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03.02.2009 Politics

Mills Hot Over Spio

By Daily Guide
Dr Ekwow Spio-GarbrahDr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah

Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that President John Evans Atta Mills has come under the most intense pressure in his entire career, following his failure to 'reward' some of his faithful lieutenants with ministerial appointments. 

Shaken to its very foundation over this paper's exclusive story last week Thursday on the pitiable sidelining of Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Chief Executive of London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), the Office of the President has dashed to make belated amends and save its face.

Presidency sources said a meeting was held with Spio over the weekend in Accra to placate him for leaving his name out.

DAILY GUIDE can say that not even the on-going campaign in a section of the print media to douse the raging inferno will help matters for the presidency as several National Democratic Congress (NDC) activists and admirers of Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor, Enoch Teye Mensah, Dr. Tony Aidoo and Michael Teye Nyaunu are at the throats of those behind what they see as the betrayal of their idols.

Fuming with rage, the NDC activists debunked allegations that Dr. Spio-Garbrah, by virtue of his international employment, needs three months to come down to fill any ministerial vacancy in Ghana, and questioned the case of Mrs. Betty Mould-Idrisu, who at the time of her nomination, was Director of Legal and Constitutional Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

“They are lying to Ghanaians. If it was possible for Betty to settle for her position, why is it impossible for Spio. My brother, some people in the party simply don't want to see his face”, said an aggrieved member.

According to latest information gathered from the presidency, it was only over the last weekend when the former Education Minister was preparing to emplane to Abuja, that the Secretary to the President, James K. Bebaako-Mensah interacted with Spio over how to rectify the anomaly.

The presidency, according to sources, is now pleading with the former minister who contested with Mills for the NDC presidential slot to present his resume for consideration for ministerial appointment.

DAILY GUIDE gathered from deep-throat sources that Spio was penciled for the Foreign Minister position by the Nominations Sub-Committee, alongside the committee chairman, Alhaji Mahama Idrissu, Dr. Tony Aidoo and Victor Gbeho, who served in a similar capacity in the last lap of the Rawlings administration.

The sources further revealed that President Mills had personally called Spio to indicate his choice of ministry before the names of the nominees were released, to which he asked the President to use his discretion.

The sources stressed that even though the CEO of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization looked like an obvious choice, his name was miraculously replaced with that of Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, who had been tipped for the Interior Ministry.

The excuse offered was that the latter has to be compensated for losing the running mate position to John Mahama after being promised the slot.

“If Mumuni is now compensated for merely being a running mate in 2004, what about Martin Amidu, who partnered Prof Mills in 2000?  They only want Spio to present a list of his people to them so they will have an opportunity to silence them.”

DAILY GUIDE is also reliably informed that trouble is also brewing in the Lower Manya Krobo constituency of the NDC over the same issue.

A group of concerned party activists have called on the President to keep his promise to them and give a ministerial appointment to the MP of the area, Michael Nyaunu.

According to the youth, who were led by one Frank Kwadjo Baah, an NDC activist, the professor, in his campaign ahead of the December elections, announced on a platform that he would give them a key to the Castle should they vote for him.

“We have voted for him, and he must keep the promise”, he said.

Political observers were amazed at the team the President nominated for ministerial appointments, saying those who laid down their lives for the party have been emasculated and sidelined.

Some of them argued that in spite of his foreign employment, Spio flew down to Ghana on seven different occasions to campaign for Mills and even made heavy financial contributions to the campaign. He also arranged for contributors in aid of the Mills campaign.

They said the likes of Tony Aidoo, Ben Kumbuor, E.T. Mensah and Victor Gbeho have more to offer the present government than the current list of nominees, some of whom had never been seen on NDC platforms before.

By Bennett Akuaku