All ministers who are parading themselves as presidential aspirants, going round canvassing for votes in view if the next New Patriotic Party Congress, have been urged to hand their resignations.
Party General Secretary, Ohene Ntow who issued the edict in an interview gave two reasons: “Those ministers would have time to pursue their ambitions and those who succeed them as ministers would work harder to enhance the chances of the party.
He said: “Those ministers will better be advised to focus on their work as ministers to pull up the performance of government to resign so that come whatever time, they may have to be presidential candidates, they'll all have a strong platform to campaign.”
By inference, those the General Secretary is asking to bow out of government are Defence Minister, Dr Addo Kufuor, Foreign Affairs Minister Nana Akuffo Addo, Works, Housing and Water Resources Minister, Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Professor Mike Ocquaye who is Communications Minister and Alan Kyeremanten, the Trade Minister.
Nana Ohene Ntow did not have a serious beef with some other aspirants, such as ordinary parliamentarians who are also scheming for the slot. What he said concerning campaigning generally was that “there is no law that debars people from lobbying and from showing their interest. We have not had a huge concern; people have not been totally out of order”. Nonetheless, he said the headquarters of the party had been observing with considerable concern the whole canvassing going on and that “sooner or later we may need to engage all interested parties in a discussion over the proper process as to how to go about it”.
Those whose campaigns seem not to bother the secretary much, that is the non- ministers, include ex-Regional Integration and NEPAD, Kofi Konadu Apraku, who is also MP for Offinso North, ex- deputy Interior Minister Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, MP for Berekum; and Yaw Osafo Marfo, ex- Minister of Education and MP for Akyem Oda who started canvassing enthusiastically last year but whose activities are hardly heard of these days.
Implicit in the chief scribe's statement is the idea that others who are neither ministers nor MPs could also continue canvassing but in an orderly way so as not to create a problem for the party.
So far, those who fall under this group include Prof. Frimpong Boateng who has been called upon to resign his post as Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for a different from that of the ministers; Dr Kobina Arthur Kennedy, the US- domiciled medic who launched his campaign at Cape Coast recently and Dr Boakye Agyarko, Vice President for the Bank of New York.
From the General Secretary's speech, it was not clear whether Vice President Aliu Mahama, who is also part of the President's governing council, should also resign, as he has been campaigning east and west; centre, north and south of the country.