Accra, Sept 4, GNA - The Tema Mantse, Dr. Nii Adjei Kraku ll, has thrown a voice of discernment into the brouhaha over Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, A.S.K Bagbin’s observation that former President John Mahama’s appointment of a visually challenged man as the Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs was a miscalculation.
In an exclusive interview, the King said the on-going blame game over the matter of Dr. Seidu Danaa’s appointment was an unfortunate waste of time because the perspectives of both President Mahama and Mr Bagbin on the issue were right.
“Bagbin was absolutely right about the cultural rules forbidding chiefs to associate with disabled persons. What he said was nothing but a statement of the fact on the ground, anybody who disputes this is only being untruthful to himself.
“On the other hand, you cannot fault President Mahama either because from all indications, he had appointed Dr Danaa in a deliberate attempt to challenge all of us to confront this age old taboo in our culture since disabled persons were also human beings who deserved the opportunity to contribute to national development,” Nii said.
Consequently, the revered King concluded that, “both President Mahama and Mr Alban Bagbin were right on the issue of the appointment of Dr. Seidu Danaa as Minister for Chieftaincy.”
Nii Adjei Kraku’s take comes at a time that a serious debate emerged between the camps of Mr Bagbin and former President Mahama over Bagbin’s recent comment that some of President Mahama’s appointments had been problematic.
During a campaign tour of the Volta Region, Mr Bagbin said the problematic appointments by the former President included; the placement of Okudzeto Ablakwa as Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, even though Ablakwa had some unresolved issues from his student days at the University of Ghana.
According to him, Dr. Omane Boamah’s appointment as Communication Minister was also a miscalculation because of a stammering challenge that he had. Again, Dr. Seidu Danaa’s visual impairment made him unsuitable for the Chieftaincy and Culture Ministry because of a longstanding tradition in Ghana that chiefs must not associate with disabled people.
Mr Bagbin was quick to add that all the three appointees were richly qualified to serve as Ministers but would have fitted more perfectly in other Ministries rather than the ones they were assigned to. The appointments of Mr. Ablakwa and Dr. Danaa, he pointed out, courted dislike among University authorities and chiefs for the NDC government.
Following that, the media sensationalised the whole story by claiming Mr Bagbin was a hater of persons with Disability.
Supporters of former President Mahama had picked up from where the media left off and attempted to use the wrong report to tag Bagbin as such, which the Tema Mantse said was dangerous and unfortunate.
“Neither Mr Bagbin nor President Mahama is a child; these are men who are accomplished leaders, it is not right that such a drama is created around them,” Nii said, reiterating that neither of them was wrong on their stances on the appointment of Dr Danaa.
He called on the media to immediately cease knocking the heads of the two Statesmen together and rather direct attention to developmental and unifying issues in the country.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo’s meeting with the clergy to discuss how best to tax was news that was rather worth projecting and called on persons with disability to guard their hearts and not allow themselves to be carried away by unfortunate spotlights.
He said they should ensure that nobody manipulated them into taking sides in those issues since both Bagbin and Mahama were right.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nii Adjei Kraku ll has commended President Akufo-Addo for successfully dialoguing with leaders of Ghana’s clergy and achieving consensus on how best to tax commercial church activities.