General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government, which has been described as the biggest since independence, is back to its 110 ministers, barely a month after it was reduced to 109, following the resignation of William Agyapong Quaitoo over his scatting ethnocentric remarks against people from the three northern regions.
The increment, follows the decision by the President to appoint Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Swedru, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, to replace resigned Mr. Quaitoo, as Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture.
Mr. Quaitoo, incurred the wrath of many, including the Minority in Parliament and even some northerners in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), when he went on radio challenging reports that farms in that part of the country, were being destroyed by fall army worm.
In a very derogatory manner he said; “If anybody who is the north and said his farm was destroyed by fall armyworm the person must prove it. Our brothers (in the North) it is so difficult to deal with them. I lived there for 27 years; I speak Dagbani like a Dagomba and all that.
They are very difficult people. Nobody can substantiate. If anybody says that his farm was destroyed by armyworm, the person would have to come and prove it. We have no records of that. It’s just a way of taking money from the government: that’s what they do all the time…”
His comment, did not go down well with many Ghanaians, who requested that he resigns or be sacked by the president.
Although, the deputy minister who is also an MP apologized, his plea was not taken and he had to resign.
After he left government, many Ghanaians, asked that he should not be replaced since his absence was not going to hurt the ministry or the government as the size of the government was already large.
But the president, has rubbished that call, and appointed Kennedy Osei Nyarko, who has since waded into the controversial army worm saga, claiming the pest have been defeated.
The MP told Starr News’ Ibrahim Alhassan, minutes after his nomination was announced by the Speaker of Parliament that the NPP government fought the worms and have successfully defeated it, a claim the farmers across the country have vehemently denied.
“This armyworm thing was something that was a bother to the government and at certain point in time when the government has introduced the planting for food and job program, and this was just derailing the effort of the government.
But the government didn’t sit down, we fought it head-on and we have defeated it. It was an issue but now it is no more. Things are going on and the government has defeated it. Now you are not hearing about it. The government took a bold decision and we have defeated it from the system,” Kennedy Osei Nyarko said.
The claim by the minister-nominee, comes exactly six days after his boss the Agric minister, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, told Morning Starr host, Francis Abban, that the worms cannot be fully defeated, because they are “here to stay”.
“The fall armyworm is a biological phenomenon. They have been here in Ghana for two years, in Africa for two years. They will become part of our fauna.
Ultimately, they will be here. Since this is a phenomenon, the armyworm is here and they have come to stay. They will never go away. The challenge is to control them and I am saying that we have controlled them”, he said.