Details picked up by The Herald on the three key individuals in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) from the Volta Region, namely Pius Enam Hadzide, Perry Curtis Okudzeto and Richard Ahiagba, have not been snubbed by President Akufo-Addo as being speculated.
Reports point out that John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Railway Development, is the only indigene from the Volta Region, holding ministerial appointment in the Akufo-Addo government, as well as the Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa.
This development had sent tongues wagging with many, especially political watchers questioning the appointing authorities’ decision to ignore regional balance in the appointment of the deputy ministers.
But The Herald’s digging around both the government circles, as well as among the top echelons of NPP, has revealed plans by the President to send Messrs Hadzide, Okudzeto and Ahiagba to other state institutions.
In the case of Pius Hadzide, The Herald’s information is that, he has been penciled for the vacant National Youth Authority (NYA) Chief Executive position as his compensation him for the government’s inability to make him a Deputy Minister as a result of the Australian Visa scandal which he has constantly denied any involvement.
However, Mr Hadzide’s appointment as head of the NYA, is not cast in iron, as Akosua Asaa Manu-Kozie, who is the Deputy CEO of the NYA, is also on the list of the people being considered for the position which became vacant, following Sylvester Tetteh’s departure to Parliament on the ticket of Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfro.
On Perry Okudzeto, The Herald picked up that, the President is considering him as a Deputy CEO at the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
The CEO of the NPA, this paper has picked up will be Mustapha Hamid, the former Minister of Zongo Development. Perry and Mustapha enjoy a very cordial working relationship.
In the case of Richard Ahiagbah, the Executive Director of Danquah Institute (DI), The Herald picked up a report that the Presidency had penciled him as Deputy Minister for Communications, but he was not ready to relinquish his US citizenship, hence, his appointment as a deputy minister was withdrawn.
However, there are additional reports on Mr Ahiagba, saying he is likely to be sent to the Office of the President as Deputy Communications Director to Eugene Arhin, who is working his way to go to Parliament on the ticket of Mfantseman Constituency.
President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, April 21, announced names of Deputy Ministerial nominees for various ministries, months after holding the NPP and the party’s Parliamentary caucus to ransom regarding the appointments.
Just when the nominees were finally released, strangely missing from the list are some individuals from the Volta region, who many were hopeful were going to be appointed, having ferociously defended both the party and the government in the last four years; amidst sacrificing their reputations.
Some have argued that President Akufo-Addo, chose to give priority to only regions where the party have sitting Members of Parliament (MP) and therefore, since the President had already appointed Mr Amewu, the only NPP MP from the region, there is nothing he could do for those who were not MP, regardless.
Richard Ahiagbah, the Executive Director of Danquah Institute (DI)
But many suspect the President’s decision to exclude Volta from the list was deliberate, because the President, has been unhappy with the people as a result of the number of votes he polled during the 2020 elections, compared to what he garnered in the 2016 polls.
What is even more shocking is the exclusion of the three vibrant young men who were very instrumental during the last four years of his administration.
The absence of Hadzide, Okudzeto and Ahiagba from the list, have become a topic on the lips of many, with some people, especially their friends and schoolmates from both sides of the political divide, making mockery of them.
In all, there are 39 deputy ministers appointed under 24 portfolios, subject to approval by Parliament. Ten of the nominees are women.
According to a statement from the presidency, the list had been submitted to the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
The ministries of Trade, Local Government and Energy, have three deputy minister-nominees.
The list had been highly anticipated since the vetting of Ken Ofori-Atta, who was the last minister nominee to appear before Parliament’s Appointments Committee on March 26.
A number of the Ministers are also maintaining their portfolio from Akufo-Addo’s first term, including Abena Osei-Asare at the Finance Ministry, Mohammed Amin Adam, William Owuraku Aidoo at the Energy Ministry, Osei Bonsu Amoah at the Local Government, Decentralisation & Rural Development, and Tina Mensah at the Health Ministry among others.
In addition, a former deputy Minister of Finance, Charles Adu-Boahen, was also nominated as the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance.
The nominees also feature first time MPs like Hassan Tampuli and John Ampontuah Kumah
The statement from the presidency indicated that President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that, “just as was done for his Ministers, Parliament will, on a bi-partisan basis, expedite the approval of his Deputy Ministerial nominees, so they can join the Government forthwith, and assist in the delivery of his mandate for his second term in office.”