The immediate past Communications Director of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Adomako Baafi, has warned members of the government who are habouring the intention to contest parliamentary seats, to brace themselves for a showdown.
Mr Adomako Baafi, who lost his position after machination by President Akufo-Addo’s nephew, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, is fuming with anger, following reports that there is a growing number of government appointees who are lacing their boots to contest various seats in the 2020 elections, saying they will not succeed.
He mentioned in particular, the presidency, where he claims most of the appointees are working feverishly, to storm various constituencies to snatch seats from incumbent NPP Members of Parliament (MPs).
It feared that as the 2020 elections draws closer, members of the governing party, especially government appointees are going to give incumbent MPs a good run for their money in the party’s primaries beginning next year.
Government appointees, have in times past caused major upset for incumbent MPs wielding power and money, and it is feared similar plan will be unleashed on older MPs, who have held the NPP over the years, especially when it was in opposition.
Mr Adomako Baafi, said since the NPP formed government, many of these appointees, have neglected the party both at the grassroots and national levels,and will make sure they are crushed at the polls during the party primaries, if they tried to contest.
Speaking on the Madina-based Oman FM last Friday, the outspoken communicator nickname “Lawyer” said he was going to devote all his time to meet these appointees squarely at the Constituency level when the election commences and dish out what they properly deserve.
He said he has armed himself, waiting for the likes of Samuel Abu Jinapor, who is alleged to be preparing to stand as parliamentary candidate in the next elections.
Mr Samuel Jinapor who is a Deputy Chief of Staff of President Akufo-Addo, is rumoured to be eyeing the Damongo seat which is currently occupied by the opposition National Democratic Congress’s (NDC), Adam Mutawakilu.
Mr Adomako Baafi, was worried not much attention is being paid to seat not occupied by the NPP, this will go a long way to affect the governing party.
Citing examples from their fierce opponents, the NDC, Mr. Adomako Baafi, said the NPP would not allow itself to be taken for granted like how the Mahama government did in the run up to the 2016 general elections.
According to him, the NDC as a party sat unconcerned for the likes of Sam Nettey George and Alhassan Suhuyini to snatch seats that were occupied by veteran politicians like E. T Mensah, rendering them useless, adding what happened in the NDC, will not be allowed to manifest itself in the NPP, just because people have money and power.
On the same programme, Mr Adomako Baafi, cautioned the NPP government not to go ahead to implement its decision to remove all lecturers beyond the age of 65 on post retirement contract from government payroll.
According to him, the decision is unpopular and may hurt the NPP in the long run, if it goes ahead to enforce it.
He said in the past when the NDC tried to implement that directive, the NPP supported the lecturers to resist it and so it would be unfortunate if the same party wins power and then turns round to implement what it opposed while in opposition.
Government says it will no longer pay the salaries of lecturers and professors aged above 65 years, who are teaching in public universities across the country.
In a letter by the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), it directed all public universities to delete the names of the affected academic staff from the payroll by the end of the month.
Signed by the Executive Secretary of the Council, Prof. Mohammed Salifu, the letter referenced Article 199 of the 1992 Constitution which prescribed age limit of 65 years for appointment in the public sector.
“Based on this premise, it is argued that universities have no justification to engage retired staff above 65 years on post-retirement contract.
“Only post-retirement contract staff in the age group of 60-65 should remain on government payroll,” it said in part.
The letter further directed that all academic staff above 65 are to be taken off government payroll and reassigned as consultants if their services are still required.
If the universities choose to keep these over 65-year-old lecturers and professors, then they will bear the cost themselves.
The directive which has raffled the feathers of university authorities, has led to the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), warning Government not to go ahead with it.
According to the National President of UTAG, Dr. Eric Opoku Mensah, enforcing the directive would put post graduate studies at the public universities in jeopardy.
Speaking at a National Education Forum organized by UTAG in conjunction with the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) recently at Elmina, Dr Mensah, said the move was detrimental to the universities’ preparations towards the enrolment of free SHS students into universities in 2020.
“The truth of the matter is that our universities are understaffed in all disciplines. Government must seek to tackle the problems of infrastructure and human resource as we prepare to implement this crucial government policy by 2020,” he stated.
“If this directive is carried out by the 31st of October this year, then those that will be affected are the finest in our universities; professors and associate professors on post retirement contract,” he added.
Dr Mensah, said UTAG together with Vice Chancellors Ghana, would be engaging government on the matter to protect teaching and research in Ghanaian public universities.
He said universities were not capable of paying the professors from their Internally Generated Fund (IGF), therefore the directive posed as a clear and present danger to the quality of university education in Ghana.