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Ministerial reshuffle key to accountability - Dr George Asekere

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
Dr George Asekere — Political Science lecturer
Dr George Asekere — Political Science lecturer

A lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Dr George Asekere, has impressed upon the President to heed the call of the people to reshuffle his ministers.

According to him, the people, who were the custodians of power, were not entirely happy with the performance of some of the ministers and, therefore, the need to reshuffle them in order to breathe new life into the system to improve living conditions.

Dr Asekere told the Daily Graphic yesterday[August 11, 2022] that reshuffles did not necessarily mean the sacking of ministers and that once they were trusted, they could be moved to other ministries with a view to strengthening them for better performance.

Governance

He said reshuffles generally in governance were a necessary condition although “it might not be sufficient because you are dealing with people

“So when you hear people talking about reshuffle, it means that the people who gave you the power, the people who are custodians of power and the people who you should be accountable to are not entirely happy then there is something that is not good so that is why there is always the need for reshuffle.

“So, sometimes, it is not necessarily because the people have not performed but because our system is such that for example, you may be a good reporter but not necessarily a good reader so you can reshuffle that person to see how they would fare in certain positions,” he said.

Appointment

Dr Asekere said when the President was appointing his ministers from the beginning, he had a Monitoring and Evaluation Minister, the essence of which was to monitor or track performance of ministers, so it gave everybody the clearest indication that the President wanted to be accountable to the good people of the country.

He said when the issue of the number of ministers came up, the response was that the focus should be on the outcome and the output, and that “six years down the line, at least, Ghanaians can pinpoint to particular ministries that are performing and not performing.

“We cannot all agree that all the ministers have underperformed and we cannot all agree that all the ministers have performed.

So probably, some might have done their best under the circumstances, it is possible when they are taken to other places, they would do far better.

“So a reshuffle does not necessarily mean that sack your ministers. If you trust them, just move one to the other place,” he emphasised.

Listen

Dr Asekere said some ministers had not performed and the President ought to listen to calls from Ghanaians to reshuffle them.

Apart from that, he said prior to the assumption of office, there was a mantra that the New Patriotic Party had the men “so if you have the men and the current crop of men who form the government, in the case of ministers, are not performing to the satisfaction of Ghanaians, it means that you have a reserve team”.

“So the need for a reshuffle is not just a call, there is that urgency for the reshuffle to take place,” “it is long overdue and better late than never. We need the reshuffle now”.

“Apart from accountability, it would inspire some confidence in the people who are being governed because they are not happy with the performance of the ministers. Yes you can tell us external factors but the people in Ghana are not interested in that,” he said.

Moreover, he said, among other things that the failure to reshuffle could lead to corruption because familiarity bred contempt.