The clearly capricious decision of President John Dramani Mahama to appoint two heads of communications in his office, at the same time that he maintains a cabinet appointee as head of the Ministry of Communications, must be roundly condemned (See “Malor’s Appointment Alarms, Confuses Me – Audrey Gadzekpo” Radioxyzonline / Ghanaweb 1/21/14).
What this means is that we presently have Messrs. Stanley Dogbe and Ben Dotse Malor acting in concert and severally as chief informational clearance officer at the presidency. We also, of course, have Mr. Koku Anyidoho, a carryover from the Mills-Mahama administration, functioning in the same capacity; at least that was the case the last time I checked. Couple this with the existence of a Ministry of Information, and the patently obscene and profligate duplication of cabinet portfolios could not be more nauseating.
Indeed, as Mr. Sekou Nkrumah, the notorious political maverick son of Ghana’s first president, aptly points out, the administrative focus of the Mahama regime ought to be squarely placed on the efficient dissemination of the government’s policy agenda and the progress of the same, and not simply on unproductively lining up the resumes of who President Mahama deems qualified to serve as the head of the communications sector in his office. And so far, even as Mr. Nkrumah rightly points out, the public relations machinery at the presidency does not appear to be working at full-throttle or the desired capacity (See “Mahama’s Malor Appointment Lacks Logic – Sekou” Ghanaweb?1/21/14).
The fact of the latest Mahama appointee’s having served as a news/program presenter at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has absolutely no relevance, whatsoever, unless, of course, Mr. Malor is also going to be assigned the exclusive duty of reading news fare generated by the Flagstaff House at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). And I am also quite certain that the recently deceased Mr. Vincent Assiseh, my uncle-in-law, by the way, did a far better job in the office of former President Jerry John Rawlings than any of these cynical social climbers and rambunctious upstarts.
I am also in full agreement with Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo, the former head of the University of Ghana’s School of Mass Communications, that Mr. Malor’s appointment is more of a sinecure than an administrative necessity. “It seems to me that we have yet another presidential staffer drawing on the consolidated fund,” Prof. Gadzepko was widely reported to have bitterly complained. In essence, what the well-known communication expert clearly seems to be implying here is that President Mahama is hell-bent on running the country bankrupt, that is, if his apparently reckless use of the people’s money, in the cynical entrenchment of himself in the seat of governance, is not promptly halted.
Such reckless use of the taxpayer’s money could be promptly stanched by Parliament, through its executive or presidential oversight committee. And the sooner the latter does so, the better would be the long-term benefit for our beloved Republic’s fiduciary health as a whole. Mr. Mahama ought not to be allowed to run the affairs of the people like his piggy-bank. And should he refuse to listen to the legislature, the president must be served an impeachment notice, even if this means the summary removal of Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho by a vote of no confidence, should the notoriously partisan Speaker of the House stand in the way of justice, accountability and fair play.
There is also a markedly rancid ethnocentric tinge to this unsavory and untenable stacking of the communications division of the presidency which needs to be promptly arrested. Fourth-Republican Ghana is a constitutional democracy, not a fiefdom. And the president ought to be told the same in no uncertain terms.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Jan. 21, 2014
E-mail: [email protected]