Valerie Sawyerr Pops Up In Flagstaff House Shake-Up
A DAILY GUIDE report contrary to media speculations that Chief of Staff at the office of the President, Flagstaff House, Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani, has been relieved of his appointment, a statement from the Presidency last night said the Chief of staff is still at post.
Even though the statement signed by Mr Bani himself confirmed some changes at the Flagstaff House, it rubbished reports that Deputy Chief of Staff, Valerie Sawyerr, is taking over as Chief of Staff in the ongoing power-game at the presidency.
The statement however confirmed the exit of Ben Dotsei Malor as Communications Advisor and Spokesperson to the President, having concluded his one-year contract at the Flagstaff House as well as Dr Raymond Atuguba as Executive Secretary to the President.
DAILY GUIDE reported two days ago the exit of Ben Dotsei Malor as presidential spokesperson and Dr Raymond Atuguba as Executive Secretary to President John Mahama.
Mr Malor has been on a oneyear contract, which began in January 2014 when he joined the Flagstaff House Communications Bureau as an Advisor and Spokesperson to the President.
Having completed the term of the contract, the statement said, Mr Malor is returning to the United Nations, where he had taken a one-year leave of absence.
The Minister for Communications, Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, the statement explained, will now serve as Spokesperson to the President.
'The Flagstaff House Communications Bureau will be responsible for all other communications operations and functions of the Presidency,' it added.
According to the statement, Cabinet Secretary Roger Angsomwine has been asked to act as Secretary to the President, replacing Dr Raymond Atuguba who returns to the University of Ghana at the end of a two-year sabbatical leave.
'These changes,' according to the statement, 'are part of changes which will be taking place at the Flagstaff House over the next few days.'
Earlier reports on Wednesday suggested that Mr Bani had tendered in his letter of resignation on Monday but DAILY GUIDE 's sources at the presidency said he was seen around going about his normal duties with ease and grace until he issued the statement.
Valerie Sawyerr is the daughter of the late Harry Sawyerr, a member of the council of elders of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who gave out one of his houses at Osu Kuku Hill in Accra to be used as campaign office for the then candidate Atta Mills of blessed memory.
Mr Sawyerr was a former Education Minister in the Jerry Rawlings administration.
Valerie was appointed a deputy chief of staff alongside Alex Segbefia when Professor Mills became president.
Ms Sawyerr is a bosom friend of President John Mahama and in the heat of the 2012 campaign was always with him as he toured the length and the breadth of the country, and had maintained her as deputy chief of staff. She has been seen at several public functions with Mr Mahama.
Reports say those who call the shots within the NDC consider Valerie as a more suitable candidate for chief of staff than Mr Bani, who is said to be mostly in his 'United Nations mood' and behaves more of a diplomat than a politician.
Mr Bani has been under constant criticisms from within the party since his appointment as chief of staff; and it seems the recent reports of his resignation/dismissal are part of machinations from within to get him out.
Valerie is reported to have eyes for details, authoring indicting letters that point out inefficiencies in the administrative structure at the presidency.
The Senior Communications Advisor to the President, Ben Dotsei- Malor, was said to be in office according to a Radio Ghana report, 'rounding up a meeting.'
Dr Atuguba is likely to be replaced by Ken Kandar – a highly respected career diplomat and Ghana's Ambassador to the United Nations.
Dr Atuguba is reported to be on leave prior to his return to the University of Ghana Law Faculty as a lecturer.
A deep-throat source close to the presidency told DAILY GUIDE that last year the working relationship between the executive secretary and the chief of staff was nothing to write home about and took a negative toll on their outputs and productivities.
The source said the president at a point got fed up with the situation and referred the two to take lessons from the President Kofuor-led government and contact the then Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani and the then Secretary to the president, Ambassador D.K. Osei, on how they ran his(Kufuor's) office successfully.
It is not clear if the said consultative meeting ever came up since the situation could not be managed.