This evening, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, relieved the Minister of Energy, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, of his position. It follows two weeks of controversy resulting from the renegotiated Ameri deal, which was presented to parliament.
The sacking of Boakye Agyarko appears to confirm rumours from the inner circles of government that Mr. Agyarko misled the president into approving the deal.
I don’t hold brief for Boakye Agarko, but I don’t buy this story that the President was misled in the renegotiated Ameri deal. This is how I understand it: The government renegotiated a terrible deal and submitted it to parliament. The citizens (not spectators) rose against it. They pointed out that the deal was worse than the one signed by the NDC government.
The government appeared embarrassed and decided to withdraw the deal. The government should have been honest enough to tell us that it had listened to our concerns and decided to withdraw the deal. For me, it is a positive thing if the government halts a deal because of the opposition of the masses. I have stated that I prefer a government that embarrassingly withdraws a bad deal than one that adamantly sticks to it despite concerns of the people.
This situation would definitely embarrass any government, and the uneasiness being felt by the Akufo-Addo government is understandable. But the allegation that the president was misled sounds funny because of a number of reasons.
We know that the President gave approval for this deal. The Presient’s press secretary, Eugene Arhin, has confirmed this. So how exactly was the President misled? How possible was it for Boakye Agyarko to single-handedly review Ameri and present to the President considering the fact that Ameri is such a contentious issue in this country? Granted that Mr. Agyarko single-handedly submitted this deal to the President, what questions did he ask before approving the deal to be tabled in parliament?
Has the Akufo-Addo government been reduced to the level of a wayside kelewele business so that such an important deal as Ameri would not merit the attention of his cabinet? Looking at the financial implications of the deal, did the president not consult the Economic Management Team before giving his approval? Is the government saying that it just relied on only one man to take the decision on Ameri?
And if the President can sit down, just listen to a minister’s brief on an issue that has multi-sectoral implications and give approval, what is the guarantee that many more misters will not mislead him?
If the public had not resisted this deal, would anybody have suggested that the president was misled? When the deal first emerged the government defended it only to turn around to say the President was misled? Again, how exactly did Mr. Agyarko mislead President Akufo-Addo?