Reshuffle of ministers are not unusual in any Government. Indeed they are a necessity when executed with a mission to revitalize government and inject a fresh drive into governance.
Reshuffle of ministers can however become counterproductive if not well thought out and if effected within the context of a four year term of Government. This is because the four year term of office grants the President not as much time as one may think to execute his mandate. It is therefore worrying that President Mahama has chosen a piecemeal approach to reshuffling his ministers, as opposed to making it a one off exercise in order not to create a situation of instability within his government and among his ministers.
It is obvious that the President is not done yet with his reshuffling exercise, but it is imperative and prudent that he makes the next reshuffling of ministers his last in order to bring much needed stability into his government . Ministers who are in the news for the wrong reasons such as the Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs should not be retained by the President. A minister who cannot collaborate with her deputies is a liability to the President’s Government and especially his party considering the fact that her deputies are MP’s who have strong party affiliations and support even to consistency levels.
President Mahama should avoid creating the perception that he underestimates party sentiments when it comes to appointments and retention of his ministers. He should always remember that he rose to power on the back of his party the NDC, and will have to thread the same path for reelection. In other words, he should refrain from antagonizing his party front and party support base nationwide in order to make things easy for himself.
One key position that the President may need to review in his last reshuffling exercise is that of the Chief of Staff. The position of Chief of Staff is vital to the success or failure of the President because the position has historically assumed the status of a deputy to the President aside from the Vice President. An effective Chief of Staff can play a supervisory role over all Government appointees, and can positively assist the President to succeed in the running of his Government.
It is therefore imperative that the Chief of Staff be someone who is experienced politically and in governance such as to be able to offer maximum assistance to the President on both the executive and party fronts. Unfortunately, the perception out there is that, the current Chief of Staff lacks the necessary political and governance experience to offer maximum support to the President. If for instance the President goes to his vital support base such as the Volta Region to admit that it is good that he has been prompted by chiefs of the Region about their concerns, it creates the impression that his officials and especially his Chief of Staff are not on top of their game.
The President needs officials and chiefs of Staff who are proactive and are ready, capable and organized to address burning issues before they develop to levels that require his (President’s) intervention. The President therefore needs experienced political and governmental hands around him to make his job easy. Old acquaintances and friends who are not up to the task should be replaced with competent hands to make him succeed.
The President still has the goodwill of a good majority of Ghanaians despite all the challenges facing the country. However, he should be seen to take the bold decisions with dispatch in order not to disappoint the many Ghanaians who still believe that he can succeed.
Whether we admit it or not Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani and Mr. Patrick Newman set high standards of performance as Chiefs of Staff and played big roles in the success of their respective Presidents and Governments.
In view of the fact that the role of a Chief of Staff in the success or otherwise of any Government has become very critical in our current governance set up, when lapses in government become one too many, the clear indication is that the President’s immediate support staff headed by the chief of staff is under performing .
Severe fuel shortages as were recently experienced in the country is an example of one of such lapses in governance which should not be taken lightly as they point to inefficiencies in governance which should be rectified and avoided in the future.
God Bless our Nation, Ghana
Long Live President Mahama.
Report By: Mensah Dekportor (Hamburg-Germany)
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