Mahama Promises Western Region Cabinet Portfolios
As part of strategies to garner more votes from the Western Region, one of the swing regions in Ghana’s political history, former President John Mahama is reportedly promising the people Cabinet ministers, if he leads the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to victory in the 2024 elections.
According to impeccable sources, the strategy to get the region adequate representation in the party’s affairs at the decision-making levels came on the table for Mr. Mahama, after it came to light that the region currently does not have any Cabinet representative, under this second term of President Akufo-Addo’s administration.
This, The Anchor gathered, is one of the significant errors the NDC political strategists have identified in the current Akufo-Addo administration and are strategizing to capitalize on it as one of the key campaign tools, ahead of the 2024 elections, to win more votes in the region.
Mr. Mahama and NDC sources say, the recent decision by the party to appoint the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ellembelle Constituency, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, as the deputy minority leader in parliament is not a mere coincidence, but, rather, part of the strategies to bait the electorate in order to have a firm grip and control not only over the Western Region, but also the Central Region.
The party in the region is currently matching the NPP boot-for-boot in terms of the number of parliamentary seats it occupies, as out of 17 seats, the NDC has eight against nine by the NPP.
NDC insiders told The Anchor that there are some murmurings ongoing in the region among traditional leaders and the political class that the oil, gold, manganese, cocoa and timber rich area, which is the only region that gives the country more than half of the mineral resources, is not recognized in decision-making.
At the moment, the Western Region alone produces about 50% of Cocoa, 60% Gold, 100% Oil, 100% Manganese and 100% Bauxite for the whole country.
According to this paper’s information, since the governments of former presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Atta-Millsand John Mahama, through to the first-term administration of President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Western Region has had cabinet representations, until recently when it has none.
Party stalwarts in the camp of Mr. Mahama insist the second term of President Akufo-Addo is the only time the Western Region is conspicuously missing at cabinet and, therefore, the party will make political meals out of it.
It is, however, not clear what strategy the opponents in the NPP are deriving to counter the NDC, should the current appointment of ministers remain unchanged.
This paper has also chanced upon a list of all Cabinet Ministers from the Western Region in Ghana’s political history, since the era of President Rawlings:
Cabinet Ministers from Western Region
Hon. Kofi Totobi Quakyi: Minister of Information
Hon. John Frank Abu: Minister of Trade, Minister of Mining and Energy
Hon. Papa Owusu Ankomah: Attorney General and Minister of Justice
Mrs. Gladys Asmah: Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs
Dr. Kwaku Afriyie: Minister of Health, Minister of Lands and Mines
Mrs. Gladys Asmah: Minister for Fisheries
Hon. Joe Ghartey: Attorney General and Minister of Justice
Hon. Joe Baidoo-Ansah: Minister of Trade and Industry
Hon. Lee Ocran: Minister of Education
Hon. George Sipa-Yankey: Minister of Health
Hon. Armah Kofi Buah: Minister of Energy
Hon. Joe Ghartey: Minister for Railway Development
Hon. Catherine Afeku: Minister of Tourism
No Cabinet Minister
It would be recalled that one of the propositions and defences put up by the NDC, following the controversial changes made to its parliamentary leadership recently, was that the party’s decision is to ensure regional balance.
In a statement issued and signed by the general secretary of the NDC, Mr. Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, in Accra, to the Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumani Bagbin, on the notice of changes in the leadership of NDC party in parliament, the party confirmed Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson as the minority leader, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah as the deputy minority leader, Mr. Kwame Agbodza as minority chief whip, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim as the first deputy chief whip and Madam Comfort Doyo Ghansah as the second deputy chief whip.
Interestingly, barely 24 hours after the announcement, the party in the Western Region swiftly congratulated Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah, saying the region is “proud” on his new role as the deputy minority leader in parliament.
In statement issued and signed by the Western Regional Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Joseph Nelson, in Takoradi, the party noted that “since his giant killing feat in 2008, when hebeat the then incumbent MP, Hon. Freddie Blay, that ushered him into parliament for the first time, he has grown to become a stalwart in the region, parliament andthe political space in our dear country.
“His sterling qualities of humility, respect for all, selflessness and hardwork have enabled him to serve his constituents, Western Region, Parliament and Ghana remarkably.”
The statement said that as a former Minister of Energy and later Petroleum, he contributed immensely to the development of those sectors and left an indelible mark.
“Members in the Region are not surprised that once again your qualities have shown through your work in Parliament and caught the attention of party leadership atthe highest level to honour you with this latest appointment,” the statement noted.
The statement said the NDC Western Region was so very proud of Mr. Kofi Buah and “wish to say a big thank you to the National Chairman, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the General Secretary, MPs and all those who played various roles to make this happen.
“It is our prayer and hope that this appointment will spur you on to do even more for God, party and country.”
The statement assured Mr. Kofi Buah of the party’s fervent prayers and support in the discharge of his new responsibilities as the Deputy Minority Leader, fullyconvinced that he would continue to shine and make the Western Region proud.
More To Come…