Ghana’s former president, John Agyekum Kufuor, has said that a president should have the confidence to sack or move his appointees from their positions if it turns out they are no longer delivering on their mandates.
According to the elderly statesman, it is the president's responsibility to ensure that when his appointees are no longer productive, he makes the difficult decision to replace them.
Responding to a question posed to him by celebrated journalist Kwaku Sakyi Addo when the former president hosted the Institute of Economic Affairs at his Peduase residence, John Agyekum Kufuor shared a classic example of how he made some major reshuffles during his tenure.
He explained that although there was an appointee who had been extremely supportive of his presidency, when it mattered most, he moved her from a portfolio even though she wasn’t exactly pleased with it.
“I didn’t reshuffle just for the frequency of it; no. Like I mentioned Mrs Asmah; I liked her so much, may her soul rest in peace, and she helped me so much when I was canvassing to become president… and the way she contributed towards establishing MASLOC. And so when we got into power, and I said Women and Children, she was trying to do it, but along the way, I saw that she wasn’t pulling the support that I expected from the women, especially the younger women.
“So, we wanted the young people to be enthused about so I saw that Alima would be able to bring on board the young people so I said Mrs Asmah would be more effective going to the fisheries, to open the place up for us. So, that’s how I did the reshuffle and Alima came on board and I think Alima seemed to be making impact with the young people… So, I didn’t just reshuffle for the sake,” he stated.
President John Agyekum Kufuor further explained that in the position of a president, whoever is there needs to act like a coach and ensure that he or she is always putting his or her best team forward.
“The president’s role is like the coach; not just a team leader. You have to know what your ministers are doing, whether their being positive or whether they’re just being average when you expect more from them, and you should have the courage to say you don’t belong here, go there, or perhaps sit aside… and that thing should not be seasonal; it should be continuous,” he said.
The IEA was at the former president’s residence as part of a series of seminars aimed at reviewing Ghana’s 1992 constitution.
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