General News of Monday, 20 February 2017
Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah has accused President Akufo-Addo of excluding members of other political parties in the running of his government.
He said despite Akufo-Addo’s promise to unite Ghanaians, the make-up of his government suggest a ‘winner-takes-all’ approach criticised by governance experts.
After monitoring the government the past six weeks, the record three-time CDS has expressed disappointment at this development.
No opposition member has been publicly involved when the government threw a party after it was inaugurated on January 7 he said.
“The president said we shouldn’t be spectators….whatever that means…there was a cocktail party did you see any National Democratic Congress (NDC) member there [party]?” he complained of exclusion in an interview with Joy News’ Raymond Acquah.
He also expressed worry that an important occasion such as when the Moroccan King visited Ghana last week, which he witnessed, but no NDC member was invited.
“Does the NDC not have any brains to contribute?” he expressed concern about government’s attitude towards the opposition.
Nunoo Mensah who was Chief of Defence Staff in 1973,1979 and 1992 said it has been difficult to get hold of the National Security minister Kan-Dapaah to discuss matters of national concern.
He stressed his call should not be interpreted to mean he wants a job but at a self-actualised age, he and others want to contribute to the country’s development.
“I have got enough brain at this level to contribute,” said the man who has played roles in every government since 1973.
Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah said if non-NPP party members cannot get an invitation to a cocktail party then it tells of the government’s posture towards all-inclusiveness.
Nunoo Mensah said he does not want the term all-inclusiveness to be bogged down to appointing other non-NPP members into the government.
He suggested the term should mean the government’s general attitude towards getting the input and ideas of opposition parties.
The subject of all-inclusiveness has been a dominant political discussion under the 4th Republic. After the NPP government won political power for the first time in 2000, President John Agyekum Kufuor appointed a PNC and CPP member as ministers into his government.
But critics say all-inclusiveness ought not to be reduced to handing out jobs.
President John Mahama after winning the 2012 general elections pledged to meet leaders of opposition at least twice a year to discuss matters of national concern. But no such meeting was ever held during his four years in government.
NPP National Chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey once criticised the Mahama government for reducing all-inclusiveness to invitation to parties.
But Mahama’s choice of a visually-impaired Henry Seidu Danaa as Chieftaincy minister was however applauded in some sections of the Ghanaian society.
Nunoo Mensah said Ghana’s 5th president, Nana Akufo-Addo despite his promise to unite the country is yet to live up to his expectations.
“In Ghana, we say things and do different things”, the former Chief of Defence Staff complained.