3 Ministers Sacked

PRESIDENT JOHN Dramani Mahama has relieved three of his ministers of their posts in what looks like a dress rehearsal of an impending cabinet reshuffle. The reshuffle has been on the card for a very long time with the President keeping the list close to his chest. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Akwasi Oppong Fosu; Deputy Minister of Defence, Ebenezer Teye Larbi and Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy, John Alexander Ackon, have been shown the exit. In a fashion similar to a musical chairs game, the President has also reshuffled some of his ministers. A Minister of State and two deputies were dropped from the administration in an official statement released from the Presidency at the Flagsaff House on Thursday evening, with no reasons assigned. “Julius Debrah, Eastern Regional Minister, is now Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.” The President nominated Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Antwi Boasiako- Sekyere as Eastern Regional Minister while his colleague, Yaw Effah Baafi, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has been made Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs. Former Deputy Chief of Staff under the late President Atta Mills, Alex Segbefia has been called up into government, having been nominated as Deputy Minister of Defence in accordance with Article 79 (1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. He is therefore scheduled to replace Teye Larbi at the Ministry as Deputy to Mark Woyongo, the substantive Minister of Defence, who may also exit. Mr. Teye Larbi, a former lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), just returned from South Sudan where he led a delegation of Ghanaian officials to negotiate for the release of seized military weapons meant for Ghanaian peace-keepers deployed to the war-torn country. Mr. Oppong-Fosu, at the time of the release of the statement, was out of the country in far away Turkey, DAILY GUIDE has learnt. Alex Segbefia is therefore expected to go through a vetting process before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for approval before he assumes the new position. President Mahama has also appointed the Chief Director at the Ministry of the Interior, Alhaji Salifu Osman, as Deputy National Security Coordinator, while the Tema Regional Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Emmanuel Tanga, has been appointed Deputy Director of the BNI. The statement went further to mention the appointment of one Dr. John Kofi Baffoe, an Economist with the African Development Bank, as Technical Adviser to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Terpker – whom leading members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) want President Mahama to sack. Dr. Baffoe is said to have over 30 years of experience in macro and development economics, and his appointment is seen by some concerned Ghanaians as an indication that Mr. Terkper’s management of the economy is getting out of hand. Sources told DAILY GUIDE that more names that are likely to shock many political pundits would be dropped in the coming days. It is not clear if President Mahama would succumb to excessive pressure being mounted on him by leading members of his party to sack his finance minister.