Comments made by a former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto, that brilliant and intelligent Ghanaians have been sidelined as far as running the country was concerned, while individuals “who know next to nothing” were calling the shots due to extreme partisanship in the country, have been described as “blanket” and “sweeping” by Mr Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a deputy minister of communication.
Mr Okudzeto, speaking to host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3FM, Prince Minkah, after think tank Institute of Economic Affairs launched findings of its pre-election survey on Tuesday July 19 said: “The country is full of very brilliant, intelligent people [but] we have sidelined them, we have pushed all of them to the side and then you have people who know next to nothing wielding power, showing power, and the rest of us are suffering. I think it’s about time that Ghanaians sit up.”
He added: “…Excessive power that has been centralised, whereby one person virtually has power to dismiss everybody and appoint everybody, and we kept repeating it that it was a wrong approach to governance, but even if it is the constitution, you can still go behind it and say, ‘Let’s sit down and discuss the issue because this is national.
What solutions can we provide for it?’, and then we can all put our heads together.”
But responding to these comments in an interview on Wednesday July 20, Mr Ofosu said: “Mr Okudzeto’s assertions are extremely condescending. Mind you, Mr Okudzeto himself is a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), so there is a certain partisan slant to what he says. What he said is extremely condescending.
You look through the appointment that President Mahama has made, take the Minister of Education, for instance, that is a professor, a former head of a university, the University of Cape Coast. How does anybody say such a person is unfit to occupy public office? I think we need to show a little decorum and respect for each other”.
“This sweeping, blanket condescension that some have for others who are in power must stop,” Mr Kwakye Ofosu said, adding: “When the NPP was in power, there were persons, who did not have formal education and yet were occupying positions.
That may even not be a necessary requirement because if the person can show that he will be able to deliver, he needs to be given the opportunity to serve his country. But where you have a situation where persons who belong to a certain political party only realise that there is a shortfall in human resource when their party leaves office, it becomes problematic. …That kind of analysis, I don’t think it is proper; it is not fair to denigrate people in that manner.”