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17.02.2005 General News

Make discretion a high virtue-Ministers told

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Accra, Feb.17, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday called on Ministers to make discretion a very high virtue, manage their affairs dispassionately and be accountable for competence in their individual professions and as politicians.

He said, they should make it possible for society to accept them in their role to serve, " if people begin to doubt our integrity on the management of money or claims of our qualifications. If people feel not desired about our lifestyles that could be called to question on moral grounds then they had set guidelines and criteria to become Ministers."

President Kufuor made the call when he swore into office four Ministers at the Castle, Osu.

They were Dr Richard Winfred Anane, Minister of Road and Transport, Shiekh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Isaac E. Edumadze, Central Regional Minister and Miss Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science.

President Kufuor administered the oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy and presented their Instruments of Appointments to them. He said the swearing ceremony was very significant because they had gone through an ordeal, " all of you were put to an intense and revealing examination at the very highest level of our society, Parliament openly to the extent that there is hardly anything left."

"Your private life, competence to serve as Ministers have been exposed to our society and even beyond our borders. If Parliament had not passed you, you would not have been sworn into office", he added.

President Kufuor said the vetting by Parliament was part of the country's constitutional development because a person could not become a Minister because the President had appointed him/her or because he/she was an excellent politician, competent in his/her profession.

He said Parliament established its own criteria to vet the appointments made by the President, adding, " I know your political prowess and all of you are excellent but that is not enough to qualify you as Ministers. What you have gone through is topical in our society." President Kufuor expressed his disgust at the vetting saying, " I am not happy with some of the revelations about you. I have not been happy, I have been agonized a lot. Ideally unhappy about the revelations publicly."

"My hope is that what you have gone through is something to guide all politicians of the harrowing experiences. It is an on-going exercise and once you come into office as Ministers, you should know we live in an open world, people will have eyes on how we manage our affairs. If we managed to escape the vetting in Parliament we could still be exposed to people looking to find faults with us", he said.

President Kufuor appealed to the Ministers to learn from the ordeal they went through in order that anyone who wanted to trail them to find faults would not succeed.

"We should not allow ourselves into people who tell everything about us whether true of false, those who will stop at nothing to destroy us," he added.

On qualifications of Ministers, President Kufuor urged them to refrain from issues that would call into question their qualifications, adding, " the burdens are so heavy and when we put ourselves into question then we are not fair to ourselves and the government we serve." He called on the Ministers to accept the renewed challenge the nation had reposed on them to serve the people.

Shiekh Quaye on behalf of his colleagues pledged to serve the people to the best of their ability.

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