General News of Wednesday, 15 March 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is ensuring that all parts of the country are represented in his appointments in light of the overwhelming victory he chalked in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, has said.
According to him, prior to the 2016 polls, Mr Akufo-Addo had been victorious in only two regions as presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). However, the trend changed in 2016 when he won six regions out of 10.
His comments follow criticisms levelled at the president over the size of his government. The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the large number of ministers appointed by Mr Akufo-Addo was “unacceptable” considering the backlash the then NDC government received when the NPP was in opposition.
“Increasing the size of government will mean spending of too much money to run the country… NPP mentioned that they would cut down on government. Unfortunately, they are increasing the numbers,” he indicated.
But speaking in an interview with Moro Awudu, host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS), on Class91.3FM on Wednesday 15 March, Mr Ayikoi Otoo said: “It seems to me that it is having to do more with the overwhelming majority win he had. If you cast your mind back, you will find that in 2008 and 2012, the president, then candidate, was winning only two regions comfortably – Ashanti and Eastern. This time round, out of 10 he won around six, and so clearly there will be pressure on him to satisfy the various regions, gender and regional balance. That to me might have accounted for this high number.
“It is true that when we were drafting the manifesto, the sector committees that we had was around 22. Most people felt that sectors like fisheries and aquaculture would just be placed under the Ministry of Agriculture, but now you have a split, and then you have more of the ministries even being created.
“So I believe that it is the support that he got around the country, some places where the NPP had no MP…the Upper West, we moved on to about five. Out of about 275 constituencies, we are looking at about 169 seats for the NPP. That clearly will put stress and strain on the appointing authority to try and satisfy as many people as possible.”