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‘Church Relations Manager’, ‘Diaspora Church Mobilization’ Part Of Akufo-Addo’s 995 Staffers – Ablakwa

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Staffers at the Office of the President have increased from 934 in 2020 to 995 in 2021. This implies that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had made 61 new appointments in a space of one year, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said.

According to the North Tongu MP, it took the President two months to comply with the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463) – which directs the President to report annually to Parliament on the staffing positions at his office.

The report was laid in Parliament on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in scrutinizing the report observed that, the President has created a new office, Church Relations Manager, which in his opinion was ‘very unconventional.’

The Church Relations Manager is under the headship of one Rev. Ebenezer Saaka Ameyaw.

Aside from that, Ablakwa observed that there is also a position known as ‘Diaspora Church Mobilization’ which has, Fr. Nana K. Ellis, as the head.

The MP noted that these new portfolios for Rev. Ebenezer Saaka Ameyaw and Fr. Nana K. Ellis by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo “smacks of an unholy mission to mix politics and the pulpit.”

“To have the total staff strength increase from 934 in 2020 to 995 in 2021 out of which a massive 337 are political appointees, particularly, under the current economic crisis is awfully insensitive and manifestly wasteful.

Despite creating the impression after his Ministerial appointments that his elephantine size of government is reducing, we are seeing, rather worryingly, an upward trajectory at the Office of the President.

“Compared with 2020, we have 26 more political appointees and an overall jump from 934 to 995. Many of us had expected — at the very least — a freeze in the staffing numbers at the Presidency, bearing in mind claims by senior government officials that the public sector payroll is full,” Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wrote on his Facebook timeline, Thursday, May 26.

He continued: There is an alarming duplication of roles purportedly being performed by multitudes which is not only dishonourable, it cannot be judicious use of taxpayer Cedis when we are facing the harshest economic conditions in a generation. Using Comms to make the point: Many Ghanaians would be outraged to discover that we have 3 additional Directors of Communications — the same position Mr. Eugene Arhin occupies. Their names are provided as: Frank Adjei Twum, Awudu Moro Kabore and Ali Adams.

“Per President Akufo-Addo’s list, the Ghanaian Presidency has 4 Directors of Communications, 5 Deputy Directors of Communications, 2 Communications Specialists, 3 Communication Officers, 5 Technical Communications Assistants, a Media Aide, an Assistant Media Liaison Officer, a Communications Consultant and a Presidential Advisor on Media who also has a Technical Director to the Presidential Advisor. This swarm doesn’t include the social media warriors and the army at the Information Ministry. It does appear the Akufo-Addo Presidency was always set up to place a premium on expensive rhetoric and not concrete deliverables.

“Then there is the unethical— Why has the President created the unconventional position of “Church Relations Manager” at the Presidency? This smacks of an unholy mission to mix politics and the pulpit. Respectfully, is Rev. Ebenezer Saaka Ameyaw telling us this is a full-time job? Why should the taxpayer be burdened with this unethical task? What really are the ToR for this church relations management? I hope the management outcome doesn’t include ensuring that the Church is silenced? Many more questions than answers.

“Adding to the confusion is a role occupied by Fr. Nana K. Ellis who is said to be responsible for “Diaspora Church Mobilization.” What does it entail and why do we have to mobilize the Church in the diaspora? Mobilization for what exactly? How are we measuring his output? How did this become a priority and a full-time job? Is this the best use of scarce public funds?” Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa quizzed.

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