There are strong indications that President John Mahama is set to relieve some of his appointees who have become a source of embarrassment to the presidency of their posts.
The latest embarrassment is the error-riddled brochure for the 59th Independence Anniversary celebration.
A very reliable source told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that the president was becoming increasingly worried about the way and manner some of his aides had been bringing the name of his office and the entire country into disrepute and had decided to finally crack the whip on them.
What broke the camel’s back was the production of the error-laden brochure distributed to guests at the 59th Independence Anniversary parade in Accra last Sunday, March 6. One of the major errors in the brochure was the claim that President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya is the President of Ghana, which has since made the country a subject of international ridicule.
The person whose name is on the lips of many Ghanaians is Stan Dogbe, head of the Flagstaff House Communications Bureau, who DAILY GUIDE learnt is being reassigned from the presidency.
Francis Kwarteng Arthur, Acting Director of Information Services Department (ISD), on secondment from the presidency – who apologized on behalf of the ISD in respect of the poorly prepared brochure when his outfit was clearly not part of the document’s preparation – is also expected to be relinquished of his post.
It later turned out that such brochures are prepared under the supervision of Stan Dogbe and printed at a press house of a member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), sidelining the ISD which had been handling such assignments with finesse.
“The president has become sick and tired of the daily blunders of his appointees and is set to do something about them without any further delay,” the source hinted DAILY GUIDE.
Some NDC officials as well as government appointees are also calling for heads to roll in the error-riddled brochure saga.
The individuals responsible for the printing of the brochure should be sanctioned, according to former national security advisor, Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah.
The former military officer wondered how such mistakes could have eluded officials mandated to carry out the planning and execution of the Independence Day programme.
According to him, “The problem we have in Ghana is that we don’t punish people who go wrong.
“Next time, whoever gets the job will ensure that he or she performs properly; but we don’t punish people and they get away with it and repeat the mistakes of the past,” Gen. Nunoo-Mensah told Class Fm yesterday.
NDC MP for La Dadekotopon, Nii Amasah Namoale, also believes sanctioning all the people involved in the mess will send a strong signal that the government is serious with sloppy lapses.
He said sweeping the matter under the carpet will not help the NDC government.
The president had been exposed to a series of public embarrassments, including missing pages in his official speech at public events. At an ECOWAS leaders’ Summit in Accra in May last year, he was left stranded in the middle of his speech when some pages were found to have gone missing. “I’m missing some pages here… well, I’m missing some pages here; I wonder when that happened…,” he said as the dignitaries looked at him with dismay.
A branded Golden Tree chocolate produced for the first family by the distressed Cocoa Processing Company during the last Christmas also had the name of the Mahamas wrongly spelt. Instead of Mahama, it was spelt Mahaha, causing huge embarrassment to the family on social media. DAILY GUIDE learnt that the contract for the branding of the chocolate was also grabbed by an unnamed presidential staffer.
Last Sunday’s event brochure, distributed at the Black Star Square, where visiting presidents were in Ghana to witness the momentous occasion, was filled with poor grammar, awful spelling, badly constructed sentences as well as shocking colloquial expressions with the description of the green colour in the national flag as ‘dark green – apart from the reference to
the visiting Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, as President of Ghana.
Later, ISD staff descended on their Acting Director, Francis Kwarteng Arthur, who was the Chairman of the Communications Sub-Committee of the 59th Anniversary Planning Committee, for creating the impression that the Department had produced the shameful brochure and called for his immediate removal from the place.
Even the ISD boss letter of apology was wrongly dated January 12 when it was supposed to be March 7.
The ISD Acting Director also used an alleged forged letterhead of his outfit in writing the apology letter.
Meanwhile, the staff had petitioned President Mahama to sack Mr Arthur.
The workers said as far as they were concerned, the Department was not involved in the publication of the brochure that had caused embarrassment to the country.
The staff argued that the Department would have saved government and Ghanaians from the embarrassment if it had been involved in the process of producing the document.
“It is important to note that ISD has competent human resources who over the years handled national events with competence to the pride of all. If the Department had been involved in the process of the production of the brochure, it would have saved the government and the people of Ghana from the embarrassment,” the staff maintained.
They further accused their director of disrespecting both the management and the employees of the ISD.
“Since Mr. Arthur’s appointment to ISD, his style of administration has been autocratic and has shown gross disrespect to both management and other staff members of the Department,” the staff alleged.
By William Yaw Owusu
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