Ofori-Atta’s novel portfolio, Amin Adam’s first official trip and Afenyo-Markin’s new role

You may be right if you think, based on what I am about to write, that I have been watching too much telenovelas.

As I have said in my previous articles, I watch Mexican soap operas because they help me read meanings into every situation I am confronted with. Stated differently, watching those movies helps me see beyond what everybody sees when a happening happens.

A recent occurrence, to which I am applying this skill of mine is the appointment of Dr Amin Adam and the very first official trip he decided to undertake. I tried to trace his roots, but all I could find was that he attended Northern Business School (NOBISCO) in Tamale and is currently the Member of Parliament for Karaga Constituency- all in the Northern Region of Ghana. For me, his name, place of secondary education and constituency are enough grounds to surmise that like Vice President Bawumia, he is what we loosely describe in Ghana as ‘a northerner’.

Dr Bawumia has already told us that he attended Sakasaka Primary School in Tamale and Tamale Secondary School- all in the Northern Region of Ghana. Of all the Akan economists at the disposal of President Akufo-Addo to replace Ken Ofori-Atta with, he chose Dr Adam.

For the uninitiated, Dr Adam was Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, a position considered senior to being Deputy Minister, thus if there is a vacancy, it is only a matter of course that he is made the substantive minister.

However, to my telenovela-inclined mind, this is the advice of former President Kufuor as re-echoed by former President Mahama at play- “If you are looking for people to work with, the first thing you must look for is loyalty. The second is loyalty and the third is loyalty. You might get merit and efficiency, but that is a bonus.”

Therefore, in my considered opinion, Dr Amin Adam is a carefully chosen substitute for Ken Ofori-Atta. And the reason why he warmed himself so smoothly into the new role is not just because he has been at the Ministry for some time now, also because he ticks the loyalty box for Dr Bawumia, who from all indications, President Akufo-Addo has no qualms about as his successor.

By the way, I can’t help but admire the kind of bond that has existed between President Akufo-Addo and Dr Bamumia over the years. Remember the President said he needed Dr Bawumia’s brain to govern, hence his decision to select him as his running mate? Yet Dr Bawumia had cause to dissociate himself from the causes of the prevailing economic challenges as I pointed out in my previous article.

Intriguingly, while we were busy condemning Dr Bawumia for that unteam-like behaviour, President Akufo-Addo found space in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered to Parliament on February 27, 2024, to absolve his vice from blame over the challenges faced by his administration.

“There is no ambiguity about where the buck stops when it comes to responsibility for what happens in the government. It stops with the President, he or she has ultimate responsibility. It would be an unwise President that would pretend to have all the answers, and refuse the advice of his officials, but the fact remains that the President holds the executive power,” he said with emphasis.

You know what, just pretend that you did not read this sentence in the quote above- It would be an unwise President that would pretend to have all the answers, and refuse the advice of his officials. That’s because I think it gives the Vice President away. That is to say, some of Dr Bawumia’s advices were taken, yet Ebenezer!, thus far the Lord has brought us.

Ofori-Atta’s novel portfolio

Back on track. The confidence in Dr Bawumia notwithstanding, the President still found the need to protect his interest over the remaining period of his tenure, hence the appointment of Ken Ofori-Atta as Senior Presidential Advisor and Special Envoy for International Finance and Private Sector Investments. This is a cardinal lesson from my telenovela pastime- love your neighbour as yourself, not more than yourself. Better still, show care, but protect your interest. Religiously put, trust in God, but lock your car.

Otherwise, why on earth will President Akufo-Addo succumb to public pressure to remove Ken from office, but ask Chief of Staff, Mrs Frema Osei Opare, to issue an appointment letter to him as a special envoy in the same sector that he is said to have messed up, the following day?

Per the arrangement that I see, there is no way Amin Adam can take far-reaching economic and financial decisions without first running them by Ken Ofori-Atta during the pendency of the remaining term of the Akufo-Addo administration. Understandably, this has angered many well-meaning Ghanaians, including a leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwame Pianim.

“…But the person who led us into the financial and economic crisis that we are in…this is the same guy who gets us kicked out of the Eurobond market, how can he be an envoy? I think Nana (President Akufo-Addo) knows that the international community are not that gullible so you don’t send him there. We don’t have an economy now, so what is he going to advise on?” Mr Pianim asked during an interview on Joy News.

But expectedly, the Minister-designate for Information, Fatimata Abubakar in an interview with TV3’s Beatrice Adu on Monday, February 26, justified the government’s decision to assign Mr. Ofori-Atta a new portfolio.

“His capacity to guide or to advise in the financial sector is not lost just because he is no longer Finance Minister. If his skills are required elsewhere and the President feels he can help us with negotiations or can advise, I don’t think there should be a big problem about that,” said Ms Abubakar.

This our Public Relations, information management, reputation management or public affairs job erh? No wonder a former Deputy Minister of that Ministry is reported to have charged newly appointed Information Officers to say “fat cow, even if it is a big sheep.”

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam’s first official trip

Having been formally assigned Mr Ofori-Atta’s former job and true to my suspicion of he being on a loyalty mission, Dr Adam’s first trip was to Kumasi- the known electoral world bank of the NPP. Unlike many, the agenda was clear to me- complete all critical uncompleted projects in Asanteman in order to make them amenable to voting for Dr Bawumia.

And he did it according to the script- courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, inspection of progress of work on the Kumasi International Airport and a visit to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Mother and Child Health project site.

At the Manhyia Palace genuflect before the Asantehene and ask for his blessings to tour the town. At the Kumasi International Airport site, release €7 million out of the remaining €9 million for the completion of the airport and direct the contractors to complete and hand over the project within two months.

“Part of the outstanding amount of money which was to be paid for the project to resume has been paid to the contractor. What is left is €2 million which we are going to pay within one week, so that the contractor will have no excuse as far as funding is concerned. I’m impressing on them to make sure that by the end of April they bring a closure to this project, so we can begin to use it”, he disclosed after inspecting the facility.

While at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Mother and Child Health project site, release €14 million for the contractors to remobilize and return to site.

“…the good news is that the President has directed that we find money to complete the project. We’ve made some payment to enable the contractor return to site to complete part of the outstanding works”, he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the facility, Professor Otchere Addai-Mensah must be a telenovela fan too. That’s because he exhibited a trait that is usually portrayed by the actors- take advantage when the opportunity presents itself. Prof Addai-Mensah complained to Dr Adam that the second largest hospital in Ghana does not receive out-patients for dialysis due to inadequate machines.

“We at KATH have one and half dialysis machines and it’s because one is working at full capacity and the other is working with a fault. The dialysis in this hospital is restricted to two patients who are within the hospital,” he lamented.

Guess the response. “In Ashanti region alone, about 36 health infrastructure projects are being undertaken and we are going to sit down with the Minister of Health and discuss how we could fast-track whatever support we can mobilize to commission these projects to lessen the burden on KATH”, Dr Adam assured.

Don’t forget that the current state of KATH became such a worry to the Otumfuo that he personally set up a fund to, as the they innovatively named it, “Heal KATH” – “to address the urgent need for infrastructural improvement in Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), which receives referrals from 12 out of the 16 Regions of Ghana” according to information on the project’s website.

Afenyo-Markin’s new role

As regards electoral world banks in Ghana, it is common knowledge that the Ashanti Region is to NPP as the Volta Region is to NDC.

Having rolled out the strategy to maintain its hold on the Ashanti Region, the ruling NPP seems to be at its strategic best. The next step is to make inroads into the NDC’s World Bank.

Since the commencement of the 4th Republic in 1992, the NDC and NPP have made a conscious effort to ensure regional balance in the appointment of the heads of the Legislative and Judiciary arms of Government- Sometimes they succeed, other times, they don’t.

Here is the plot. Dr Bawumia hails from the ‘north.’ From all indications, he will choose a running mate from the Ashanti Region.  The Judiciary is headed by a Fante who is married to an Ewe. From my reading, the NPP wants to ensure some semblance of Ewe leadership in the legislature as well. That is how someone of Ewe and Fante descent- Afenyo-Markin (a compound name of Ewe and Fante roots) fits in. ‘Afenyo’ means ‘Good home or the home is good’ in Ewe.

I can hear you say that if that argument holds water, then John-Peter Amewu, the MP for Hohoe, who is the only NPP Member of Parliament from the Volta Region, should have been appointed as Majority Leader. What you forget is that Mr Amewu is anti-Bawumia. He was neck-deep in Alan Kyerematen’s campaign team. Thus, disqualified. This move is counterproductive though, if you ask me.

Afenyo-Markin’s new role is therefore to appeal to Voltarians that one of their own has been made leader of the NPP’s caucus in Parliament, and the next Speaker of Parliament, to be elected on January 6, 2025, will be Ewe.

It’s time to go

If you are wondering why Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu was virtually forced to resign from his position as the Majority Leader, a development which angered his fellow Ashanti, Joseph Osei Owusu, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament so much, I have given you a clue.

From what I am hearing, members of the Ashanti caucus in Parliament are not happy at all. “Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new.” – Paracelsus. Let’s keep our fingers crossed as the clock ticks.

As has become part of me, I am unable to talk about the NPP without mentioning the NDC. So, while Dr Bawumia is putting his house in order, so is Mr Mahama. He has informed the Council of Elders about his running mate. The elders are scheduled to meet on March 7 to consider the nominations after which the selected candidate will be announced.

Should we keep our fingers crossed? Or you want the ‘gist’? Okay! How about Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings as JDM’s running mate? Do you see half Ashanti and half Ewe? Eei! You like ‘gist’. Cross your fingers again, March 7 is next week.

Do widzenia – That’s goodbye in Polish.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You might also like
where to buy viagra buy generic 100mg viagra online
buy amoxicillin online can you buy amoxicillin over the counter
buy ivermectin online buy ivermectin for humans
viagra before and after photos how long does viagra last
buy viagra online where can i buy viagra