Ofori-Atta is wrong; so is NDC caucus

That Ken Ofori-Atta should go or remain cannot and should not be allowed to be a father and child matter.

It is based on a master and servant relationship – where the 31 million of us are the masters.

It is an employer-employee dispute: we hired him because our taxes pay the President who appointed him.

Hit with an avalanche of criticisms and calls on him to resign for failing on the job, to wit, returning Ghana to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Finance Minister hit back, saying that asking him to resign “is like telling a father to resign from his kids because he changed his mind.” How patronising!

As someone has said, we are not Ken’s children, period; a Finance Minister is not the father of a nation.

He is an appointee whose continued stay in office is at the pleasure of another appointee, the President, who himself owes his legitimacy to the people whom he swore not to take back to IMF.

Swore? O, yes, the President did. Listen to everything he promised in 2016 not to do. Implicit in his criticism of the IMF was a declaration that a country that goes to the IMF has a failed government.

The matter has gone beyond personal principle. When, for the first time since 1957, schools were on the verge of closure because of food shortage and when two fingers of ripe plantain go for GH¢5, what it means is that besides doing more borrowing, our Finance Minister has failed to rescue the perishing nation.

It will not be because the National Democratic Congress (NDC) or Mahama is asking him to go; after all, the NDC itself and Terkper, failed woefully in similar fashion, thus tasting the people’s wrath at the polls in 2016.

The only other alternative to borrowing is taxation but the New Patriotic Party swept into power on the back of a criticism that taxation is a lazy government’s approach to economic salvation. That is why folks like me clapped for the new regime when, true to its vow, it abolished “nuisance taxes”. The reality, however, is that “nuisance” has an elastic definition.

Not once, but twice, I have, as a journalist, had cause to blow trumpets for Ken Ofori-Atta. Once, I patted his shoulder for his brilliant performance as the brains behind the Databank miracle.

The second was when I wrote, calling him “Mr Clean” in the US$2.25 billion bond issuance matter in March, 2017.

I think the President owes us a reshuffle, unless there is a shortage of economists in the NPP.

Adwoa Safo

The least said about Adwoa Safo the better.

The fallout from the brouhaha involving her is the double standards of Parliament’s Privileges Committee.

If the committee is clothed with power to decide the fate of Kennedy Agyapong and Henry Quartey even before referring the matter to the plenary, why should it suddenly find itself powerless and therefore has to ask plenary to decide the fate of Adwoa Safo?

Addressing the media in Parliament on Thursday, July 14, a member of the Committee, Alhassan Bashir Alhassan (A.B.A) Fuseini said the Privileges Committee was not an island on its own to make decisions.

He was reacting to a declaration on Joy FM by the Chairman of the Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu (my “V Mate” in whom I am well pleased), that after Adwoa’s failure to appear before the committee, it (committee) had recommended for the Clerk to write to the Electoral Commission indicating the vacancy in Parliament.

My good friend, A.B.A Fuseini disagrees on grounds that “the Clerk of the committee made it abundantly clear that he cannot say for certain that the correspondence that Parliament sought to get over to (Adwoa Sarfo) her actually reached her.”

Fine words, except that only this week, the embattled MP’s Personal Assistant said on radio that he was in touch with his boss and that “she will soon be returning to Ghana”. Is the Privileges Committee saying that such a contact was (is) not known to them? It cannot be because this P.A. made the same promise 40 days ago on radio.

My judgement? The NDC caucus is wrong, and I suspect that the only reason for its pro-Adwoa stance is the political advantage it hopes to reap if the people of Dome Kwabenya can be made to believe that the NPP has sacrificed their MP.

NPP is acting in the same fear: they could lose the seat.

PS: The Majority Leader says we don’t need more than 19 Ministers in Ghana. I hope the President heard that.

The writer is Executive Director, Centre for Communication and Culture. E-mail: ashonenimil@gmail.com

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