Parliament has approved some ministerial nominees of President Nana Akufo-Addo after a very heated debate in the House.
On Wednesday, 10 of the nominees who were recommended by consensus by the Appointments Committee of Parliament were approved by voice votes while the House resorted to a secret ballot to determine the fate of three nominees.
The Committee could not unanimously decide on the three nominees who included the Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson; Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister-designate for Information and Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, the nominee for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The three who were recommended by a majority decision by the Appointments committee were approved by a majority decision by the House after the secret ballot.
Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah got 155 of the yes votes and 110 of the no votes constituting 58.68% thereby meeting the requirement for approval by the House.
Hawa Koomson, Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development on the other hand polled 161 yes votes and 104 no votes giving her a whopping 60.75% of the total votes cast.
The Agric Minister garnered 143 yes votes and 121 no votes constituting 53.96% to sail through.
The fates of the three who had been the subject of discussions after media reports suggested the Minority had rejected their nominations, were surprisingly not the focus of the debate on the motion to adopt the first report of the Appointments Committee on the President’s nominations for ministerial appointments.
Contributing to the debate, Minority leader and Ranking Member on the Committee, Haruna Iddrisu, aimed most of his criticisms at the nominees for Defence, Interior and National Security, Messrs. Dominic Nitiwul, Ambrose Dery and Kan Dapaah respectively.
According to Mr. Iddrisu, the three owe Ghanaians an explanation for the deaths that occurred during the 2020 elections.
He said, “They failed to ensure the safety of Ghanaians and yet they are here asking to be approved for supposedly upholding the safety of the Ghanaian people.
“They also failed their mandate when the military and police unleashed violence on innocent voters during the voter registration exercise and during the elections.”
“These nominees woefully failed when the military stormed this House on January 7, which is equivalent to a coup d’état,” he added
Deputy Majority leader and a member of the Appointments Committee, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, in his contribution indicated that both sides of the House started working in an atmosphere of peace and the determination to serve the nation.
The nominees, he said, are persons well-known to members of the Committee because they are also Parliamentarians.
He argued that some of the submissions from the Minority are partisan, petty and personal and aimed at holding some of the nominees accountable for transgressions they have not committed.
Mr Afenyo-Markin urged the House not to be misled by a voting ambition that is overleaping over itself to hurt some members of the House.
“We owe it as a duty to mother Ghana and to our democracy to do that which is right not through intimidation, threats and undermining each other.”
“We worked as a team, the minority and majority together; this is not the time to demand a pound of flesh from anyone. Governance of this country must continue,” he stated.