Prez with members of the Council of State President John Evans Atta Mills has indicated to the newly inaugurated members of the Council of State that one of their immediate tasks is to review the Chinery-Hesse Report which has generated a lot of controversy in the country in recent weeks.
The President made this remark at the Credential Hall of the Osu Castle, where he swore-in the members of the Council of State and later presented them with their Instrument of Office.
According to him, the delay in the constitution of the Council had affected the smooth running of his administration and now that the Council had been formed, the members would not be allowed to rest.
He reminded them of their heavy responsibilities and urged them to be forthright in their duties as advisors to the President.
The Number One Citizen acknowledged the vast experience of the members and urged them to be “critical, frank, transparent and objective” with his government to ensure that promises they made to Ghanaians were fulfilled.
President Mills reminded Ghanaians that Ghana had only one President and one government and therefore it would be erroneous for any individual or group of people to take the law into their own hands.
He advised all to abide by the rule of law, stressing that the security agents had been given orders to arrest anyone, irrespective of the person's political leaning, and deal with such persons according to the laws of the land.
President Mills urged Ghanaians not to feel intimidated or unsafe and “you should not feel abandoned”.
For his part, Vice-President John Dramani Mahama said the era where it was perceived that members of the Council of State were sycophants, retirees or pensioners who would tell “the President what he wants to hear” was over.
He equated the Council of State to a Second Chamber of the Legislature and that if they would perform their roles well as indicated in the Constitution, they would succeed in erasing any false impressions about the Council.
Vice-President Mahama acknowledged the rich experience and expertise of the members and urged them to be frank with whatever advice they wanted to offer the President.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Prof. Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor assured the President of members' preparedness to be at his beck and call.
He stressed that “we're not going to be your sycophants but will tell you as it is” but not using the mass media as a way of commenting on national issues.
The members were Lieutenant-General Arnold Quinoo (rtd), former General Officer Commanding the Ghana Armed Forces; Peter Nanfuri, former Inspector-General of Police; Professor Nabilla, President of the National House of Chiefs; J.H. Owusu Acheampong, elected to represent the Brong Ahafo Region; Nana Asiama Poku Afrifa, elected to represent the Ashanti Region; Pkan-Naa Mohammed Baba Bawah, elected to represent the Northern Region and Dr. Bernard Kwasi Glover, elected to represent the Volta Region.
Others were Very Reverend Dr. Jacob Ayeebo, elected to represent the Upper East Region; George Kofi Dadzi, elected to represent the Western Region; Naa Seidu Braimah, elected to represent the Upper West Region; Osabarima Owusu Gyamadu III, elected to represent the Eastern Region; Ato Essuman, elected to represent the Central Region; Mrs. Victoria Addy, Presidential Appointee; Mrs. Cecilia Johnson, Presidential Appointee; Prof. Akilakpa Sawyerr, Presidential Appointee; Prof. Kofi Awoonor, Presidential Appointee; Daasebre Kwubu Ewusi VII, Presidential Appointee; Alhaji Asuma Banda, Presidential Appointee and Hajara Musa Ali, Presidential Appointee.
The rest were Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, Presidential Appointee; Nana Akuako Sarpong, Presidential Appointee; Otumfuo Badu Bonsu XV, Presidential Appointee; and Rev. Nii Amo Darko, Presidential Appointee.
By Wisdom Peter Awuku