After defeating the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential primary, which was a Gordian knot he has to overcome, President Mills appears to have now settled down to doing serious government business.
He is expected to reshuffle his Cabinet any moment from now. New faces are expected to be brought in to replace some of the popular ministers. The Chronicle newspaper can confirm on authority that three ministers and the National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col. Gbevlo Lartey (rtd), are on their way out of government.
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, and his Volta Regional counterpart, Joseph Amenowode, are to pack bag and baggage and depart the residencies in their respective regional capitals. Information gathered by the Chronicle indicates that the three, including the National Security Coordinator, have been affected by the yet to be announced Cabinet reshuffle.
In-depth investigations revealed that Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, who is at the center of foot soldiers agitations against President Mills because he is not a card-bearing member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), is being replaced by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who once served as Deputy Finance Minister in the Rawlings regime.
Though Dr. Duffour is said to have satisfied the president with this performance, especially the way he has handled the oil imports brouhaha, which has led to stability in the retail price of petroleum products, in addition to the fall in inflation, but he is being removed from office, sources say, as a result of his ownership of Unibank. Quite recently, the private banking institution attracted publicity over government cheques mean for the Ambulance Service which could not be honoured.
In the case of the Northern Regional Minister, who is being replaced by his deputy, San Naasamu Asibigri, the Chronicle gathered that the President was dissatisfied with the way he was handling ethnic-based issues in the region. The paper also gathered that Mr. Joseph Amenewode is leaving the cabinet because President Mills is equally unhappy with the way he has handled party issues in the Volta Region. The Chronicle could, however, not gather much information as to why Mr. Gbevlo-Lartey is to be removed from office.
It is common knowledge though, that the Security co-ordinator is a Rawlings â€˜boyâ€™, and in this era, when the Founder of the party is not considered a Mills ally, the departure of Gbevlo-Lartey could not come as a major surprise. The former president has persistently been insulting the President publicly, which has led to a strained relationship between the two. Apart from these four ministers who are being shown the exit, The Chronicle also picked up information that other cabinet ministers would be removed from their current ministries to others. Ministers in this category are Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry and Mr. Martin Amidu, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, who took over from Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, after the latter had been battered for a series of cases the government lost in court.
Before President Millsâ€™ second cabinet reshuffle was announced late last year, there were rumours that Hannah Tetteh was going to be removed from the Trade and Industry Ministry, but she managed to scale through unscathed, but this time round, she may not be second time lucky. She may end up in another ministry, at best.