General News of Thursday, 31 May 2018
If former president John Mahama’s social media post a few days back is a subtle indication of his intentions of making a return to the presidency, then just another spanner has been thrown into his wheels.
This time not by potential challengers for the National Democratic Congress’ presidential primaries but by Professor Stephen Adei, a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
The learned professor, who is credited for reforming GIMPA from a sordid past to its present glory, stands by his accusations against the former president’s administration.
The former rector and former UN ambassador to Namibia and South Africa believes the John Mahama-led administration proved incompetent in leadership, had high levels of corruption and got it wrong with some appointments which were not in the interest of Ghana.
“I still stand by [what I said]. That at a certain point [Mr Mahama] had let Ghana down by quality of leadership, you may agree or disagree but professionally that is what I came to. I think that corruption which has been with us was on the ascendancy. And thirdly, I felt that some appointments were wrong and not in the interest of Ghana.”
Prof Adei, who seized the opportunity on a Media General dialogue programme to explain his silence on the alleged ills of the Nana Addo-Bawumia government quizzed who in Nana Akufo-Addo’s government he should criticise.
He argues that for two years under the Mahama administration, he did not utter a word because he knew governing was difficult and required some time for any new leadership to find its foot.
“For the first two years under Mahama, I never made a statement. Why? Because I know it is difficult.”
But Prof. Stephen Adei might not be entirely right.
Right if he says he has not criticised the president directly but he is on record to have complained about the number of vehicles on Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s convoy.
Reports had it that the vociferous critic of public office holders at an event said the following:
“So far, the government is doing well, except that if you go to the right quarters, tell them that the next time I see Bawumia or any of them travelling with 16 four-wheel drives, occupying the two lanes, I’m going to do a one-man crusade. That must be stopped at once.”
The former UN Ambassador says it is only prudent to give any government time even to understand their policy to fairly judge them; like he is doing with the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda of the current government.
“Let Akufo-Addo, do the same and some citizen vigilantes will talk but I will never talk in the first year of a government trying to find its feet with an agenda which I myself have to understand”.
Prof Adei, however, has admirations of Ken Ofori Atta.
Prof Adei argues, as a serving advisory board member of the Finance Ministry who has served in the same capacity since 2009, he has a fair idea of the workings of the Ministry and that Ken Ofori Atta’s mention as the Most Outstanding Finance Minister on the African continent is proof of his acumen and that he should be given sometime.
“To have been voted the best minister of finance in the whole of Africa in one and half years, it means he is doing something good and I think that has to be acknowledged…”
Professor Adei was outraged by what he described as “uncivil from a civil servant” with the Civil and Local Government Staff of Association (CLOGSAG) for citing Mr Ofori-Atta in bringing on board over 30 non-career employees (special assistants and technical advisors) to the Ministry of Finance, a situation they claim is a threat to the workings of civil servants, most of whom are members of CLOGSAG.
Professor Adei maintains, however, the phenomenon of special assistants taking over the jobs of civil servants is due to the refusal of civil servants and fore-thinking especially when it comes to the implementation of elected governments’ policies.
The Professor’s seeming defence will, however, not go down well with the Minority Members of Parliament and the pro-NDC, an anti-graft organisation Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG).
The two groups have in the past months brought allegations against the person of Ken Ofori-Atta and his management of the Finance Ministry.
DYMOG, which is of the view that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, had put himself in a position of conflict of interest in the issuance of 5-year, 7-year, 10-year and 15-year bonds that raised some $2.25 billion as at April 3, 2017.
The group first petitioned the Commission of Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and when they were not satisfied with the investigation and verdict of CHRAJ, proceeded to court.
The matter is currently before the Supreme Court.
The Minority caucus largely made up of NDC members have called on the Finance Minister to resign or be dismissed and subsequently prosecuted for breaches in connection with the issuance of what has become the controversial $2.25 billion bond of 2017.
They allege that findings contained in a report of CHRAJ on the bond vindicate their position that the bond was fraught with irregularities and did not comply with Ghanaian laws.
Professor Adei was a member of a high profile panel on Media General’s intellectually stimulating program, Accra Dialogue, on Wednesday.