President John Evans Atta Mills yesterday carried out his much-anticipated ministerial reshuffle, resulting in minor casualties.
Among those dropped are Information Minister John Akologo Tia, Health Minister Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Upper West Regional Minister, Issahaqu Salia and Deputy Volta Regional Minister Col. Cyril Neku (rtd).
Some other ministers and their deputies were reassigned to other ministries while some new faces were introduced. Sources say more ministers are on the firing line and that yesterday’s exercise was just a dress rehearsal.
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, who was moved from the Interior Ministry to be the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, is gradually becoming the most reshuffled minister in the Mills administration.
He replaces Martin Amidu who was sacked from his position by the President after threatening to expose a colleague minister and some members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) he claimed were concealing ‘gargantuan crimes against the people of Ghana.’
Though the President has already directed Dr Kunbuor to pursue the Woyome case to its logical conclusion, it is not too clear whether he would continue from where Amidu left off by demanding a refund of the amount of GH¢51million paid to the self-acclaimed NDC financier, Alfred Woyome as judgment debt.
Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister Alban Bagbin, has been moved to the Ministry of Health while Employment and Social Welfare Minister E.T Mensah goes to Water Resources, Works and Housing Ministry.
President Mills has appointed Nabdan MP, Moses Asaga, as Minister for Employment and Social Welfare and appointed former CID Director, William Aboah, as Minister for the Interior.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Lee Ocran returns home to take the position of Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu who resigned her position as Minister of Education a couple of days ago amid the Woyome scandal.
With the entry of Lee Ocran, the Western Region can now boast of a cabinet minister after George Sipa Yankey was shown the exit over the Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal.
Ace-comedian and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour, is taking over from John Tia as the third Information Minister in three years.
A group describing itself as ‘Concerned NDC Youth of Ablekuma South’ has already raised issues with Fritz’s appointment as a minister.
According to the group, the President seems to endorse him as his preferred choice for the impending Parliamentary primaries for the area after endorsing his candidature during a recent visit to the constituency.
The country’s ambassador to Egypt, Amin Amidu Sulemani, also returns home to serve as the Upper West Regional Minister whilst NDC kingpin, Said Sinare, who is of Egyptian parentage, goes to replace him as ambassador in the Arab nation.
He had earlier rejected an appointment as a board member of Ghana Post on the basis that he was not a post master.
MP for Garu/Timpane, Dominic Azembe Azumah, gets called up to be added to the numerous appointees serving as Ministers of State at the Presidency, with Mfantseman West MP Aquinas Tawiah Quansah leaving the Ministry of Local Government for the Central Region as a deputy to Ama Benyiwa Doe.
James Agyenim-Boateng returns to the Information Ministry from Tourism to be replaced by Baba Jamal who turned the Information Ministry into propaganda machinery for government. Dr Edward Omane Boama now heads for the Ministry of Youth and Sports as a Deputy Minister.
Henry Ametepey has been appointed the Deputy Volta Regional Minister whilst Dr Mustapha Ahmed replaces Dr Boamah as the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, with Nii Nortey Dua now going to Water Resources, Works and Housing as a Deputy Minister.
Among the new faces are Steven Ackah and Isaac Vanderpuije, who are going to the Local Government Ministry and Greater Accra Region respectively as Deputy Ministers.
Some of these ministries have had not less than three ministers since President Mills assumed the reins of power.
These include the Ministry of Works and Housing; from Albert Abongo to Alban Bagbin and now E.T Mensah, Health; Health; from Sipa Yankey to Benjamin Kunbuor, Yieleh Chireh and now Alban Bagbin, Upper West; from Mahmud Khalid to Alhaji Issahaqu Salia and now Amidu Sulemana, Attorney-General; from Betty Mould-Iddrisu to Martin Amidu and now Benjamin Kunbuor, Education; from Alex Tettey-Enyo to Betty Mould-Iddrisu and now Lee Ocran whilst the Employment and Social Welfare Ministry has had Stephen Amanor Kwao who failed to retain his position as NDC Parliamentary candidate for Yilo Krobo, E.T Mensah and now Moses Asaga.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu