A day after Education Minister Betty Mould-Iddrisu resigned from her ministerial portfolio, President John Evans Atta Mills and selected members of his cabinet and members of the Council of State went into a crunch meeting to discuss the next line of action to prop up his performance.
The meeting was held at the Peduase Lodge, the presidential facility off the Accra-Aburi road, in the early hours of yesterday.
It lasted a few hours and the president and his team of advisors were back to base in Accra, with President Mills still keeping his cards close to his chest and the issue about the reshuffle still open.
Though details about the meeting were sketchy, information indicates that it had something to do with the much-awaited cabinet reshuffle. President Mills is said to have earlier met a number of his ministers who are likely to fall, but some are still engaged in intense lobbying using chiefs and priests.
Sources at the seat of government, the Osu Castle, told DAILY GUIDEthe President was likely to release the list of his reshuffled ministers in the course of the week.
But even before the anticipated reshuffle, Employment and Social Welfare Minister, Enoch Teye Mensah has been asked to act as Minister of Education.
A statement from the presidency signed by Communications Director at the Castle, Koku Anyidoho, yesterday said, “Mr. Enoch Teye Mensah has been assigned additional responsibility to oversee the Education Ministry until further notice.”
It acknowledged the president’s receipt of Betty’s resignation letter and thanked her for the services she rendered to the government and people of Ghana during the period she served in the position, and wished her well in her future endeavours.
Betty had resigned under a bizarre circumstance, giving room for speculations, with some attributing it to her involvement in the award of the GH¢58million judgment debt to the self-acclaimed financier of the NDC.
Betty tendered her resignation late Monday evening ahead of the much-anticipated cabinet shuffle which, according to sources, was likely to see her exit from government.
Castle sources said though President Mills had hinted Betty of his decision to remove her as minister and offered her an appointment as Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada, she turned down the offer.
According to sources, Betty was scheduled for removal as part of efforts to save the face of government in the Woyome scandal in which she awarded GH¢58million to self-acclaimed financier of the NDC as judgment debt at the time she was the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
This was in spite of the fact that there was no existing contract between the state and Mr. Woyome.
The immediate past Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, is alleged to have indicted Betty in the alleged concealment of crimes against the people of Ghana in the payment of GH¢58million to Woyome.
He claimed that a colleague minister had hired what he described as “a criminal-minded and rented NDC press” to attack his integrity.
But the appointment of E.T. Mensah as stand-in Education Minister has sparked serious debate among some Ghanaians and even staff of the ministry who think the man would not be up to the task.
Some attribute this to his poor handling of the Employment and Social Welfare Ministry where he is the substantive minister, with a series of labour agitations.
Analysts believe E.T. Mensah does not have the ability to handle the more challenging and delicate Education Ministry.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu/