General News of Friday, 10 February 2017
Parliament has by consensus approved the nomination of 11 nominees to serve as ministers of state in the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration.
The 11 nominees include Catherine Afeku, the nominee for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, who also confessed that she did not undertake the mandatory one year national service, when she appeared before the Appointments Committee earlier this week.
The other are, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu; Minister for Special Development Initiative, Mavis Hawa Koomson; Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye; Minister of Inner cities and Zongo Development, Abubakar Boniface Siddique; Minister of Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal; Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid; Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Kofi Dzamesi; Minister of Aviation, Cecelia Dapaah; Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah; Minister for Planning, Professor Gyan Baffour.
The approval of the nominees was without reservations from either side of the House, following a debate on the fourth report of the Committee.
‘Afeku sails through’
It was suspected that the nominee for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Afeku, would be challenged following indications from some members of the minority that they will take her on over her failure to do her one-year mandatory national service.
The National Democratic Member of Parliament for Sagnarigu, A.B.A. Fuseini, earlier this week warned that MPs would be eroding Ghana’s democracy by willfully ignoring the laws to approve the nominee in spite of her confession of not doing her national service.
According to Alhaji Fuseini, Madam Afeku was by that reason not qualified for the job.
“Anybody who has been engaged in infraction of the law is not qualified to hold public office. It is clear if you have flouted the law. You have to go and purge yourself before you come back. As legislators, we must be the first in line in defence of the law. If we allow infractions of the law to get away and we ourselves are involved in the brazen infraction of the law, then we are perpetuating something very dangerous for our democracy,” he said.
A similar concern on National Service enrollment was raised against the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, after her vetting.
Her situation resulted in a minority boycotting her approval by abstaining from a vote cast to determine her approval.
Parliament’s Appointments Committee is expected to commence vetting of the 10 regional minister nominees next week.