Malor’s appointment: Indication of Mahama’s failed Rottweiler approach – Egbert Fabille

Lawyer and senior journalist, Egbert Fabille says the appointment of Mr. Ben Dotse Malor as Head of Communications at the Presidency, is an indication of government’s failed communication strategy.

According to Mr. Fabille, president John Mahama is clearly dissatisfied with the performance of the two deputies at the Information and Media relations Ministry – Murtalla Mohammed and Felix Kwakye Ofosu- hence the appointment of the experienced ace broadcaster.

The presidency on Monday announced the appointment of Mr. Malor, a former BBC and UN Radio broadcaster, as “Senior Communications Adviser and Head of Communications at the Presidency”.

The development has drawn criticisms from several quarters, including individuals and interest groups with the opposition New Patriotic Party in particular, demanding justification for the appointment of Mr. Malor in addition to the numerous personnel in charge of government’s communications. The critics also say this will add to the already huge government expenditure.

Speaking Saturday on weekly current affairs programme, Newfile, on Joy News TV and Joy FM, Mr. Egbert Fabille said president Mahama is backtracking from the failed aggressive strategy his administration started with but he lacks the courage to sack the non performing deputies.

“I see where possibly the president is coming from…If you look at Mahama Ayariga…when he delivers you’ll know that this is a stable factor. Unfortunately, I cannot say so for his two deputies [Murtalla Mohammed and Felix Kwakye Ofosu].

“…The Rottweiler approach has failed! To unleash people to go on radio [and] insult…equalise and all that…but the mistake is, the president [Mahama] not having if you like, the courage to jettison those who he thinks are weaklings in his communication set up and brining in an accomplished person like Ben Dotse Malor”.

One-man business
However, a former deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim Boateng has stated that the practice of having a communications unit at the presidency aside the Information Ministry, is not new to the country.

Beyond Ghana, governments of nations such as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and South Sudan are operating similar communication structures, Mr. Agyenim Boateng added.

Mr. Agyenim Boateng, who is now a presidential staffer, also argued against the claim that Mr. Malor’s appointment will amount to duplicity within the set up of government communication.  

He said the Information Minister as well as his deputies have their jobs clearly cut out, stressing, “communication at the presidency…for government is not a one-man business”.

Recipe for disaster
Meanwhile, former Member of Parliament for Okaikoi South, Nana Akomea says Mr. Malor’s appointment is a recipe for disaster. The former Information Minister under the John Kufuor administration said Ghana, with its democratic credentials, should be setting the pace rather than following countries such as South Sudan.

He wondered what motivated president Mahama to go back to what he referred to as the “old structure” of communication at presidency, which he noted created problems for the Jerry Rawlings, John  Kufuor and Atta Mills administrations.

“So what you have done is that you have appoint another information minister…The Presidency is the heart of government [but] now you have Information Minister and you have somebody in charge of communication…”

“Who tells who what the government communication should be,” he queried.

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