate when the man (Kofi Buah) cannot even solve the energy problem facing the country?

And as for Spio, the least said about him the better. This is a man who even does not have a constituency and yet the Mahama bloc wants to nominate him for the job of vice president,” the NDC insiders pointed out.

Meanwhile, information available to Today indicates that the Ahwoi bloc comprising the embattled former National Chairman of the party, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, have vowed to resist any attempt to drop Mr. Amissah-Arthur.

In fact, the sources revealed that the Ahowoi bloc have planned to nominate somebody to challenge President Mahama in the NDC presidential primaries.

In fact, the new role assumed by Baba Kamala, Today learnt, has deepened cracks at the seat of government and by extension the NDC party as he has virtually usurped every power including the Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, and the President’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Raymond Attuguba who tendered his resignation last Monday.

And that move by Baba Kamala, Today further discovered, has brought about apathy in the running of governance at the Flagstaff House and consequently stalling the developmental agenda of the country.

“Unlike the late President Mills who allowed President Mahama who was then his vice to operate without interference, President Dramani Mahama is doing the opposite,” a staff at the office of the vice-president who spoke to Today on condition of anonymity stated.

Another staff who expressed disquiet about the posture of President Dramani Mahama and, especially Baba Kamala, who has abandoned his advisory role at the presidency, could not understand why the president should develop such hatred for his own vice president.

“In fact the president is very vindictive if not… how can he treat Mr. Amissah-Arthur like this,” the source averred.