SHAKEUP AT FLAGSTAFF HOUSE LOOMS

Peter Amewu For Local Gov’t, Alan Cash For Employment, Otiko Djaba To be Kicked Out

…Bawumia Kept In The Dark Over Key Issues

President Nana Akufo-Addo is set to make major changes at the Flagstaff House soon, a move that will see several big names replaced, some sent outside the shores of Ghana, while others, especially those who hit media headlines for being on the wrong side of the President, thrown out.

The ministerial reshuffle, including changes in key posts, is likely to take place in the coming weeks after discussions between the President and some prominent persons in his party.

A source close to the political desk at the Presidency told The Republic the imminent reshuffle is as a result of power-play among some powerful personalities around the President.

The impending shake-up at the Presidency is actually a prelude to a cabinet reshuffle, originally scheduled for the first quarter of next year, but has to be released in the coming weeks of this last quarter of the year, for unexplained reasons.

The Republic’s attempts to establish contact with the communication department at the Presidency to confirm or deny the names being penciled down for the reshuffle proved futile.

Some of the top names expected to be reshuffled or removed from post, according to our source, include John Peter Amewu, who would be moved to the Local Government Ministry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, aka Alan Cash, Employment and Labour Relation, and Ignatius Baffour Awuah, who will move from Employment to replace Amewu at Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.

Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister, will move to Canada or Switzerland, as Ghana’s envoy, and this means the Senior Minister portfolio will be scrapped, while Asenso Boakye, a Deputy Chief of Staff, who was recently cleared of corruption allegation by police after the allegation made by loud-mouthed musician, A-Plus, failed to fly, goes to the Information Ministry to replace Mustapha Hamid.

Hon. Anthony Osei Akoto, Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, has also been penciled to take over from Alan Cash as Trade and Industry Minister, while Hajia Alima Mahama moves to the Northern Region to take over from Salifu Saeed as Regional Minister, our sources claimed.

It appears the Akyem elements around President Akufo- Addo feel very unsafe working with some, as the acrimony between appointees at the seat of government thickens, hence the reshuffle.

Our source mocked that some of them would have to be looking for new jobs somewhere else, rather than in the Akufo-Addo government, as they have been tagged as either, “non-performing ministers or Kufuor boys,”

One name which pops up likely to be the first casualty to be kicked out from Akufo-Addo government is Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba. It appears the verdict to remove Otiko Djaba from the Gender Ministry is unanimous both within and outside the corridors of power in the ruling party, “Otiko must go.”

It was gathered that, beside her brawls with Daniel Bugri Naabu, Northern Regional Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), the careless-talking Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection has also been chided for not being able to equalise the sterling performance of Nana Oye Lithur, her predecessor, at the Gender Ministry.

The complaint is that the gender and social protection policies of the government appear to have collapsed just eight months of the four-year term of the government, under the watch of Madam Otiko.

Other party faithful believe that there had not been any achievements of government on gender issues, because the issues have not been propagated sufficiently and effectively.

It is suggested that Ms. Mavis Hawah Koomson, Minister of Special Development Initiatives, or Ms Patricia Appiagyei, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, could have done much better at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Insiders however said that Ms.Clara Nanpaga, a Presidential staffer, or Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Fisheries and Aquaculture Development minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Krowor, may replace Otiko Djaba at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Our source also hinted that, as part of the Akyem group plan to redesign a looting spree and to be able to cover up, the senior minister position should be scrapped to avoid conflict between Osafo-Maafo and Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance and “great schemer” of the government economic team.

Alan Cash, according to the source, was also penciled to be kicked out, but some power brokers admonished against his early removal on grounds that it is too early and that that could be done in the next reshuffle, which may occur between 2018 and 2019.

The new faces that are likely to appear in the list of ministers after the reshuffle are Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, the illegally ousted General Secretary, K.T. Hammond, MP for Adansi-Asokwa, and Frederick Opare Ansah, MP for Suhum.

The source explained that this imminent reshuffle is to punish and silence those who, though they know best but have started challenging certain government decisions, especially award of juicy contracts to Ken Agyapong, Assin Central lawmaker and loudmouthed self- styled financier of the NPP.

Those caught criticizing the government decision to issue the $2.25 billion bond, the bad treatment of former President John Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, the appointment of family members and friends (nepotism), public criticism and its negative effect on the party, among others, will be affected by the reshuffle.

The source added that the reshuffle is also another plan by the President to remove persons loyal to ex-President John Kufuor and to fix his own core trusted people to do the looting so the Akyem block could have more power, both in government and at the party level.

There are also indications that some deputy ministers may be moved around or shown the exit purely on account of the fact that they do not seem to get along well with their ministers.

It is also rumored that, in the Education Ministry, there have been what some call personality clashes between Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempreh, the minister, and his colleague Minister of State at the Ministry, Professor Kwesi Yankah.

The situation at the Ministries of Health, Food and Agriculture and Roads and Highways may not be too different.

In the reshuffle which is expected in the second week of October, this year, the President is said to be considering the removal of “arrogant and nonperforming ministers” and their changes are inevitable.

The insider told The Republic that, another issue that is most disturbing and may soon explode if care is not taken is the simmering bad relation between the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The Vice President is oftentimes not consulted or informed of certain economic decisions, and when he seeks to find out after he gets wind of it, he is either not told the truth or is completely snubbed.

This bad manner or attitude toward the veep, the number two man of the land, mostly by the Akyem group, is creating tension at the Flagstaff House and some of the ministers who are suspected to be loyal to the Vice President are being penciled down for the ministerial reshuffle as well.

Enquiries to officialdom to ascertain the authenticity of the information on the reshuffle drew blank responses yesterday, as they remain tight-lipped.

 

 

 

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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