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General News of Saturday, 26 January 2013

Source: myjoyonline.com

Three wise Men appointment is inappropriate if... Atik Mohammed

Atik Mohammed, a Policy Analyst of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) has lashed out at President John Mahama for some perceived sloppy mistakes he has committed in appointing some ministers to help man the affairs of the country.

According to him, he finds it very difficult to understand some of the nominees and the positions they occupy.

Speaking on Alhaji and Alhaji on Radio Gold Saturday, Atik Mohammed cited the appointment of veteran MPs; ET Mensah, Cletus Avoka and Alban Bagbin - referred to as “The Three Wise Men” - to superintend the execution of the President’s priority projects, as one he finds very difficult to comprehend.

He said, “I don’t know whether it is a committee, I don’t know whether they’ve formed a board …or they are just people bearing titles without responsibilities,” but “If you look at the responsibilities that are supposed to be assigned to, these are responsibilities that there are already existing institutions to take care of.”

Considering their responsibilities to “superintend over the implementation of the priority areas by government” which include building of schools, he quizzed whether “they are going to be contractors, are they going to be selecting the contractors?”

The Policy Analyst stressed that even if they are supposed to coordinate, there are already institutions in place to do that work.

He noted that if the President wanted to retire them for the meritorious work, there are several befit packages and ways to do.

“If you feel that they’ve done enough and you want to retire them, there are several startle ways that you can do that but as for this retirement package you’ve decided to give to them I don’t think it’s appropriate and in terms of cost benefit analysis, I don’t think it is cost efficient,” he added.

Touching on the appointment of PNC Member of Parliament, Hon. Alhassan Azong as Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Public Sector Reform, Atik Mohammed said he was disappointed with the appointment adding he thought the MP deserved better.

According to him, “Hon Alhassan Azong has been very loyal to the NDC” and considering his credentials which cannot be doubted, “It is the height of insensitivity to that lone MP that we have in Parliament.”

“He has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that he is indeed ready to work with the NDC you need to give him substantive ministry unless you are telling me you doubt his competence.

“You reduce him to a head of a secretariat I think that it is most unfortunate,” he lamented.

Atik Mohammed recounted that, in 2008 an arrangement was made, to allow the PNC members in parliament help the NDC form its government and there were some commitments mutually expressed by both parties, “we saw how one party reneged on its commitments and so on but yet our MPs still continued to work with them.”

“And as part of the reward for our commitment to the bargain, we lost one seat that was supposed to be helping the NDC in Parliament and the one that is left they fought it very hard, if the NDC had their way they would have taken it away,” he added.

He was of the view that giving Alhassan Azong a substantive ministry will not have been a bad idea since he has shown beyond any measure of doubt that he is really interested in working with the NDC in parliament and beyond.

“How can you be a minister in charge of a secretariat?” he quizzed.

“You might as well just be given some Chief Executive title or some Executive Director but he is a minister and when you ask him whether it is a ministry, it is a secretariat that reduces that position to a joke,” the Policy Analyst said.

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