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07.02.2009 Feature Article

Bye Bye Moses Asaga

The swift manner in which President Mills withdrew the nomination of Mr. Moses Asaga for consideration as Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, gives a clear signal that this man means business. This is one of the rare occasions that a minister has been nominated and did not see the light of vetting before being withdrawn by the president. I do hope other nominees have taken note.

Even though we all do not know the whole story, shred of information filtering in from Joy FM and other sources indicate that Mr. Asaga was deeply involved in the signing off of the end-of-service package for former officials, without consulting other government officials, thus incurring the displeasure of the president.

I have always said some people always call unnecessary attention to themselves without using their heads or read the issues of the day. I clearly believe that based on the way this end-of-service package has generated a heated debate all over Ghana, even if Moses Asaga was an NPP member, he would have taken caution and not signed off on the deal without consulting anybody for advice.

His plea with President Mills to tamper justice with mercy since he has other strengths that would be vital to the development of the country is simply bunkum. If Asaga could single-handedly do something like that even before he was confirmed and sworn in, then heaven help Ghanaians if this man had assumed office as Minister. I will not shear any tears for Asaga.

I am hoping President Mills would not let this matter die. With news that he has instituted investigations into circumstances leading to what Asaga did by signing off on the deal, we Ghanaians would like to know the outcome. I think if Asaga is found to have done anything creepy, he should be penalized to serve as a deterrent to others.

We do not know when Asaga signed off on the deal, but if it is found out that he signed off after the President has called for the review of the package, then Asaga has a lot of answers to provide not only to the President but Ghanaians as a whole. Ghana continues to bleed because of the carelessness and untoward actions by some government officials.

No wonder ex-president Kufour has continued to keep mute because he has already benefited from part of the deal. I guess he has been smiling to the bank whilst some sectors of Ghanaians have been making empty noises about the whole package.

Even though President Mills has called for the suspension of further payments on the deal, I believe he did not go far. What needs to be done is for the President to ask those who have cashed the released service package to refund the monies back to the state coffers until the review of the whole package is complete.

The country has been besieged with so many financial anomalies and this issue has to be dealt with swiftly. The transition teams on various ministries have to finish their work in time and release their findings for all Ghanaians to know what is out there. There are currently so many accusations and counter accusations and the only way for Ghanaians to know the truth is for the final reports to be released.

Meanwhile, I do not share any tears for Asaga if indeed he did what we are hearing. Those who are appointed to higher offices in our country must use good judgment in discharging their duties. I think if the money belongs to Asaga he would at least have played a little hardball to buy some time before signing off on the money. I guess it is time for me to say bye Asaga. So long.

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Ekua Kwansema
Ekua Kwansema, © 2009

This author has authored 75 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: EkuaKwansema

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