General News of Tuesday, 9 May 2017
After appointing more than half of his 110 Ministers and deputies from two out of the ten administrative regions in Ghana, the President, Nana Akufo-Addo has yet again appointed majority of his Cabinet Ministers from the Ashanti and Eastern regions.
The aL-hAJJ can today report that, not only has the President skewed his “secret” Cabinet in favor of Eastern and Ashanti regions, he is also seen in breach of article 76 of the constitution with the appointment of 26 Ministers to serve in his yet-to-be published Cabinet, instead of the maximum of nineteen allowed by the constitution.
This, according to a source at the seat of government, explains why the President has been unable to make public the full list of his Cabinet despite hurriedly naming his “elephant-sized” administration four months after taking over the leadership of the country.
The source revealed that President Akufo-Addo appointed his Cabinet Ministers long before the last batch of Sector Ministers were approved by Parliament. This, the sourced said, was preceded with the appointment of a Secretary to Cabinet, Mrs Mercy Yvonne Debrah-Karikari on February 23 this year.
A leaked memo from the Flag Staff House in possession of The aL-hAJJ, which contains the list of Ministers appointed to serve on Cabinet, reveals that the Central and Western regions would have no representation at Cabinet.
Though Central region has two substantive Sector Ministers; Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Transport, and Prof Kwesi Yankah, a Minister of State at the Ministry of Education whiles, the Western region also has two; Tourism and Creative Art, and the Minister for Railway Development, Catherine Ablema Afeku and Joe Nana Ghartey respectively, none of them made it onto the list of President Akufo Addo’s Cabinet.
Not even Joe Nana Ghartey, Member of Parliament for Essikado Ketan who was also a senior Cabinet Minister in the John Kufuor administration, was considered worthy of joining the tall list of the President’s Cabinet.
The Eastern and Ashanti regions with nine and ten sector ministers respectively have seven each making it to the unprecedented 26 member Cabinet Ministers. Four of the Cabinet Ministers also comes from Northern region, three from Brong Ahafo; two from Greater Accra and one each from Volta, Upper East and West regions.
This is contrary to what pertained in immediate past President Mahama’s government, which had 19 Cabinet Ministers coming from all the ten regions of Ghana. Under the Mahama administration, Volta region had 2 Cabinet Ministers, Greater Accra, 2; Eastern 3; Northern 3; Brong Ahafo, 3; Central, 3 and Western, Ashanti, Upper East and West regions had one Cabinet Minister each.
The list of Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet Minister is contrary to article 76 (1) of the 1992 constitution which provides that “there shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and not less than TEN and not more than NINETEEN Ministers of State” which shall assist the president in the determination of general policy of government.
Though deputy Director of National Service Secretariat, Nana Boakye has confirmed that President Akufo-Addo has named his Cabinet, the President has failed to make it public despite persistent call by Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, MP for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak and other well-meaning Ghanaians.