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21.01.2009 Politics

New caretaker Defence Minister to be announced soon

By Stephen Odoi Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Barely 24hours after the demise of Vice Admiral Owusu Ansah (Rtd), the President is said to be considering the option of making a new appointment to replace him.

Sources have told this paper that the President will nominate somebody to take temporary charge of the Defense Ministry until a substantive Minister is appointed to fill the position.

It is, however, unclear who is set to occupy the vacant position which has been created by the demise of the late Vice Admiral Owusu Ansah.

In an exclusive interview with the paper yesterday, Spokesperson for the government Transition team, Ms. Hannah Tetteh expressed shock at the death of Mr. Owusu Ansah.

Whilst admitting that it was a big blow to the new administration, she noted that the President would dig deep into the wealth of expertise available to him to designate somebody to occupy the position.

“It's a loss because when you lose someone of that level of experience and ability, it is always something that demoralises us, because it means someone who has that kind of insight is unfortunately no longer with us. But having said that, there is a wealth of experience within the NDC and people who are also capable of giving the same level of advice and corporation, there would be an appropriate person to be designated to take over that responsibility in the very short term, until the President's nominee for Minister of Defense is approved by Parliament”, she emphasized.

She was, however, not forthcoming with the name(s) of people who are being considered for the job. That notwithstanding, she noted that in due time, the President will make a new appointment in that regard.

Touching on the health condition of the late Vice Admiral prior to his death at the 37 Military Hospital last Sunday, Ms. Tetteh said he was managing a medical condition but stressed that the ban placed on him from entering military installations was a challenge with respect to the kind of medical treatment he was supposed to be suffering from.

“He had a kidney problem and for that reason, he needed to have access to health facilities. When he was banned from military installations, it was a challenge in respect of him having the kind of medical treatment that he was supposed to have had in order to manage his medical condition”, she noted.

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