Let me begin by acknowledging that, I am not the originator of this headline. I read it somewhere and I found it fitting our current context.
In the lead up to the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, without prompting from anybody, then candidate, Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti regional capital, said that, he was not going to run a family and friends government.
He also publicly claimed that, his wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, will not be dishing out contracts, as was alleged to be happening under President John Dramani Mahama.
He even warned that, anyone, who is desirous of making money, should not join his government, but rather go work in the private sector, because he was coming to protect the public purse.
Events after he was sworn into office on January 7, 2017, have turned out that, Akufo-Addo, has lied to us.
There is no equivalent in Ghana’s fourth republican dispensation history since 1992, for the height, depth, breadth, and width of his family members’ offensively brash influence peddling and direct involvement with and in his government
Even Akufo-Addo family members who are not directly in government are ruthlessly avaricious influence peddlers.
There is no single Akufo-Addo relative today, who is not in government, either directly or indirectly.
Here is a partial list of “the blood” who constitute the nucleus of Akufo-Addo’s familocracy.
- Ken Ofori-Atta
Aside being the president and vice-president, the next powerful position in the executive arm of government is the Finance Minister.
You are the government’s spending officer and so make the position very important. The success or otherwise of every government, depends to a large extent the type and disposition of the Finance minister.
Ken Ofori-Atta, is Akufo-Addo’s cousin, and so his judgment is impaired when it comes to him. You can’t expect him to reprimand his cousin, when he goes wrong.
- Nana Asante Bediatuo
Nana Asante Bediatuo, is the Executive Secretary to the President. Do not be deceived by the name, you were expecting to see Akufo-Addo in his mane. Like Ken Ofori-Atta, he is a cousin to the president.
He has been around the president cutting his legal teeth, at his Law Firm. Sadly the people who are most close to the president in terms of appointments are his close family.
Nana Asante Bediatuo, is one of the most powerful people in Nigeria today. He determines who sees and who doesn’t see Akufo-Addo.
- Lauretta Otchere,
A cousin of president Akufo-Addo and the Sister of Bediatuo, is the Deputy Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT). Lauretta is not your typical politician, she was not known for playing any lead role in the victory of her cousin, but here, she is occupying a very important post to the envy of the thousands other followers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who are equally qualified for the job.
- Samuel Atta Akyea
Samuel Atta Akyea , is the minister of Works and Housing and is a cousin of president Akufo-Addo. The ministry, he occupies is one of the important ministries as far as the country is concerned. He doubles as the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, having taking over from Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he decided to abandon parliament to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a president.
- Kwesi Amoako Atta
Another cousin of the president, Kwesi Amoako Atta, is the minster of Roads and Highways. He was not your typical everyday politician, until his appointment. His ministry arguably is the ministry with the biggest budget, as the bulk of infrastructure development happens under the Roads and Highways Ministry.
- Gyankroma Akufo-Addo.
The cousins were not the only ones who were graciously rewarded with appointments. The president’s daughter, Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, was not left out. She was appointed a board Member of the creative arts council. The apparent lack of decorum and decency, is what is playing out in the government. Appointments are not the only way for close associates of the president, who undoubtedly have been with him and supported him, the first day he announced his intention to make a run for the presidency. The fact that, you a daughter of the president, can take you places and open doors for you, but appointing family members has become the familiar audacity for this president.
- Duke Ofori Atta
Duke is another cousin of the president and he has been appointed as a presidential staffer, he joins the long list of family members of the president, who have been appointed to serve in his government.
These names are but a few of the family members of the president, who are in his government, against the promise he made in the lead up to the 2016 election.
Akufo-Addo, has fooled everyone pretending to be moral apostle when he is the very opposite. Those who supported and voted for him, since 2008, when he first appeared on the ballot paper, have rotten eggs on their faces. Some are still supporting him till date. I wonder how naive some Ghanaians are.
NPP ran on the platform of change. For the Ghanaian, the NPP, propagated the sort of mantra that they could relate and buy into.
My whole interest in this is to record it for posterity that Ghana once had a “president” by the name of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who gratuitously promised that his nuclear and extended family members, as well as friends, would never participate in his government, but who turned out to be the most nepotistic leader this country ever had; who perpetrated familocratic excesses with both reckless impunity and unparalleled shamelessness.