General News of Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Member of Parliament for Efutu Constituency in the Central Region, Hon. Alexander Afenyo Markins is in disagreement with a founding member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe for questioning President Akufo-Addo’s choice of Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul as Defence Minister.
According to Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, choosing the former Deputy Minority leader in parliament to handle such a sensitive Ministry is wrong as he lacks experience.
The former Army Captain in the Ghana Armed Forces said he believes “A more senior person should have been put there.”
Although he could not easily tell who would have been appropriate for the position, he noted that having served in the military, age plays a crucial role in that setting.
But reacting to this on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show, Hon. Afenyo Markins said the age of the Defence Minister-designate does not matter as it is rather about experience and competence.
He reminded Nyaho Tamakloe that former President Rawlings was President and Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces at the age of 34 during the Military era but nothing untoward happened in the country till he [Mr Rawlings] became a Civilian President.
He stressed that “if the Constitution of Ghana allows someone to contest for the Presidency at the age of forty , then Hon. Nitiwul at 39 years can handle the Ministry of Defence as long as he has the experience and the competence.”
He, however, wondered why Dr. Nyaho Tamaklo will attack President Akufo-Addo and by extension attack the capability of Hon. Dominic Nitiwul when the appointee has not even started his work to see how he will perform at the Ministry of Defence.
Delving into the credentials of the Defence Minister-designate, Hon. Afenyo Markins mentioned that Hon. Dominic Nitiwul has served as Deputy Minority leader and served on the Defence and Interior Committee in Parliament; adding that Hon. Nitiwul has been in Parliament for 12 years.
He, therefore, jabbed that the founding member of NPP should keep his calm if he has nothing negative to say about President Akufo-Addo rather than trying hard to find fault with the President’s appointment.
“He cannot use age to determine someone’s competence and ability to occupy a particular public office. Then, in that case, we should amend the Constitution to say that the minimum age to become President in Ghana is 60 years. There is no consistency in his claim and he shouldn’t limit his criticism to age. He should not try to discourage young men from aspiring to occupy high positions in the country,” he jabbed.
“. . he claims to be a founding member of the NPP but didn’t wish Nana Addo well and he rather said Nana Addo cannot become President. He said all manner of things about Nana Addo and for the same person to question the decision of Nana Addo tells you that he has no basis. He wants to poison the atmosphere and also to discourage the youth in the country,” he asserted.