Shame your detractors – Akufo-Addo charges Dep. Ministers

President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged the newly sworn-in Deputy Ministers to perform their assigned roles so as to shame their detractors who used unpalatable words to describe their appointments.

He said words such as “obscene”, “jobs for the boys”, which were used to describe the announcement of the list of Deputy Ministers, imposes “a clear obligation on you to justify your selection”, adding that “your success vindicates me.”  

The President said this Wednesday, when he swore in 50 Deputy Ministers of State, at the Banquet Hall of the State House, signaling the complete composition of his central government.

President Akufo-Addo recently nominated 50 deputies and 4 others to serve as Ministers of State at the presidency and ministries, bringing to 110 his total number of ministers, the highest in Ghana’s Fourth Republic.

The President came under intense criticism since the announcement of the last batch of his appointments. While some have argued that the decision will lead to bureaucracy, others believe that it will only worsen corruption.

“I don’t believe that my government in the Fourth Republic has big numbers in view of the swollen challenges,” the President said in an interview with the Daily Graphic and Ghana Television in defense of his action. 

But the President who described himself as a man in a hurry noted while he swore in his Deputy Ministers noted the success of their in their assigned roles at their respective ministries will be a function of three things.

The firstly, he pointed out the spirit of loyalty that will be exhibited to their Ministers, especially as Article 79(1) of the Constitution provides that a Deputy Minister is appointed by the President, in consultation with the Minister and with the prior approval of Parliament, to assist the Minister in the performance of his or her functions.

“Loyalty to the Minister is the fundamental premise for the success of your work. I will not countenance any acts of disloyalty or subversion of your Minister, for I will take such an act as disloyalty to me personally, and, by inference, disloyalty to the Party and the State.

“Any Deputy, who thinks the route to advancement lies in your ability to subvert or undermine your Minister, will be sadly mistaken. You will not profit from that conduct in Akufo-Addo’s presidency. I want you to work with your Minister in all sincerity and transparency. That is the guarantee of your success, and our collective success,” he said.

He said the second element to success is the quality of integrity which will permeate the work of the deputy Ministers, stressing that the solemn commitment the NPP has made enjoins members of his government to serve the Ghanaian people honestly and competently.

“We are called to these public appointments to provide public service, not to promote our personal gain. Accordingly, you are required to file your assets declarations expeditiously.

“Indeed, our Manifesto compels me to notify the Auditor General of the names of all Article 71 office holders, such as yourselves, within two weeks of their appointment. You will be happy to know that all your Ministers have filed their assets declarations. Follow their example, and do so promptly,” he said.

The President emphasised that “The third element of the success of your work is hard workwork you bring to it. You have all been carefully chosen for your portfolios. Your educational and professional backgrounds and life experiences have dictated these choices.

“An opportunity is being afforded you to serve your country in an elevated capacity. Seize the opportunity with humility, but with determination, and perform, guided always by Almighty God.

“Shame your detractors, and, together, let us build that dignified, self-reliant, prosperous Ghana that successive generations of Ghanaian patriots and the founders of our free, democratic nation sought with their sweat, toil and blood.”

President Akufo-Addo urged the Deputy Ministers who, also, double as Members of Parliament not to renege on their duties as members of the Legislature, urging them to balance these roles effectively.

The obviously delighted President at assembling his central government faster than any of his predecessors in the Fourth Republic was grateful to Parliament for their co-operation in this undertaking.

He explaining that “sincere partnership between the legislative and executive arms of the state bodes well for the welfare of the Ghanaian people.”