President Akufo-Addo’s promise not to operate a “family and friends” government when voted into power has turned out to be one of the many fake campaign promises the New Patriotic Party used to hoodwink Ghanaians into choosing the party ahead of the National Democratic Congress in last year’s general elections.
The aL-hAJJ’s assessment of appointments made by President Akufo-Addo since his government came to power on January 7 this year, revealed about seventy nine percent of persons serving in his oversized government are either the President’s blood relation or cronies.
President Akufo-Addo capped the list of relations roped into his government last month when he stunned the World with the appointment of his cousin, Justice Sophia Akuffo, as replacer for departing Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood.
The President kick started his family and friends government by appointing his cousin, Nana Asante Bediatuo as his Executive Secretary. He followed it up with appointment of persons known to be his close friends or cronies to several positions.
While many thought the President will live up to his promise not to operate family and friends administration, he has rather lined up relatives and associates and, assigned them to head “critical” and “juicy” ministries department and agencies.
Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta; Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Kyea; Minister Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta; Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo and others were among the President’s relatives he drafted into his government.
Many of the President’s friends and family relations have also landed jobs at the various state corporations and institutions, with some being appointed Chief Executives, Board Members or Chairmen. Ingrid Nana Adjoa Hackaman, wife of President Akufo-Addo’s nephew, Gabby Asare Otchere Darkoh, was only recently appointed board member for Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
In March this year, the President’s daughter, Miss Gyankroma Akufo-Addo was appointed together with Music Producer, Mark Okraku Mantey, and actress, Bibi Bright, to the Creative Arts Council.
The President has been accused of not looking beyond his family and friends in making appointments. Not surprisingly, some of his appointees occupying “juicy” positions are persons who worked at his law firm, Akufo-Addo, Prempeh and Co.
The Progressive People’s Party has been incensed by President Akufo-Addo’s “family and friends” packed government. Its National Chairman, Nii Allotey-Brew Hammond, has accused the President of reneging on his promise during the electioneering campaign to establish an all-inclusive government if he wins the election.
“How does a strictly partisan NPP local government ensure that all Ghanaians get the opportunity to participate in it?” he quizzed.
Then Candidate Akufo-Addo in January 2016 took a swipe at the then sitting President, John Dramani Mahama, accusing him of running “family and friends” administration. He promised that, that will not find place in his government when he is voted for.
“I won’t operate a family and friends government in Ghana and I can assure that every person in the country will have his fair share of the national cake,” Nana Akufo-Addo stated at an NPP fundraising event in the Ashanti Region on Saturday January 16, 2016.
However, since he won the December 2016 election and was subsequently sworn into office, majority of President Akufo-Addo’s appointments are either based on family relations or friendship. Out of 40 sector ministers he appointed, nineteen are his blood relations and or allies in the Ashanti and Eastern region.
Other Ministers from other regions are also the president’s known cronies. The family and friends criterion for appointing Ministers was also extended to the appointment of deputy Ministers, Chief Executives and board members among others.
Source: The aL-hAJJ