Mills Is Not In Charge

Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has opened another window into the bowels of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), giving credence to the much touted fear that President John Evans Atta Mills is after all not in charge of presiding over the country. “When the President of the Republic of Ghana, duly sworn in, with all the powers of that position, looks in my face and tells me ‘I’d like to give you this position’ and somebody else should tell him that ‘if you give him this position, it’s over my dead body, we shan’t work with you,’ and those people are holding his campaign funds, and therefore he feels trapped, then I feel that it’s a kind of intimidation, a kind of financial terrorism that is being applied at the presidency.” “He said to me that when I become president…Ekwow Spio-Garbrah will be the first person that I will make a minister in my government… And then he told the Ahwois and others also that if some day he is not willing or able to run as President, I was the one that he would want to support. And of course they found that very unpleasant because they also had their own plans, and possibly one of them could also be the president, so since that day, I’ve been a target of their anger and frustration,” Spio said in a radio interview last Friday. By this latest attack on the presidency, Dr. Spio-Garbrah has pissed into a political grouping in which an internal wrangling is taking an unsettling toll, ahead of a watershed congress scheduled for July in Sunyani. Spio, whose one-time vitriolic engagement with Ato Ahwoi, bequeathed to Ghanaian politics, expressions like “Team B players”, in reference to what for him are mediocre ministerial appointees, was at the throat of the man again when he described him as being the man taking decisions for the president. His remarks run parallel to party founder Jerry John Rawlings’, who has incessantly expressed disgust at what for him is the rule of a group of greedy bastards surrounding the President. Ato Ahwoi, Chairman of the lucrative Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), he said, was part of the Fante Confederacy alongside Kofi Totobi-Quakyi, Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA), the cabal undermining the authority of the President. The cabal threatened President Mills and eventually succeeded in dissuading him from making good his promise of giving him the Foreign Affairs portfolio, Spio, as he is fondly referred to, told his host on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme last Thursday. He expressed sympathy for the President because of what he considers the undermining mission of the cabal at the presidency. He said, “On Thursday 8th January 2009, when President Mills had just been sworn in as President, I sat on the couch with him and he said, ‘Ekwow I would like you to be my Foreign Affairs Minister’.” Dr. Spio-Garbrah, the Chief Executive Officer of the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization, who was until recently a Vice Chairperson of the NDC, noted that he was not the only person to suffer the dashed promise of President Mills regarding appointments. He stated that he was not sulking over the dashed promise of an appointment because after all, he was gainfully employed, remuneration from which outstripped what he would make as a minister at home. His interest in local politics and especially picking forms to run for the presidency was to contribute towards enhancing the living conditions of Ghanaians. “I am not angry at all but I feel sorry for the president, in the sense that if he wants to give a job to anybody- it happened to me in this case, because there are other people who were promised various positions that they didn’t get – he’s not being able to do it because somebody comes to threaten and intimidate him (Mills) that ‘if you appoint this man, I and my brothers won’t work with you’…that is the problem as far as the presidency of Ghana is concerned,” Spio fired. By this revelation, Ghanaians are being told that President Mills has often come under the threats of the Ahwoi brothers and the other members of the so-called Fante confederacy, as a way of having their way, regarding appointments and other favours at the presidency. On why he is challenging President Mills during their party’s July congress to choose a flag-bearer, ahead of the 2012 polls, Spio said it was informed by the disappointment of most of the electorate who voted Mills into power. Besides, he said, such a challenge was not a breach of the party’s constitution. It does not appear that there is going to be a letup in the verbal attacks on the presidency anytime soon. With the FONKAR boys on the rampage with their message of why Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings should be the person to bear the party’s flag in 2012 and now Dr. Spio-Garbrah “pissing” into the party and opening another front, many wonder whether the president would be able to concentrate on the rather challenging task of governing the country, as he is torn between the two travails.