The last thing that must have been on President Kufuor's mind in doing his ministerial reshuffle last week must have been the fact that some of the affected Ministers are nursing Presidential ambitions, otherwise why would Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman and Professor Mike Ocquaye still be at their jobs?
No, the Ministers were sacked for other, more serious reasons, and Ghana Palaver would like to go into President Kufuor's mind and out of there speculate for Ghanaians why the President sacked the Ministers that he sacked.
The NPP's evidence in its fight against corruption has been that it has passed laws against corruption. One of the off-cited laws is the Public Procurement Act, 2003, Act 663, passed when Yaw Osafo Maafo was Minister of Finance. Yet contrary to the provisions of he Act, Yaw Osafo-Maafo went ahead and signed a £29 million book publication contract with Macmillan Education Ltd without reference to the Public Procurement Board and without Parliamentary approval.
Since laws do not police themselves, the only thing for President Kufuor to do in the face of this flagrant violation of the law was to have Yaw Osafo Maafo prosecuted to show that those who breach the law will be punished. Since President Kufuor cannot and will not do that, he has to do the next best thing – sack Yaw Osafo Maafo so that he will have evidence to show his Western master-puppeteers that “when my Minister broke the law, I sacked him You see that I am fighting corruption”.
Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku
Dr. Apraku soiled his hands with what he did at the Ghana Free Zones Board. He did worse with his supervision of the “theft” under the guise of the sale of the properties of the erstwhile GNTC, one of which he himself is alleged to have bought in Kumasi.
Besides, Dr. Apraku has been talking as he has been meeting the ECOWAS Heads of State in his capacity as Minister for Regional Integration, and what he has been saying has been getting back to the President. He had to go.
Meanwhile, it may not be out of place for the President to get his people to look into the utilisation of the special secret fund created for Dr. Apraku by the ECOWAS Executive Secretary when he (Dr. Apraku) was Chairman of the ECOWAS Ministerial Council by virtue of President Kufuor being the Chairman of ECOWAS at the time. A little bird has whispered in our ears that part of that Fund must have gone the way of the Free Zones Board funds.
Ayikoi Otoo is simply being made the fall guy for a very foolish decision to prosecute Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, Kwame Peprah and others. Though everybody knows that President Kufuor must have okayed the decision to prosecute, the fact is that that decision has boomeranged in the President's face. The President has come under a lot of pressure, both domestic and international, to abandon the prosecution.
Besides, the decision has given former President Rawlings the opportunity he has been looking for to make a few of his “boom” speeches.
The President is looking for a way out. Since the decision to prosecute is technically that of the Attorney General, the Attorney General must go.
In comes a new Attorney General, Joe Ghartey, who will study the case afresh and make a determination that there in no basis for the prosecution. Mark our words; very soon the new Attorney General will be entering a “nolle prosequi” and announcing that the State is withdrawing the charges against the accused persons.
Poor Charles Bintim has collected money for the party and as a naïve, loyal Party member, has opened an account in his personal name and deposited the money in it. Then “alarm blows” and the party spin doctors take about a month to “coach” him on a story about how his constituents have been depositing moneys with him for tractors. The explanation sounded so hollow and disingenuous that as he hopped from radio station to radio station last week spinning that yarn, he was actually spinning himself out of a job.
Did you listen to Radio Gold's Kokonsa play his prophetic tape of one year ago on Dan Botwe last Friday? That is precisely what has happed to Dan Botwe. Dan Botwe has never been in President Kufuor's good books. For as long as he remained an elected Party General Secretary, and a good one at that, there was very little President Kufuor could do about him. So the strategy was simple: entice him with a ministerial job and fire him from the job. That way, he is left without a Government job, he is left without a Party job, and not being an MP, he is simply left without a job.
But there must have been another reason to fire Dan Botwe. As Information Minister, he was never propagandist. Remember how Nana Akomea used to hold Press Conferences to say things that were exposed as lies within hours of his saying them? Dan Botwe refused to do that, and he especially refused to bash the NDC unnecessarily. To President Kufuor and his gang of old time politicians therefore, Dan Botwe at Information was not doing the NPP much good. He had to go.
Ms. Christine Churcher
Given what we know of why Christine Churcher parted ways with the PNDC Government as District Secretary for Cape Coast, may we be right in speculating that her ouster from the NPP Government may have something to do with the incumbent First Lady?
These are only speculations; we beg to say.
By the way, why are all the previous dismissed Ministers and their Deputies still living in Government bungalows with the taxpayer still paying for their electricity, water, telephone, garden boys and the other “mod coms?”