10 January 2013

Ghana: Mahama's First Four Appointees ...


President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday, barely 24 hours on the job, after his swearing-in on Monday, announced the names of the first four members of his kitchen cabinet -his innermost circle.

A statement by presidential spokesman, John Jinapor, named them as: Mr. Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani -Chief of Staff at the presidency; Mr Roger Kwesi Angsomwine -Secretary to the Cabinet; Dr. Raymond Akongburo Atuguba, Executive Secretary to the President and Dr. Sulley Gariba, Senior Policy Coordinator in the Office of the President.

From their curriculum vitae, the four men are well educated, have widespread experience at senior management levels and seem unlikely to be unnecessarily cowed by the mere presence of President Mahama, who may be consulting them regularly.

The calibre of the men would seem to suggest that the President is not interested in surrounding himself with yes-men, who would hang on his every word starry-eyed, forgetting that they were expected to seriously critique what was on the plate.

There is also the implied suggestion of a deliberate search for a close-knit group whose loyalty to President Mahama was absolute and hence the lack of consideration for regional balance, a point that social commentators have been harping on since the announcement.

Much as The Chronicle understands the over-riding need for any leader to have around himself people he could trust, there is still the higher need for national balance in political appointments to give a sense of belonging to all sections of the society.

The Chronicle, therefore, urges President Mahama to let his remaining appointments reflect the national balance that is missing in this his first outing.

We will urge all those who feel a bit aggrieved by the lop-sidedness of these initial nominations to cool down, as President Mahama, probably a bit taken aback at the continuous stream of protests, has already taken notice and would strive to make amends next time. Happy hunting, Mr President.

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