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16.02.2005 General News

Regional Minister Backtracks

By Chronicle

In the aftermath of vetting Boahen Aidoo ... Recalls transferred director ... But won't disclose reason for transfer The Western Regional Minister, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has recalled the deputy regional co-ordinating director, Ms. Nancy Zah, whose transfer at his request had raised a lot of furore when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament last month.

A petitioner had sent a petition to the Appointments Committee, which was considering the appointment of Hon. Aidoo as the Western regional minister, complaining about the transfer of Ms. Zah by the minister on the grounds that he could not work with her again.

Boahen Aidoo confirmed the petitioner's claim before the committee but refused to state why he took that decision.

He had explained that his reason was a confidential one and in the interest of the transferred director, but would not disclose it.

Despite pressure from the minority side, especially Hon. Alban Bagbin, the regional minister stood his grounds and shelved the reason.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle at his office in Sekondi, Monday this week, Hon. Aidoo said his present decision to recall the director had nothing to do with what transpired before the appointments committee.

According to him, he rescinded his decision after careful reflection,so her recall should not be misconstrued as the result of pressure on him.

Boahen Aidoo, whose interview was at the request of this reporter, would still not renege on his earlier refusal to disclose the reason for his earlier move to transfer the lady, saying his stance was in the interest of the director herself.

According to him, Ms. Zah herself knew why he took that decision, so there was no need for him to break their confidentiality.

The regional chief director, Mr. J. E. Jainie, confirmed in a separate interview that indeed, Ms. Zah was back at her post. According to him, she resumed work last Monday and they had even held a meeting with the minister the very day she returned and everything went on successfully.

The minister told The Chronicle that he had personally written a letter to Ms. Zah and copied it to the regional chief director, asking her to return.

He said deep down his heart, he had nothing against Ms. Zah, except that a few things had gone on, about which he was not happy. Another issue that came up during his vetting by the Appointments Committee was the complaint that he had bad human relations with his staff.

This reporter therefore sought to know from him how he was getting on with his staff, now that his appointment had been confirmed.

The regional minister said he was surprised when that issue also came up because he had excellent relationship with his staff. He admitted that in the course of discharging his official duties, he might have stepped on the toes of one person or the other but, generally, he had good working relations with all his staff, from the drivers up to the directors.

He said every year, he made sure he organized a get-together with all of them at his residence and even rewarded some of the hard-working ones; an incentive that had never existed at the regional administration.

He explained that he usually came to work early and left late in the evening after all the workers had gone home, so naturally he did not meet them very often. Read the second part of the minister's over one- and- half- hour-long interview he granted The Chronicle in tomorrow's edition, in which he shed more light on his alleged involvement in chieftaincy matters in the region, which issue also cropped up before the Appointments Committee, and informed about the steps he was taking to generate peace among the chiefs in the region.

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