President Kufuor's first ministerial reshuffle, presented last week, has been received with joy and described as a relief, particularly to the people of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The elevation of Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, once the Mayor of Sunyani and currently the deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister to the high office of Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, was seen as a special victory for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Region.
Most of the people in the region, particularly members of the NPP, commended President Kufuor, saying the appointment of Mr. Awuah as the regional minister was one of the best appointments ever made by President Kufuor in recent times.
However, on the other side of the political divide, (opposition) members have described the appointment of Mr. Awuah as a great challenge to them, unlike his predecessor, whom the opposition have described as good, as far as their ambition to capture the region from the hands of the NPP was concerned, manifested in the 2004 general elections.
In a random survey made by The Chronicle, it was revealed that almost all the members of the NPP and a section of the people of the region were praying for the removal of Nana Kwadwo Seinti, because according to them, the out-going minister, now High Commissioner designate for Malaysia, was doing very little to advance the cause of the party, and the region as a whole.
Even the staff at the Regional Coordinating Council, during The Chronicle's visit to the RCC, were evidently happy, with some saying, "We are relief now."
The Chronicle's sample in the Sunyani municipality and other parts of the region, such as Berekum, Techiman and Kintampo showed that the NPP activists and sympathisers actually appreciated the appointment of Mr. Awuah, a former Bank Manager of the Nsoatreman Rural Bank.
The Brong Ahafo regional NPP Organizer, Mr. Kofi Darko, had this to say: "This it the time for us all to stand up, bury our differences and rally behind Mr. Awuah to move the region forward, because he is a man who can unite the people and will never show any discrimination among members of our great party."
A visit to the deputy minister's office attested to what was seen in the streets, as hundreds of telephone calls from friends and party activists were pouring in, to congratulate the regional minister designate.
As some could not wait to call on the busy line of Mr. Awuah, they physically presented themselves to congratulate the minister. Some of the visitors to the deputy minister's office were NDC members, such as the former vice regional chairman of the NDC, Mr. Antoh and a host of others.
In Wenchi, party activists could not withhold their joy, but had to take to the streets to show their appreciation to the President for appointing Mr. Awuah.
One of the traditional chiefs at Wenchi Traditional Council, Nana Yaw Antwi, Akyeamehene, commended President Kufour for the appointment.
The traditional ruler said even when Mr. Awuah was the deputy minister for the region, he was able to resolve some issues that could have affected the development of the area.
He cited the recent impasse between some 21-assembly members and the District Chief Executive (DCE), Hajia Bintu Ibrahim Farazana, and other problems as things Mr. Awuah did and so he deserved the position of a regional minister.