‘My time to be minister will come’ – 10 things we learned in Assibey-Yeboah interview

A second-time parliamentarian and Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, has poured his heart out on the dogmatic understanding surrounding political appointments in the country.

Some feel a person must necessarily be the president’s favorite in order to get a ministerial appointment and for some, a ministerial appointment is a huge ego trip.

In a 45-minute interview on Joynews’ PM Express, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah has explained why he is not keen on getting the title ‘minister’ attached to his name.

To him, Ministers are not super humans but rather people who have been called to serve the country.

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, who lost the New Juaben South Parliamentary primaries to the Chief Executive Officer of the Free Zones Authority, Micheal Okyere-Baafi, is convinced his time will definitely come for a ministerial appointment someday.

Theghanareport.com monitored the interview and brings you ten things we learned from the esteemed politician who has served his quota to Ghana’s parliament.

  • My time will come someday

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said although he is leaving Ghana’s parliament after eight solid years, with nothing to his name but the doctor and not minister Assibey-Yeboah, he believes there is a higher power up there and someday his time will come to be appointed as a Minister.

  • I will not lobby to be a minister but will serve if I am selected

Asked how that is going to be possible since he has already served his term in office. He said, ‘with all honesty’ that in all his eight years, he has never lobbied for any such appointment. I do not go around lobbying for these positions but if the opportunity comes I will grab it. Being a Member of Parliament, he said, has been one of the most enjoyable calls he has ever had to do, precisely the Finance Committee. He said he does not fantasize about the appointment but will not mind getting it on merit.

His contributions on the floor of Parliament and the Finance Committee, he said, has been enormous and for him, it was a natural fit. Dr. Assibey-Yeboah worked as a research analyst at the Bank of Ghana prior to his coming into Parliament.

  • Ministers are not super humans

These ministerial positions are not something to gloat in as a human being. For him, being a minister is just like any other position or job title. According to Dr Assibey-Yeboah, a minister’s core duty is to serve and not to have people serve them. He gathered this from his interaction with some ministers who come to his office to have a ‘tete a tete’ with him on issues.

  • Living a life of luxury as an MP was a NO NO

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said through his entire eight years in Parliament, he always drove to the office. As a Member of Parliament, one is entitled to driver, security, and some other benefits but Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said that was the life he did not enjoy. ‘I live a very simple life so for me there was nothing like a driver or security guard.’

  • I am not surprised I did not win

He lost his bid to represent the New Juaben South Constituency on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party in the upcoming 2020 parliamentary elections. Dr. Assibey-Yeboah lost to the Free Zones Authority boss, who polled 372 votes against his 200 votes but he says he is not surprised with the results of the just-ended primaries.

The primaries, according to him, has always been a close contest for each party and not just on his side. The constituency has always been a fiercely contested one and everybody goes in, well prepared for any outcome. He recounted some challenges that had happened prior to the parliamentary race–Issues to do with his album and others.

  • I did not offend the powers that be

Asked whether his loss can be attributed to offending anybody at the top, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said he did not offend anybody at the top level. “Who do you define as the powers that be…the President, the NPP executives, council, Regional Directors, party communicators, or who,” he quizzed. He maintained that he has done nothing and has contributed greatly to the Finance Committee. The notion about protecting some people in parliament, he said is completely false and everybody in the NPP is an asset to the party.

  • I would have been disappointed if I was not the Chairman for the Finance Committee

There is nothing more rewarding than having to serve the country as the Chairman of the Finance Committee. He said it has been one of the most fulfilling and humbling opportunity to have been conferred on him. The Chairman selection came around 2017 and he was nominated. Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said he would not have seen himself in any other committee.

  • I will not run as an MP again

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said he does not intend running as a Member of Parliament again. He believes he has served his quota on that bid but he will still remain in active politics for a very long time. To dispel doubts, he said he will forever be a member of the NPP party.

  • President Akufo-Addo is my father’s friend

Revealing his relationship with the president, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah stated that his father had been friends with the president since the law school days. According to him, the President has been a friend of the family for a long time now.

  • Expectations ahead of the mid-year-budget review

With the unexpected news of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta will be faced with a tough decision in light of all the happenings. He will have to give out specifics to do with the money that was borrowed from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Bank of Ghana.

Also, considering the fact that there were some relief benefits that were not captured in the budget. Free water, free electricity and the GH₵600 package for small and medium scale enterprises are among the reliefs the minister would have to touch on.

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