Mixed reactions have continued to greet President Akufo-Addo’s 110 ministerial appointments and on Saturday morning, the Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Mr Abdul Malik Kweku Baako known for his prowess in retentive memory of national issues said he agreed that the “number is big.”
But he was quick to add that if it was not a constitutional or a legal breach, then the President should be allowed to proceed with implementing his vision with the numbers he thinks, was required.
Contributing to discussions on the news analysis programme of Joy News television station [Newsfile] on Saturday morning, Mr Baako said “If it is a constitutional breach, if it is a legal breach, then there are avenues even now, for him [President] to proceed to cure the mischief.”
“But if it is not a constitutional breach, it is not a legal breach, you can talk, you can criticize, if the president is so minded to agree, there can be changes, reviews and here.
To him, there was no doubt that cost was involved in having 110 ministers but as far as the President had not breached the constitution, those expressing resentment for the number are entitled to their opinions but the President should be allowed to prosecute his vision.
“I agree the number is big, I have done my own assessment, where I think we can do reduction here and there but I realise that even the reduction is marginal.
“For instance, – Information, – I cannot understand why we should have three [deputies] at Information…
“Energy -, surprisingly I’m for the three at Energy, you recall I was against the combination/collapsing of Petroleum and Power into one to make it energy. That’s a new area and a very expansive area so I was thinking they should have allowed it to remain separate, the President in his vision and the kind of programme, he has decided to put them together, I don’t have a problem with three deputy ministers going there, because of my own understanding of the new zones there, and the implications there.”
“Agriculture three -, I would have said ok and that is not unprecedented, we had three deputy ministers under Rawlings by 1999, but you see, there is a minister of state for Agriculture…I think the three, not the best.”
He said another element which is connected is the kind of reconfiguration that has been done in terms of separation of ministries
“To be honest with you and I have to be very frank sometimes, prior to 2001, I was also of the view that the numbers were huge and I was part of those who were criticising the Rawlings administration for having those numbers, I remember Madam Hawa Yakubu led us in that crusade.
“Then, Mr Kufuor made a certain public confession and proceeded. Since 2001, I’ve come to the conclusion that, look, it is not so much the numbers because you see at the end of the day, you can’t do anything about it if the president insist on keeping that number, you can’t do anything about it.
“The public are entitled to criticize, to lambast, to attack, to bring alternatives, especially the civil society groups, the governance groups, and they are doing it, and I’m happy with that. Indeed it is fantastic that you have all those groups coming up public and saying this is wrong, we disagree with it but that’s the end of it.
“If the president does not listen or hear and insists that this is the programme I have and this is how I’m going to execute the programme, bottom line, come election time, that’s where you exercise your veto,
If it is a constitutional breach, if it is a legal breach, then there are avenues, even now, for him to proceed to cure the mischief, but if it is not a constitutional breach, it is not a legal breach, you can talk, you can criticize, if the president is so minded to agree, there can be changes reviews.
**Mpactglobal: Brilliance Gyekye
(Graphic online contributed to this story)