Grapevine reports indicate that staffers of the late President John Evans Atta Mills have been rendered redundant at the Osu, Castle.
Daily Guide sources at the Castle disclosed that there was a strong power play going on at the Castle that made Mills staffers, including his loquacious Communications Director Koku Anyidoho, Mills’ Director of Operations Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, and Chief of Staff Henry Martey Newman, only go to loiter at the Castle and draw their salaries at the end of the month.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has also been yanked off from his frontline role for speaking for the president. He has been asked to focus on his parliamentary ambition.
Mr Martey Newman has been seen following the president occasionally but Castle sources told Daily Guide that he was only marking time and that those who were now the movers and shakers at the Presidency were a certain Roger, who was the secretary to Mr Mahama when he was the vice president, Alhaji Baba Kamara, High Commissioner to Nigeria who had virtually taken up a new role as defacto Chief of Staff and Director of Operations, and Stan Dogbe, a cousin of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the embattled NDC bankroller, who was now acting as Director of Communications.
The affected aides of the late President Mills who earn an average of GH¢4,000 monthly, before the recent salary increase, were the ones closest to him.
Daily Guide gathered that the displaced staffers still occupy the secretariat of President Mills because President Mahama has refused to move into his former boss’s office.
President Mahama is still occupying the vice president’s office, although he is not the vice president. The president’s attitude, which has curiously raised several eyebrows, has compelled Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur to perch at the State House.
Presidential spokesman John Abdulai Jinapor told Daily Guide on Thursday: “He is operating from the Castle, and there is not much difference [Whether he is operating from the President or his vice’s office]. There is not much difference, honestly, I don’t know why, but I don’t think there is much difference.”
Daily Guide information reveals that the unspecified schedule of Mills’ old staffers has left a lot of them confused. Sources told the paper that some of the secretaries came to the office and slept.
A source told Daily Guide that Koku Anyidoho had nothing to do in his mistaken belief that he was still the Director of Communications but his secretary had been on French leave because there was nothing for her to do.
He has also ceded some of his aides like Peter Bamfo to support Vice President Amissah Arthur. Daily Guide gathered that President Mahama has decided to keep these staffers in a bid not to rock the boat in the already fragile front of the ruling NDC.
Instead of downright dismissals, President Mahama’s men have been subtly infused into the government. For instance, Alhaji Kamara, Ghanaian’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, is said to be the de facto Chief of Staff, even though Henry Martey Newman is still maintaining the front as a titular Chief of Staff.
The diplomat, who is President Mahama’s fellow Gonja tribesman, is often spotted with him on all official duty tours. Alhaji Kamara was on Friday spotted among the presidential entourage that went around greeting Muslims during the Eid-Ul-Adha festival.
He uses the vehicle assigned for his diplomatic duties in Nigeria here in Ghana.
Meanwhile, Daily Guide gathered that even though Koku Anyidoho still maintains the title of Communications Director at the presidency, his actual role is almost lost as there is no love lost between him and President Mahama, a feud which began when Mills was alive.
He is said to have been very rude to the then Vice President Mahama.
It is believed that the real communications brain at the presidency is Stanislav Xoexe Dogbe, a 1999 product of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, who had a stint at Joy FM, an Accra-based radio station, until he left there in 2006 under inexplicable circumstances.
Mr Dogbe does the job while Jinapor, another fellow tribesman of the president, does the talking in the media.
Also, Mill’s Director of Operations Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, a former sports journalist, even though still poses as a functionary of the presidency, is said to have been told to go and concentrate on his parliamentary ambition at the Odododiodioo constituency in Accra.
On July 24 this year, when President Atta Mills suddenly died in office, several civil society groups advocated the removal of his communications team because of its pugnacious approach to public discourse.
On the frontline of this advocacy was Franklin Cudjoe, the Executive Director of Imani, a think-thank. He said, “We are getting into a phase where the election will be based on issues… if you do have the same communication team that has served us in the last couple of months or years…this same campaign team [the NDC communication team], I’m not too sure the message that needed to be communicated would be done effectively. If he (President Mahama) mistakenly uses the same communication team, I’m not too sure his message will be well said…”
According to the policy analyst, if President Mahama did not bring a change in the current communication team, some of the mistakes that were committed over the past years and months were likely to be repeated.
Source: Raphael Adeniran/D-Guide
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