Politics

Government becoming unresponsive just as Rawlings used to justify his coup – Ebo Quansah warns

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Veteran Journalist and General Manager of The Chronicle newspaper, Ebo Quansah has cautioned President Akufo-Addo to sit up and demand results from his appointees for they feel too comfortable and unresponsive to the people.

He says one of the justifications the late former President Jerry Rawlings gave for staging a coup to topple a constitutionally installed government was that the government was not responsive to the people of Ghana and that things had gone astray.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show programme (Editors’ Forum edition) on Monday, July 31, and responding to how his newspaper broke the controversial story of ex-Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Dapaah’s stolen millions, Ebo Quansah said the story brought back memories of the past.

First, he recalled a similar situation when the chairman of the then ruling National Democratic Congress, Dr. Yao Obed Asamoah, had huge sums stolen from his home and of which theft two policemen were accused.

“It also reminds me of the whole coup scenario because Jerry Rawlings in his coup statement said that the government was not responsive to the people of Ghana and that things had gone astray, and from my point of view if we don’t take care, things might go astray as well.”

Ebo Quansah explained that Cecilia Dapaah’s case was interesting in many ways and needed to be brought to public attention, as well as the President’s attention “that all may not be well with his ministers.”

Minister Cecilia Dapaah resigned recently following public outcry over millions of cash said to have been stolen from her home.

Court documents had indicated that as much as $1 million, €300,000 and an undisclosed amount of cedis running into millions, as well as prized jewellery and other personal effects belonging to her and her husband had been stolen by two domestic workers who were standing trial for the theft.

Ebo Quansah wondered if Cecilia Dapaah’s home was a bank, for her to keep all that money there.

He said there hasn’t been many changes in President Akufo-Addo’s appointments and it is good that this story came out for him to reflect and decide whether or not it is time for changes, “because when people remain at a particular place for quite a time they become too comfortable and tend not to follow the rules and regulations of this country.”

He said “the president needed to know, reflect and put his foot down because things are not what they should be.”

Ebo Quansah also said that President Akufo-Addo could have better responded to Cecilia Dapaah’s resignation by toning down on his praises for her service to his government, given that she was bowing out on a not too good note.

“Praising her for all that she has done and that sort of thing, I think the praise should have been mellowed a bit because of the circumstances under which she resigned.”

Asked if he had any inhibitions publishing the story, Ebo Quansah said he had no inhibitions at all, besides it was a court story and open to all other media platforms.

He explained that given how much money was involved and the fact that the Minister herself took the matter to court, there was no inclination to hide it, more so when it was of public interest.

Insisting that the president’s ministers are getting too comfortable on the job, Ebo Quansah said while a number of them are his friends and share the same political ideology as liberal democrats, besides being in exile with a number of them during Jerry Rawlings’s revolution days, he feels a number of them are not very responsive to issues.

“Sometimes it baffles me that I, sitting here and they being my friends, sometimes when I call them most of them won’t respond. And if an editor calls a minister and he won’t respond, how responsive will he or she be to the ordinary people of Ghana?

“So these issues need to come out for they themselves, the ministers, to re-examine the way they are conducting affairs of state and for everybody to know what is happening … and stop behaving as if they are above the ordinary Ghanaian.”

He insisted that the ministers have become too comfortable because there is no pressure on them since they know the president won’t change them no matter what happens.

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