Minister-nominee for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Kyea, has watered down Mahama Ayariga’s suggestion that Nana Akufo-Addo’s creation of the Senior Minister portfolio is unconstitutional.
The Bawku Central MP had argued that, Nana Addo breached the constitution by making that appointment because the “nomination of any person to be vetted for the post of a ‘Senior Minister’ constitutes a constitutional aberration”, adding that “nowhere in the Constitution does the office of ‘Senior Minister’ exist.”
But the Abuakwa South lawmaker in a sharp rebuttal described Ayariga’s argument as unfortunate and hollow, arguing that the constitution has not spelt out guidelines for the appointment of Ministers under a particular government.
“It is very unfortunate because it has no substance and it is hollow. There is nowhere in the constitution that any ministerial portfolio has been created… So far as they have ministerial roles and functions, the only Minister who has been given constitutional recognition is the office of the Attorney General so with due respect to him, I do not see how he will have any serious argument to press home either in the court or within Parliament because it is pathetic…I am afraid his argument is jejune. They don’t see the light of state. And when you say a senior minister is it not a Minister of state? Is it a Minister from heaven? It doesn’t make sense.”
Atta Kyea indicated that, Mahama Ayariga’s argument also “falls flat” because he sought to equate the work of a Senior Minister to that of a Prime Minister, although they perform different roles and have nothing in common.
“A senior Minister is a Minister of State, is that not so? Whether you describe it senior, super senior or upper senior, he is still a Minister of state. If you have a poor sense of who a prime minister is; and you want to equate a Senior Minister to a prime minister, then your argument falls flat because when you have a prime minister you do not have a President.”
President Akufo- Addo nominated the former Finance Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor administration as Senior Minister last week, pending parliamentary approval.
The Senior Minister concept was first introduced during the erstwhile NPP administration under John Kufuor.
If approved by Parliament, Osafo Maafo’s position will require him to supervise the activities of all other appointees and ensure discipline at all levels.