Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills has finally conducted the much awaited Ministerial Reshuffle http://vibeghana.com/2012/01/25/full-text-of-reshuffle-by-president-mills/which has seen some Ministers of his administration sent to occupy other portfolios whilst others have been booted out! We went to the streets to find out what people thought of this particular move by the President. A new entrant Mr Fritz Baffour, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South and a communicator who many describe as controversial has been sent to the Information Ministry. The reshuffle took place on Wednesday January 25th 2012.
Note: These interviews were conducted on February 7, 2012.
JUSTICE ALLOTEY (STUDENT)
“I noticed the dramatic effect the Ministerial reshuffle had on the country and I believe the President has made the right decisions.
I am expecting a lot from Fritz Baffuor because it is obvious that the government machinery for the dissemination of information has collapsed and that has given the opposition too much space to spew so much misinformation and untruths into the public domain.
The communication team of government went bad to an extent that on several occasions, you had many spokespersons of the government submitting different angles of one subject matter to the public whilst the administration also had its own position leaving all of us in total confusion.
The year 2012 is an election year and it is important that this situation is no longer allowed to persist else the end results is going to be disastrous.”
MARY ASSUMAH (STATIONER)
“The practice of sacking Ministers or moving them to other Ministries has not helped this country in a number of ways.
Firstly, we do know that there are laws around which the Ministers have to work and some of them are so bulky that it takes a little more time for the ministers to grasp the full import of the laws.
Parliament also on several occasions delegates some law making powers to the Ministers so they can make laws for the smooth running of their Ministries and that is also a lot of work. Therefore keeping a Minister at post for a year or two and sacking them or moving them to occupy other Ministerial portfolios is a problem and we must watch it.
Who are those who elect the Ministers in the first place because on several occasions I have had cause to question the caliber and the competence of some of the Ministers in performing certain tasks in relation to their Ministers.
I hear some of them speak on TV and on the Radio and you feel ashamed because they are not eloquent. Ministers should only be removed if only there is evidence that they have been engaged in some corrupt activity or have done things which might lead to treason or the subversion of the national interest."
ADAM ANABA DAVID (STUDENT)
“The Ministerial reshuffle has been well done but the process must be completed because there are a lot more bad nuts within the administration.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, must be kicked out as soon as possible because the man has not sought the interest of Ghana on several occasions.
Under his stewardship, Ghana has become a colony of the United States and what role has he played in crafting a foreign policy for the country? What does Ghana stand for in the international arena?
That responsibility is not solely his, but it is obvious that all that this American agent has sought to do, is to forcefully align Ghana with the West whilst we have often closed our doors to countries in the Middle East, Asia and South America. What is his own attitude towards the Muslim community in Ghana?
Again, I am of the view that we have not attached enough importance to the Ministry of Tourism and that is also another problem.
We often tend to push the not so-well-performing Ministers to that Ministry and I believe it is about time we give that Ministry our full backing because it has gotten a lot of potential to unleash in attempt to make Ghana the number one tourist destination in Africa”
JONES ASARE (FARMER)
“I agree with the opposition when they say that the President must resign and I do so because it has become increasingly clearer that the President has failed when it comes to the issue of land administration in this country.
Of course, the Ministry of Agriculture has done a lot more for farmers under this administration than at any time but that would come to nothing when the gold mining companies are grabbing our lands with impunity.
In less than ten years, farmers from the Central and Western Regions would have to come and take up jobs at the Castle and in the Ministries because we would no longer have land to do our farming.
Farmers no longer have protection from the government like we used to have under Former President Rawlings and under Acheampong. We sit and watch helplessly while foreign companies are coming into this country in drones and with the help of the Parliamentarians and the Ghana Police Service, they just come and drive us away from our lands which have always become a part of our heritage.
This crime is happening because the people in government are of the thinking that they can do without farmers and that is true.
I have visited a few Super Markets since I came to Accra and I find imported food items from South Africa and other parts of the world and people are buying them. However, let me sound a note of caution to President Mills that there are a lot more Ghanaians who cannot afford the foodstuffs being sold in the super markets and for these people, they rely on local farmers to provide them with food and these are the people who after they have had enough to eat would go and vote for them”
O.D AKUTSOTSE (ALL YANKEE) DRIVER
"My son, let me first let you know that I am a very proud member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and I would always be unless the party ceases to exist.
This government has the hands of God stretched upon it and no man born of a woman can put asunder what God has put together.
The kinds of Ministers we have under this administration of the NDC are far better and efficient than what we had under the NPP a little over three (3) years ago and that is obvious.
No member of the NDC parliamentarians or its Ministers have been cited for insurance fraud and none of them ever carried monies in sacks and carried them to the Barclays Bank off the High Street.
No Minister has on a national assignment abroad, capture a woman, disgraced her womanhood and had a child with her and got the President to serve as a “by force” God-father to the baby.
We are conducting this reshuffle because we want to give others the opportunity to also prove to Ghanaians what stuff is made of the NDC.
I would be dishonest by saying that all of our Ministers have turned water to wine like Jesus Christ did but certainly we are on course and certainly the dreams of Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah will be realized in this country under the administration of the man anointed by God and before whom a table has been laid in the presence of his enemies.
As for Akuffo Addo the next time you meet him, tell him that he would only become President of Ghana after I am dead and gone.”
"I wish to suggest that the duty of appointing Ministers must be left to a committee whose duty would be to check the background of individuals and in that process evaluate their track-record so long as public service is concerned.
Ghanaians from all walks of life campaign and commit resources to a party at any point in time. Some do it not because they want something in return, but because they are hopeful and confident that a particular party and its officials can do the work better.
That is why we must not appoint people to take up Ministerial positions solely based on their membership of one party because they might not be competent.
When we over look all these considerations and make people Ministers when we shouldn’t, the President would be embarrassed and cited for non-performance because it is often assumed that it is he who appoints and fires.”
SOLOMON NII ARDEY (FREIGHT FORWARDER)
“President Evans Atta Mills is a man of absolute efficiency and very disciplined but I had a problem with the caliber of Ministers currently working in his administration.
The reshuffle has drawn some of them out, but there are a lot more of them who must be shown the exit.
Some of them are very corrupt and they are serving themselves and if that were not the case, how come they have done nothing meaningful and substantial with their budgetary allocations."