Reshuffle: More Ministers To Go

Credible information available to Daily Guide indicates that President Atta Mills is not yet done with the reshuffle of his ministers as a second ministerial reshuffle list is said to be in the offing. Castle sources said the upcoming reshuffle will witness the introduction of the some new faces, with the inclusion of one or two members of the now defunct Obed Asamoah-led Democratic Freedom Party (DFP). The President is only said to be bidding his time to swear in the first batch of his new appointees, after which he would release the names. Among those whose names are being bandied about as likely casualties include Defense Minister Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith (rtd), who is said to be very unpopular among service personnel. He is accused of dabbling in procurement issues, leaving out the professionals who are supposed to be doing that. According to sources, on Friday December 30, 2011, Lt, Gen. Smith hurriedly organized a durbar with troops at Burma Hall when he realized that the soldiers were not taking things lying low concerning their back pay. The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffour, rescued Gen Smith. His younger brother, Victor Smith, who is eyeing the Abuakwa-North parliamentary seat and currently the country’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic, is expected to be brought back home to be given a ministerial appointment, possibly as a Minister of State at the Presidency, to enable him focus on his parliamentary ambitions. Also on the President’s hit list is said to be his Roads and Highways Minster Joe Gidisu who, apart from not being able to deliver a single of the several road projects promised by the government, seems to have incurred the displeasure of the president, tainted with questions about receipt of an expensive brand new $166,000 BMW saloon car under the pretext of a project vehicle. The vehicle has since been confiscated by the Presidency for further investigations. Anti-graft crusaders are of the opinion that Mr. Gidisu ought to have been fired for his ostentatious lifestyle which flies in the face of the President’s austerity posture. Others, including Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashietey, whose performance in the capital city is said to be below average, are also on the radar for removal. It is not clear who will replace Nii Armah Ashietey as Greater Accra Regional Minister, but Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, a Minister of State at the Presidency, is tipped to take over from him. The name of former NDC General Secretary, Bede Ziedeng, who left the NDC to join Dr. Obed Asamoah’s DFP, is also being speculated as one of the new faces to be brought on board. What is not clear is the ministry Bede would be taken to. This is believed to be part of the internal arrangements between DFP and NDC which made the former to rejoin the umbrella party. Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ebo Barton-Odro, is also highly tipped for removal because of his initial comments and position on the Alfred Agbesi Woyome matter which was at variance with that of his sector minister’s, making his continuous stay at post a baggage for the government. As Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Barton-Odro and his previous boss, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, filed a ‘no case’ (defense) appearance against Mr. Woyome’s claim for over GH¢51.2 million judgment debt. In spite of the fact that Woyome himself had admitted to not having a contract with the State, they also went on various media platforms to justify their claims. Kobby Acheampong, deputy minister for Interior, and his counterpart at the Transport Ministry, Dzifa Attivor, should watch out as the impending tsunami may sweep them along.