Prof Kobby Mensah, a distinguished lecturer at the University of Ghana, has criticized New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporter Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a cousin of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for defending the government’s ‘family and friends’ label.
The professor couldn’t trust Gabby’s claim that family members of the president have an advantage in political appointments since their grandpa provided them with a decent education.
Prof Mensah stated in a post uploaded on X on Monday, January 22, 2024, that Gabby’s reasoning violated the concept of conflict of interest.
He said that the NPP’s leader was making such a statement because he had gotten “soaked in power.”
He wrote that, “Propaganda! The principle of conflict of interest doesn’t make sense anymore to those who feel are more educated than all Ghanaians because their Grand Papa took that seriously than the grannies of all of us.
“That’s what happens when you become soaked in power.”
Gabby, in a recent interview on Star FM, stated that Akufo-Addo’s grandfather fathered several children who had a head start in life because he (the grandpa) valued their education.
“… Because they got education early at a time that just a minority of Ghanaians were getting education, it gave them, if you like, to a point a head start. I mean, that’s the point.
“I’m just making the point that I don’t know how many of you in this room have a grandfather who had over 100 children?… I did. Okay. How many? How many? How many (children) did your grandfather have?” he asked while speaking with Bola Ray on Starr Chat.
He added, “… so really, that’s the point I’m making. Okay. But he was serious about his children’s education. And because they grew up in a household where public service came as second nature, a lot of them went in.”
Gabby further pointed out that just one member of Akufo-Addo’s family, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, is in cabinet.
He added that Ofori-Atta’s nomination was made on merit, not because he is related to Akufo-Addo.
“First of all, he (the road minister) is not a family member okay, you’ve mentioned one person, Ken Ofori-Atta. Ken Ofori-Atta actually resigned from his multimillion-dollar company to dedicate his life to Akufo-Addo’s campaign; to the NPP.
“So, he’s appointed and his appointment is just because he’s family member; just forget the fact that he helped to raise money, he put resources in there (his own resources), he was a critical member of the campaign and he was a successful businessman, a private sector person, who has something to contribute,” he said.
He added that Akufo-Addo cannot appoint his adversaries into government, saying “President has about 6000 people to appoint. 6000 okay and then you talk about friends? Should he go and appoint his enemies? Can we talk about something else?”