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01.12.2009 Politics

President will not dismiss Civil Servants on political lines

By GNA
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President will not dismiss Civil Servants on political lines

November 24, 2009
Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - President John Atta Mills would not remove any Civil Servant from office, solely on the account of political or party affiliation to fulfil the demand of some party activists.

Presidential Spokesperson, Mr Mahama Ayariga who said this on Tuesday stressed that no one would be dismissed from his/her Civil Service post without just cause once the appointment was not political.

Where a position is clearly a political appointment, such as Minister of State, or a Member of a Board of a Public Corporation, the power is in the hands of the President to effect that change.

Mr Ayariga, who was speaking at a press conference at the Osu Castle in Accra, said there was no need to remove any competent Civil Servant who was discharging his or her duties by executing Government policies and programmes, solely on the grounds that the official was not a supporter of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The press conference was to react to a number of issues that have come up, the principal of which was an allegation that President Mills was ignoring the NDC and not making appointments from the Party.

Mr Ayariga said any removal of an official in the Civil Service would be based on the rules governing the Service and evidence that the official was sabotaging Government policies and programmes.

He denied that President Mills was ignoring his party, and said the Mills Government was the one that had had the highest number of appointments made directly from the NDC.

"Even the NDC I (from 1992 to 2000) never witnessed such a massive scale of party officials directly taking up Government appointment," Mr Ayariga said, and gave out a list of party officials that had directly taken up Government appointments.

These include the national Chairman of the Party, who is the Chairman of the Board of GETFund and also sits in Cabinet meetings; the Vice Chairman Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, who is the Chairman of the Bulk Oil Storage Transport Limited.

The General Secretary of the Party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah openly declared his desire to remain at the Party office and not to occupy a ministerial position, but attends Cabinet meetings.

The National Women's Organiser, Ms Ama Benyiwa Doe is now the Central Regional Minister; the two Deputy General Secretaries - Mr Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah and Alhaji Baba Jamal are now Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Deputy Minister of Eastern Region respectively, while the National Youth Organiser Mr Ofosu Ampofo now is the Eastern Regional Minister.

Others are Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the then National Youth Organiser, is now the Minister of Communications; the Propaganda Secretary Mr Fiifi Kwetey, is now a Deputy Minister of Finance and Mrs Margaret Clarke-Kwesie, the National Treasurer has moved to become Ghana's Ambassador to Korea.

Explaining further, Mr Ayariga said some Regional Chairmen of the Party were offered ambassadorial appointments. Those who accepted the appointments included the Volta Regional Chairman, Mr Modestus Ahiable and the Ashanti Regional Chairman Mr Daniel Ohene Agyekum.

"It is important to observe that none of the core members of the campaign team of Professor Mills in the 2008 campaign - Nii Lamptey Vanderpuije, Mr Koku Anyidoho or Mr Mahama Ayariga - took up ministerial appointments.

On the cadre front, Mr Ayariga said President Mills appointed Mr Sam Garbah as Administrator of the GETFUND and Mr Kofi Portuphy took back his position as National Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation.

With regard to Regional Ministers, they were all appointed in consultation with the Regional Chairmen of the Party and in some cases they were nominated by the Chairmen and in cases where there was opposition, the nominees were withdrawn.

Mr Ayariga said all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives were nominated by the party structures, and it was only in cases where consensus could not be built around a candidate due to internal party differences that the President went ahead to choose one of his nominees.

He said each district sent a set of nominees and one person was ranked as the preferred candidate.

The Presidential Spokesperson assured Ghanaians that President Mills remained committed to the principle of fairness to all Ghanaians.

Meanwhile, the President has directed all party members who have been given appointments at all levels to make space to enable party members with genuine grievances and legitimate demands to have access to them to enable them to receive attention.

Mr Ayariga said the President himself had made space at all times to meet with constituency and regional executives each time he visited a region.

Mr Ayariga also reacted to media reports that some constituency chairmen drawn from 22 constituencies in Accra last Monday sought audience with the President but were denied the opportunity.

According to the reports they paid a visit to former President Jerry Rawlings at his Ridge Residence to express misgivings about the break in communication between the party and government.

The publication said members of the group were particularly concerned about the failure of the presidency to accord them audience despite repeated requests and said it was dampening the mood in the party.

The report quoted Mr Magnus Anyetei Sowah, Constituency Chairman for La Dadekotopon, as saying that the supporters had spent years working for the party to return to power but unfortunately the synergy between government and party had totally broken down.

He also complained that the Ga constituencies had played a yeoman's role in returning the NDC into power and it was unacceptable that they were being ignored.

However, Mr Ayariga said the Presidency had been accessible to Party functionaries.

Mr Ayariga said the issue was not about accessibility to the Presidency, but about the issues that were to be discussed.

He said Government had ensured regional equity in the sharing of ministerial posts, adding that the Greater Accra Region has had a reasonable share of ministerial appointments.

President Mills, according to the Spokesperson, is calling on all Ghanaians to rally behind his Government to implement the social and economic policies set out in the 2010 budget, adding that "the benefits of growth shall equally be shared".

GNA

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