Before Ghanaians went on break to celebrate last year's Yuletide and the New Year, news broke out that President John Dramani Mahama was going to do a ministerial reshuffle and introduce fresh limbs to enable him complete the last lap of his first term of office as president of the Republic.
It was no wonder, therefore, when yesterday he released a list of ministers and deputies in fulfillment of the widespread speculation which rocked the country, weeks before the Christmas festivities.
According to the list, Fiifi Kwetey -Minister of Food & Agriculture has been appointed as the Minister Designate for Transport whilst the former Chief of Staff, Prosper Douglas Bani has been appointed as Minister Designate for Interior.
A statement signed by the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, also indicated that Mark Owen Woyongo-MP for Navrongo Central and Minister of Interior has been reassigned to the Flagstaff House, whereas Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna-Northern Regional Minister is scheduled to move to Ministry of Food & Agriculture.
President Mahama also appointed Kenneth Wujangi, a Management and Integrated Rural Development Specialist as a Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) at the Flagstaff House.Others are; Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye (MP)-Minister Designate for Youth & Sports, John Alexander Ackon-Minister Designate for the Ashanti Region and Kweku Ricketts Hagan (MP)-Minister Designate for the Central Region.
The rest are; Mavis Ama Frimpong-Minister Designate for the Eastern Region, Abdallah Abubakari-Minister Designate for the Northern Region and Albert Abongo (MP)-Minister Designate for the Upper East Region. The president further made certain unsullied deputy ministerial appointments as well as reassign others.
Much as The Chronicle is not worried about the presidential exercise, which of course is his constitutional mandate, the paper wishes to table its dissatisfaction at the rate at which ministers are being reshuffled at the Youth and Sports Ministry by the Mills and then Mahama administrations.
That is not to suggest that other administrations before them did not quiver their ministerial portfolios. When the appointment of Mr. Vanderpuye is finally confirmed by the parliamentary vetting committee in the coming days, he becomes the eighth Minister of Youth and Sports, which indicates that on the average, the administration appoints a substantive Minister every year
.Below is the list of Youth and Sports Ministers under NDC since 2009; Mohamed M. Mubarak (13/2/2009 – 9/6/2009), Rashid Pelpuo in acting capacity-(16/7/2009 – 31/8/2009), Rashid Pelpuo confirmed -(1/9/2009 – 25/1/2010) and Akua Sena Dansua -(11/2/2010 – 4/1/2011).
The rest are; Clement K. Humado -(14/2/2011 – 31/1/2013), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah -(14/2/2013 – 8/7/2014), Mahama Ayariga (8/7/2014 – 14/3/2015), Maj. (Dr.) Mustapha Ahmed Rtd. -(15/4/2015-19/1/2016) and now Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye.
The Chronicle is worried because given the rate at which appointments to the Youth and Sports ministry are made; it will not afford the ministers, the quality of time to first and foremost examine the problems within the ministry, let alone attempt to find solutions for them.
It is said that Mr. Enoch Teye Mensah, one of the longest serving MPs in the country is one of the best minister who ever occupied the Sports Ministry, and indeed he was.
The Chronicle believes that his success rode on the back of the fact that ex-President Jerry John Rawlings gave him ample time and opportunity to examine the problems, digest and proffer the appropriate solutions to them.
President Mahama must learn to repose confidence in the ministers he appoints to the Youth and Sports Ministry and give them enough time to settle so that they can give out their very best for the betterment of the game of sports, especially football, which is the passion of the nation.