Dismissing Public Sector Staff For Criticizing Its Performance
The Akufo-Addo government, has started showing signs of intolerant by sacking state officials who criticized its handling of some national affairs from their jobs. Those not in government employment, are viciously attacked and their properties destroyed amid death threats.
It is clear the government has set up a mechanism which monitors social media platforms, especially facebook and sacks those critical of its performance.
The latest is that, the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA, Lawyer Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, has sacked a staff of the authority for his constant criticism of the government via social media platforms.
Among the recorded cases are the indefinite suspension of an officer of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in the Ashanti Region, because he had breached the Civil Service Law – PNDC Law 327, by mocking the president, Nana Akufo-Addo and his vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
In September this year, a popular activist of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Frank Kwaku Appiah, alias “Appiah Stadium” was arrested and dumped in the cells of the Kumasi Central Police Station in the Ashanti Region, for alleging that, President Akufo-Addo, was a ‘drug addict’.
Just last Monday, “Appiah Stadium’s home in Kokoben, a suburb of Kumasi, was attacked with petrol bombs and burnt. His car, a Toyota Rav4 was also set ablaze. The incident happened in the early hours of Monday, December 11.
In the NIA situation, a letter signed by the NIA boss, Prof. Attafuah, addressed to Mr. Wisdom Kwaku Deku, directed the embattled staff of the NIA, to vacate his post and hand over all documents in his position to the Acting Head of the Technology and Biometrics Department.
“I write to inform you that the National Identification Authority (NIA) has decided to terminate your employment with immediate effect. You are entitled to one (1) month’s salary in lieu of notice as stipulated in the letter confirming your employment.” He stated.
The sack letter further reminded him to abide by the oath of secrecy in the organization and not reveal any information he may be privy to by virtue of his position in the organization to the general public.
“Please refer to the Oath of Secrecy on Taking Office, and be reminded that you are not permitted to directly or indirectly, without due authority disclose or make known any matter or information acquired by you in the course of your employment with the NIA.” He added.
No reasons were given for sacking the IT specialist at the NIA, but many have linked it to Mr. Deku’s constant criticism of government on his Facebook wall.
In the NADMO matter, Haroun-Armed Alfa Justice, who was appointed in August 2009, is accused of posting pictures of the president, Nana Akufo-Addo and his vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, which the Organization finds offensive, distasteful and derogatory on Facebook.
“Following the posting of the pictures of both the sitting president of the Republic of Ghana and his vice with abusive and image dented message, as well as a mockery question on your facebook wall copy attached, you are hereby directed by the office of the regional director to proceed on indefinite suspension effective Wednesday 30 August 2017”, the letter issued him said.
It continued that, “your actions as appeared on your facebook wall, constitute a major offense and breach of the Code of Ethics of both the Civil and Local Government Service under canon one- the Principle of anonymity and performance as stated in part II, enjoins officers to maintain neutrality in the performance of public functions“.
The Organisation’s offices at Kwadaso Sub-Metro in Kumasi, which issued the directive said, Mr. Haroun-Ahmed’s behaviour on his private social media handle, breached the Civil Service Law 1993.
“This directive draws it strength with appointment letter given to you dated 26 August 2009, under reference NDHQ paragraph which reads “You will be subject to the Civil Service Law 1993 (PNDCL327) the Public Service Commission Act 1994 (Act 482) and any statutory instruction made there under and other general or department instructions as well as administrative directive for the time being enforce”, the letter said.
The said Act, the letter stated demands that officers not to “act as agent of or for the interest of a political, social, ethic, gender, or other interest group”.
It also requires them not to “attempt or support the functions , programmes and activities of political, social, ethic or gender interest group in a private capacity and name or in circumstances unrelated to the discharge of the project and tasks of the Civil and Local Government Services”.
The directive, issued on August 30, 2017, and signed by the Acting Head of Finance and Administration, Atakora Kodua, said the picture posted on social media, made mockery of the first gentlemen of the land, hence the decision to suspend him indefinitely.
The letter which was copied to the Director General for NADMO in Accra, had various governmental institutions in the region, including the Ashanti Regional Minister, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) served notice.
When contact by this paper, Alfa , confirmed that indeed, he has been given the marching orders to go home, but will speak at the appropriate time, as there is more to his sacking.
Appiah Stadium, confirming the news in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Monday, accused members of the Invincible Forces, a private security arm of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), of having orchestrated the attack.
“I will never stop supporting John Mahama, I won’t stop. NPP will have to kill me. I have realised that I am a pillar and an impediment in the way of the NPP. They first arrested me, they later stormed my house with guns and now they have burnt my house and car.”
“The NPP’s Invincible Forces did that,” he accused.
Meanwhile, members of the Invincible Forces, have denied setting the house ablaze. “I will plead with our youth to respect each other. No member of Invincible Forces did that. For what reason?” Kwabena Boakye, spokesperson for the Invincible Forces, told host Forson.
“His accusation is baseless. If he thinks he has been attacked, he knows what to do, he should go to the Police and stop throwing these allegations at innocent people”, he emphasized.