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14.02.2009 Politics

President Mills demands selfless service from his ministers

President Mills demands selfless service from his ministers

President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday swore in 10 of the first batch of 11 Ministers approved by Parliament and exhorted them to give selfless service to the nation and to avoid ostentatious lifestyles.

The President administered the Oaths of Allegiance, Office and Secrecy to the Ministers, and reminded them that Government had come at a particularly interesting time when Ghanaians expected nothing but devoted service and accountability from their leaders.

The Ministers, who were approved by Parliament earlier in the day, were Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education; Mr Cletus Avoka, Minister of The Interior; Mr Joseph Yieleh-Chireh, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development; Ms Akua Dansua, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs and Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways.

The others were Mr Collins Dauda, Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources; Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy; Mr Mike Hammah, Minister of Transport and Dr Kwabena Dufuor, Minister of Finance and Mrs Juliana Azumah Mensah, Minister of Tourism.

Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Minister-Designate of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General, could not be sworn in because she had travelled outside the country.

President Mills told the Ministers to start work immediately and “hit the ground running”, reminding them that they had been chosen from among equally qualified people.

He said the task of the Government was a sacred one and urged the Ministers to exhibit commitment, selflessness, and openness and to live up to expectation to justify the confidence reposed in them and to deliver on the change for better and improved lives promised Ghanaians during the electioneering campaign.

The nation, he said, was faced with challenges and urged them not to use the resources for themselves, but to the good of the people of Ghana, else the people would decide to abandon them and would consequently fail in their role as leaders.

President Mills cautioned the Ministers against extravagance, profligate and ostentatious lifestyles.

“The hallmark of our administration is selfless service and humility, and if the people you are leading do not feel they can go along with you, they'll drop you,” President Mills said.

He said as a social democratic Government, the Ministers should not feel ashamed to display uncanny affection towards the underprivileged and the deprived, as they had embarked on a sacred journey of serving the people of Ghana.

The President prayed for God's wisdom, guidance and determination as they embarked on their journey to render privileged service to the nation.

“We pray the Almighty to shower us with his bountiful blessing,” President Mills said.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama congratulated the Ministers on their appointment and for successfully going through the vetting process, but reminded them that political office was not a permanent office, which demanded that they eschewed arrogance.

He said: “You see how the people of Ghana can punish arrogance in political office?” He also reiterated the President's position to be selfless and upright in their new political roles.

He urged them to sincerely avoid abuse of office and conflict of interest, saying as chiefs implementers of Government policies, they had to do their best to deliver on the promises to Ghanaians and to exhibit modesty in the discharge of their duties.

Mr. Tettey-Enyo, on behalf of his colleague Ministers, congratulated the President and the Vice on their assumption to the two highest political offices of the land.

He said they were happy for their appointment and pledged their support to the President to administer the nation.

The President later presented the Ministers with their Instrument of Office.