17 December 2012

Ghana: Red Flags Over Kamara's Bid for Chief of Staff

Top shots within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) are raising red flags over speculations that Alhaji Baba Kamara, the ubiquitous Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria, could be named Chief of Staff to President John Dramani Mahama.

Alhaji Kamara is said to be the front-runner in the bid to replace Mr. John Henry Martey-Newman, who is said to be on his way out of government. Of late, Alhaji Kamara has become a visible ally of President Mahama, as he prepares to outdoor his team to take over from the role played by deceased President John Evans Atta Mills' administration formally on January 7, when he would be sworn in.

But sources close to the Presidency have hinted The Chronicle that an internecine warfare is taking shape over the role played by Alhaji Kamara in the infamous Mabey and Johnson affair.

The source said although a police criminal investigation into an allegation that some top officials of the party in power, including Alhaji Kamara, were involved in the British company's role in bribing state officials in exchange for contracts, was brushed aside by a skewed police investigation, appointing him Chief of Staff would put a seal on the administration of in-coming President Mahama as tainted with corruption, even before it takes office.

The worried source said the widely-publicised allegations that Ahaji Kamara acted as a conduit pipe for Mabey and Johnson to bribe Ghanaian public officials could raise serious issues bordering on credibility, "especially when we are told that the Castle was once a collection point for kick-backs."

President Mahama, The Chronicle can report, will soon announce members into his Cabinet, including the key post of Chief of Staff. The Chronicle learns that besides Alhaji Kamara, there are three other top shots of the NDC waiting in the wings for the phone call to fill the Chief of Staff position.

The President, who was elected after a controversial poll, is expected to make key appointments in the following week after returning from the African-Caribbean and Pacific Conference in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Last week, President Mahama out-doored a Transition Team, headed by Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, to prepare the grounds for his coronation, but the composition of the team, particularly, the naming of the Vice-President as head, has irked the Institute of Economic Affairs, the non-governmental organisation that engineered the Transition Bill, which has been approved by Parliament.

Copyright © 2012 Ghanaian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.