Aspiring flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alban Bagbin, has taken former President John Dramani Mahama to the cleaners for appointing a visually impaired person as the Minister for Chieftaincy affairs during his administration.
According to him, Mahama’s appointment of Dr. Henry Siedu Danaa for the Chieftaincy Ministry was a big mistake that affected the party’s fortunes in the last election.
“Traditionally, if you are not a whole person can you be a chief? Can you be a queenmother? So if you are going to appoint the minister of chieftaincy and you appoint a very bright lawyer who unfortunately is blind what are you telling the chiefs? The chiefs rejected it, and they spoke, we refused to change him. Do you expect them to vote for you?” he asked.
Speaking at a meeting with NDC members in the Volta Region, Mr. Bagbin said although Dr. Daanaa is a brilliant man, his placement at the Chieftaincy Ministry was wrong.
“He [Dr. Daanaa] is a brilliant guy, I grew up with him. It is good to give him an appointment but where to place him. That is not the right place to place him. So we had very good materials in our last government but the placements were wrong,” he said.
Making Ablakwa a Deputy Education Minister cost NDC
Alban Bagbin, who is the Member of Parliament for Nadowli-Kaleo who doubles as the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament also lambasted John Mahama for appointing Okudzeto Ablakwa as a Deputy Education Minister in-charge-of tertiary education.
He said such appointments sent a wrong signal to the professionals in academia.
“We had very good material in our last government, but the placement was wrong. Look at my son-in-law Ablakwa; brilliant, handsome young man, but he had problems before he got his certificate at Legon. You recall they almost rusticated him.”
“After he’s done national service in Parliament and joined politics, he was made a deputy Minister for Education in Charge of Tertiary. [So for] the lecturers, what are you telling them? Some of these decisions affected us a lot,” Mr. Bagbin said.
Bagbin is seeking to be the NDC’s next presidential candidate.
According to General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, about six people have so far expressed interest in leading the party in the next election.
Some of them include, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah; a former Trade and Industry Minister; Former Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Joshua Alabi and Cape Coast South MP, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan.
The NDC has slated December 7, 2018, for the election of its flagbearer for the 2020 presidential election.
The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) elections have also been scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2018.
Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the NDC, however, said the election for the position of National Youth Organizer and his two deputies, and that of the Women’s Organizer and her two deputies would be held a week earlier on Saturday, October 13.