Confusion Over Cabinet Status Ö. Mahama Canít Decide Between Armah Buah And Kwabena Donkor

There is a seeming contest between the Ministers of Petroleum and Power, as to which of them should be accorded Cabinet Status by President John Dramani Mahama, by the end of this week.

Currently, there is only one Cabinet position available which must be occupied by one of the two Ministers, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah and Dr. Kwabena Donkor, following the split of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum into two.

Article 76 (1) of the 1992 Constitution mandates the President to appoint a minimum of ten and a maximum of nineteen Ministers to his Cabinet. The said Article states: “There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and not less than ten and not more than nineteen Ministers of State”.

The creation of Ministry of Power out of Energy and Petroleum has, however, added an additional ministry to the list, thus bringing the total to twenty ministries.

Since the creation of the two ministries – Power and Petroleum, the personalities at the top, according inside sources, have been battling each other for recognition of which of the ministries is critical to the country’s energy sector.

The Editor of Debates in Parliament compounded the issue when the Hansard of February 3, 2015, published a list of twenty Cabinet Ministers instead of nineteen.

The Ministers are; Seth Terkper, Finance, Ms. Hannah Serwaa Tetteh, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Dr. Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor, Defence, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Education, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Roads and Highways, Fifi Fiavi Franklin Kwetey, Food and Agriculture and Dzifa Aku Attivor, Transport.

Others include; Dr. Kweku Ageyman Mensah, Health, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Petroleum, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, Attorney-General and Justice, Julius Debrah, Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, Water Resources, Works and Housing, Nii Osah Mills, Interior, and Akwasi Oppong Fosu, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.

The rest are; Nana Oye Lithur, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Haruna Iddrisu, Employment and Labour Relations, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, Communications, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Power.

This necessitated the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members to draw the attention of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, last Friday, to a possible breach of the Constitution, demanding to know if the information as published in the Hansard was a true reflection of the number of Ministers in the President’s Cabinet.

The Speaker, however, debunked the assertion on the floor of Parliament yesterday, noting that the information at his disposal indicates that there are only eighteen Cabinet Ministers currently and that President Mahama is yet to decide on which of the two Ministers joins his Cabinet.

Rt. Hon. Adjaho explained that the Editor of Debates made a mistake in publishing the names of twenty Cabinet Ministers including the Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor and the Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah when there was no official communication from the Presidency to that effect.

He said he would inform the House in due course when the President decides which of the two ministers is important in his Cabinet.

However, information available to The Chronicle indicates that there is serious power play between the two ministers, with Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah, the Petroleum Minister believing that his ministry is superior to Dr. Kwabena Donkor’s Power Ministry. It remains to be seen who the President deems more important to sit in his Cabinet.