Ken, the Christian; Ken, the Minister

The booing of the President at the Independence Square during the Global Citizen Concert last September was bad. For a New Patriotic Party (NPP) President to be booed in Ashanti Region, the party’s ‘World Bank’, however, is the lowest in recorded history.

In baring their teeth, I strongly believe that the anger of the people may not necessarily be directed at the President’s person; it is against his intransigence in maintaining some non-performing ministers and kitchen cabinet advisers.

Fortunately, for Akufo-Addo, the public has not been silent on who they think these Ministers are. They have singled out the Finance Minister, the Agriculture Minister and the Roads Minister, among others.

Does Akufo-Addo love these more than the people whose collective wisdom directed their thumbs onto his slot on the ballot paper in 2020? Last Wednesday morning, I heard on radio an NPP man reminding the President to consider the future of the party; that the fortunes of the party have plummeted.

Today, I am addressing my thoughts to Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, and I am doing so because he is the first Minister or functionary to publicly quote scripture while performing official duties.


Now, thanks to Jubilee House directives, he has the finest opportunity to redeem these Christian credentials. The order from the Office of The Chief of Staff directing all government appointees to respond within 12 hours to allegations made against them must offer Ken the chance to refute, convincingly, allegations made against him.

A man (or woman) may fail in secular assignments, but that does not kill the human being. What kills – what brings us down – is the charge against our integrity.

Fortunately, most of the accusations, so far, remain allegations, up until now. Ken has a chance to address them.

One of them, the most damning, came from the lips of the man we all knew once as Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD) now a traditional ruler.

In an interview on GTV’s Breakfast Show, KKD expressed disgust at the situation where the “company or former company of Ken Ofori-Atta (Databank) is the transaction advisor for the international loans Ghana takes… So, as Ghana gets poorer, the Minister of Finance’s company or former company gets richer.”

I think that even without the Chief of Staff’s directive, it is the Christian duty of Ken Ofori-Atta to come out. His explanation must include information that long before Akufo-Addo came to power, Databank was winning the contract to act as Transaction Advisor to governments on Ghanaian loans.

He should give a fuller perspective – the full history – on Ghanaian government loans, the role of transactional advisors, how they are selected and what percentages were their legitimate cuts.

In the minds of Ghanaians, even if it is true that Ken has never taken salary for his work in these last six years as Finance Minister, that sacrifice is still self-serving, since what goes to Databank is more than enough to keep anybody rich (wealthy) for life.

And it is no excuse to claim that he has nothing to do with Databank now; that is, ever since he became Minister. Even if that is true, the challenge here is one of personal integrity. The question on the mind of Ghanaians is simple: would Databank have qualified without Ken being a Minister?

Ken owes it to Jesus Christ, whom he quotes copiously, to redeem the image of religion.

While at it, that is, he must do his claim to financial competence a favour by giving Ghanaians a summary of what has gone into and fallen out of the 2017 banking crisis that led to the collapse of some banks. In what way(s) did it benefit Ghanaians? How much was involved? Has it been worth it; in order words, how fatal would it have been to Ghana?


Another person who must do Ghanaians a favour is Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. On Joy FM, he said he was informed that “a wealthy businessman, that I know, came here (Parliament) and tried to do something.”

This was in connection with the change of mind by the 80 NPP members of parliament (MPs) who had demanded the sack of the Finance Minister.

What it means is that in these times, when kenkey has become unaffordable and people are parking their cars because of fuel prices, there are people in Ghana who have enough to bribe 80 MPs!

But perhaps the first NPP appointee to answer allegations within 12 hours is the Chief of Staff herself.

Is it true, as John Mahama alleges, that Ghana is building a new Accra International Conference Centre at a cost of €116 million?

Is it a priority in the light of the current state of the economy?


The writer is Executive Director,

Centre for Communication and Culture.

E-mail: ashonenimil@gmail.com

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