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General News | Jan 17, 2005

Why Apraku, Akomea, Nduom, Ohene were fired.

JoyOnline

Accra, Jan. 17 (JoyOnline) -- Among the major casualties in the NPP second term so far are former ministers for information Nana Akomea, Energy Paa Kwesi Ndoum, NEPAD Kofi Apraku, Health Kwaku Afriyie, and Works & Housing Mustapha Idris.

The President's nomination list, which is more of a reshuffle of his old team, also excludes the large number of ministers of state assigned to various units under the ministries including tertiary education, sports, economic planning, trade & industry, and office of the president.

Castle sources say the next list of nominations will be for deputy ministerial positions, effectively shutting the door on talk of a second list of ministerial nominations.

Of all those out of the team, Dr. Kofi Apraku and Dr. Kwaku Afriyie did not come as a surprise to many observers of the political scene.

Dr. Apraku's removal had long been expected, not because of non-performance, but more because of what party insiders describe as "over bloated ambitions".

Party insiders will not talk openly, but it is a known fact that Dr. Apraku's presidential ambitions forced him to consider filing against the sitting president for the NPP 2004 presidential slot.

His performance as minority spokesman on finance prior to 2001 worked greatly for his party, and many were those who expressed surprise when he was nominated for the trade ministry instead of finance in 2001.

He however lost the confidence of the power brokers with his ambitious outlook, and according to insiders, that also informed his replacement with Allan Kyeremanteng, said to be the president's preferred candidate for 2008.

On the part of Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, his colleagues say he cannot be credited with any major achievement at the health ministry.

On the whole, his performance was below expectation, and to add insult to injury, he lost his parliamentary seat.

One major casualty however is Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum of the CPP bringing an end to Kufuor's all-inclusive agenda.

From his days at the regional integration and NDPC to his tenure at the energy ministry, Dr. Ndoum was considered to have done well.

He was widely tipped by some to remain in the team; one because of his performance and potential and two in fulfilment of the president's commitment to an all inclusive government.

Unfortunately, the NPP's support for his candidature is considered enough.

He leaves the government together with Nana Akomea whose performance as Information Minister apparently did not convince the president enough to retain him at that position.

Nana Akomea and the others might probably be hoping against the odds that an additional list of ministers of state, which in reality is no different from deputy ministers, will come out.

There will be no such list we are told, but if the president does that, it will be a demotion, more pronounced than perhaps that of Yaw Osafo Marfo.

For other casualties like Rashid Bawa, Ishmael Ashitey, Elizabeth Ohene, Edward Akita and Ben Bukari Salifu, their over all performance can be rated below a D, thus giving credence to their sidelining from the management of the Ghanaian economy.

Elizabeth Ohene who failed earlier on as minister for media relations again failed to click at the tertiary education desk, whilst Ishmael Ashitey and Edward Akita marked time at their respective positions in charge of trade and fisheries.

Akita also fell off with the party leadership when he challenged his defeat at the primaries of the Ledzokuku constituency and threatened court action.

Minister of State at the finance ministry Dr. Samuel Nii Noi Ashong is also bidding his time and hoping for a resignation to the ministry, together with Dr. Akoto Osei.

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