A Communications team member of the ruling National Democratic Congress, Kwasi Poku, has bemoaned the numerous overseas travels of President John Dramani Mahama, saying “there are more pressing domestic issues to deal with than always junketing abroad to attend conferences.”
Admitting travelling abroad to advertise Ghana, woo investors and to attend conferences is part of the president’s responsibility, the Accra ‘Pig Farm’ based NDC communicator explained that more than a year into the President Mahama’s administration, he is yet to conclude the formation of his government, adding “this is an issue that must attract the attention of the President before embarking on these excessive overseas trips.”
“As I speak to you, there are some districts without District Chief Executives; we are yet to finish appointing Ministers or deputies, Chief Executives and board of directors of state organizations, and also Ambassadors have not been posted,” he averred.
Comparing the Mahama-led government to the erstwhile Mills administration of which President Mahama was vice President; Kwasi Poku, who is also a staunch member of the Media Analyst Group, an NDC pressure group, noted that before the late President Mills started his overseas travels, he had virtually finished appointing his Ministers, board of directors and ambassadors.
Expressing his frustration in an interview with The Al-Hajj yesterday, the NDC communicator noted that because the late Mills was more concerned with forming his government and attending to domestic issues to give his government a formidable start, the NDC government under his stewardship was able to carry-out the unprecedented development projects Ghanaians witnessed within his three and half years in office.
He said the success of every President depends on how his Local Government Minister appoints Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives for the various districts, but “more than a year into the Mahama administration, some districts are without DCEs, we are yet to finish appointing Ministers, Chief executives for state institutions and board of directors.”
“My own hometown Asanti Akim Agogo, is without a DCE and the most painful thing is that it is one of the new districts…you see, the President has promised to build 200 Senior High Schools out of which 50 is expected to be built this year; and without the DCEs, how do we intend to get those projects moving? Why can’t the President cut the overseas travels and see to it that he assemble his team? What would the President profit if he woos all the best investors to Ghana and there are no people to help him work?” he worriedly quizzed.
He said the snail pace at which the government is moving which has brought untold hardship in the country was as a result of the President’s resolve to do away with all the competent appointees of the late President Mills, who according to Kwesi Poku, would have helped him to achieve almost twofold the late Mills’ success.
“Where are the experienced hands in the NDC who helped late President Mills to deliver on his promises, to the extent that, within three years in his government, physical infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads and other projects like electrification and water projects sprung up all over the country? Why is the President not using them?
“It is time we get serious because the 2016 elections will not come easy for the NDC if we don’t deliver on our campaign promises. Because of our own behavior, members of the NPP now have a field day lambasting the President and the NDC on all fronts,” Kwasi Poku lamented.
According to Mr Poku, since last year when the President nominated ten NDC capos as Ambassadors designate, nothing has been heard of them; “their accredited countries still remain unknown… In any case why should the President appoint someone like Dr Tony Aidoo as ambassador? This is someone that members of the NPP are scared of and anytime he speaks they are afraid…such a person should not have been sent out on a foreign mission.”
It would be recalled that President John Mahama travelled to Dubai for Christmas holidays and within two weeks of his return to the country, junket back to the same place to attend a conference before arriving in Davos, Sweden, to participate in the World Economic Forum.
Before this, the President had visited countries like US, Turkey, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa among others, and he is currently in Ethiopia attending an AU conference.
These numerous foreign travels, Kwasi Poku noted, were needless especially when he can delegate some trips to his vice President or the Foreign Affairs Minister while he turns his attention to the numerous domestic challenges.
“The President is yet to appoint someone for the vacant deputy ministerial position at the Ministry of Communications, the reshuffle that we heard of is yet to come and other things…don’t we have anyone to fill the position?” he asked.
It would also be recalled the NDC then in opposition was very critical of former President Kufuor’s frequent overseas travels. He was alleged to have embarked on between 150 to 170 trips to virtually all cities of the world as a result of which, the party nicknamed him Mungo Park or World Traveller.
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