A day, or two, after a member of the Nduom-led Progressive People's Party (PPP) published a largely pedestrian and vacuous tirade about the urgent need for President John Dramani Mahama to articulate his "vision" for the country, whatever that means, the latter released a list to the media representing his first ministerial reshuffle (See "Mahama Announces First Ministerial Reshuffle" JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 3/11/13).
As to why he had not attempted the more radical exercise of effecting a "Cabinet Reshuffle" is not farfetched; from the get-go, the Mahama-Arthur government has been more about cosmetology than a total reconstruction - or overhaul of the national socioeconomic order - and a progressive agenda for the development of the country.
Still, what is rather comical about his so-called Ministerial Reshuffle is the fact that it comes barely one month after the ten regional ministers were appointed to their respective posts, which means that absolutely none of them have had ample time to register any appreciable measure of either success or grinding failure at their new posts.
And so the most basic and logical question becomes: On what basis were these ministerial appointees reshuffled so early in the game, assuming hypothetically that, indeed, Mr. Mahama is apt to serving out a full four-year term of governance, the overwhelmingly sustainable forensic evidence of the Akufo-Addo petition notwithstanding? The answer seems quite obvious and, in fact, appears in the brief note preceding the presidential press release. In brief, the ministerial reshuffle does appear to be predicated on what Mr. Mahama terms as a "measure to foster national unity, integration and cohesion."
If so, then he comes to the game rather too late. For no Ghanaian leader did a ministerial/"commissionary" reshuffle any better than the Rawlings-slain Gen. Ignatius (Akwasi) Kutu Acheampong, and the yeomanly legacies of key junta players like Cols. Frank Bernasko and Minyila, among a host of others, are all too glaring for those who care to see and remember. Needless to say, the greater legacy of Gen. Acheampong, himself, is boldly imprinted on landmarks located all over the country.
What is also remarkable about Mr. Mahama's so-called Ministerial Reshuffle, of course, is its flagrant lack of any genuine regard for the considerable cost involved in moving nine or ten ministerial appointees around the country, barely four weeks after they had been posted to their new portfolios and were beginning to amply familiarize themselves with the intricate dynamics of their jobs on the ground, as it were.
It also means that at least another two months will be wasted on the fat salaries of these appointees who have yet to be afforded the opportunity to professionally and administratively acquit themselves. I suppose this is a vintage foretaste of what the so-called BETTER GHANA AGENDA is primarily about.
The glaring contradiction that ought to be promptly pointed out to the Bole-Bamboi native, is the non-rocket-sciency fact that you cannot, on the one hand expediently and invidiously campaign on the crest of "tribal-regionalism," such as Mr. Mahama did with inimitable deft last year, and then cynically turn round to shuffle ministerial appointees around like a game of cards, almost as if all that is needed to effectively induce a salutary climate of national unity is to move an Akyem or Okyeni from Koforidua to Accra where, by the way, we have exerted a significant political clout since 1730; and then move an Asante face into a Fante stronghold, which, really, never got severed from Asante political and cultural influences, anyway.
And oh, by the way, has anybody bothered to recognize the fact that only northern-born Ghanaian citizens were reshuffled among the three northern regions? The fact of the matter is that as the Supreme Court hearing of Nana Akufo-Addo's petition against the political legitimacy of President Mahama draws vortically near, the embattled Mr. Mahama appears to have become too jittery to think clearly; and then to have key cabinet appointees publicly and shamelessly defend such administrative fuzziness is all the more pathetic!
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York March 11, 2013