PRESIDENT JOHN Agyekum Kufuor yesterday sent a strong word of warning to ministers that he would not tolerate any act of inefficiency during the last leg of his administration.
“I refuse to be seen as a lame duck president”, he said.
The president sent the word of caution, when he swore in two new ministerial appointees, Vicky Bright and Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, to assume the offices of Deputy Minister at the Presidency and Minister of State at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs respectively.
The two were nominated for the respective positions by the President and following their vetting and subsequent approval by the Parliamentary Appointments Committee, Ms. Bright and Hon. Bonsu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Suame, were sworn in before their assumption of office as required by the laws of Ghana.
As part of the swearing in ceremony, President Kufuor administered the oath of office, secrecy and allegiance jointly and later presented to them their instruments of appointment.
After the new appointees had taken turns to sign the appointment acceptance book, the President congratulated them for their elevation and asked them to work hard, pointing out that the end of his tenure of office was around the corner but he would not tolerate any act of incompetence on the part of ministers in their line of duty.
He asked the Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to work in collaboration with his superiors, the parliamentary whips and fellow parliamentarians of both sides to be able to deliver efficiently.
In reference to the office of Ms. Bright, he explained that the country loses a lot of money through bad contracts and her job was to help the presidency curb that, although the Attorney General was also working in that direction.
“You are going to build a small office” and quickly added “not a counter to the Attorney General's, but help the presidency to take decisions on issues from the Attorney General's office to help the President take a second look at all documents.”
This, he said, “will mean your working around the clock and your total loyalty” to the state.
Concerns have been raised about the actual duty of the office of Ms Bright, but yesterday, the President explained that she was to serve as a liaison legal officer between the President and the Attorney General's Office.
“If you perform well, you will have a bright future,” the President told Ms Bright.
Hon. Bonsu expressed appreciation for the confidence reposed in them and pledged not to let the President down by working hard.
Using soccer imagery to depict how they intended to work, he said “In the game of football, late substitutes are brought in to prove a point,” he said, probably to answer critics who had not stopped asking questions about the appointments when the incumbent government had less than a year to hand over.
He as well pledged to work hand-in-hand with other colleagues at the helm of affairs to move the developmental agenda of government forward and put it on the pedestal to boost the confidence of the citizenry “in our party for us to retain power.
“We will do our best to brighten the corner where we are and let people realize that this is not an exercise in futility,” he indicated.
By Emelia Ennin