Reports received indicate that barring any last minute hitches, the President, John Dramani Mahama will for the first time name a new Presidential Spokesman to boost the effort of the Ministry of Information and Media Relations.
The appointment of the new presidential spokesperson is said to be part of President Mahama’s soon-to-be announced major cabinet reshuffle which is intended to give a new image to his government which has been faced with intractable weighty challenges arising from the recent protracted election petition contesting his legitimacy.
The cabinet reshuffle will see some Ministers and deputies Ministers moved to other Ministries whiles others will also be axed.
Sources at the seat of government revealed to this paper that, the yet to be outdoor presidential spokesperson who is an acclaimed communicator working in the offices of Secretary General of the United Nations in New York, is wrapping up his engagement with the UN to take up the post.
Though Al-Hajj has the name of the said person, a source close to the new Presidential Spokesperson when contacted pleaded for his identity to be shielded until he rounds up activities with the UN and the presidency also makes it public.
President John Mahama, unlike his predecessors, former president Kufuor and the late President Mills scrapped the office and tasked the Minister of Information and Media relations to be the official spokesperson of his government and the Presidency.
This, some have blamed for the many lapses in government communication, particularly from the presidency; a case in point they cited was the re-naming of the Flag Staff House to Jubilee Flag Staff House.
In order to ensure effective information flow from the Presidency, Former President John Kufuor when he was elected President in 2000 appointed former sports commentator, Engineer Kwabena Agyapong as presidential spokesperson and later replaced him with Mr. Andrew Awuni when the latter resigned to contest the NPP’s flag bearership in 2007.
Then President Mahama’s mentor, the late Professor Mills when he assumed the reigns of governance in 2009 appointed Hon Mahama Ayariga as presidential spokesperson and Mr. Koku Anyidoho as Communications Director at the presidency.
This created almost a daily running battle between the two gentlemen as to who is the final authority on communications emanating from the presidency as a result of which Professor Mills had to dispatch Hon Ayariga to the Trade Ministry as deputy to the then sector Minister, Hon Hannah Serwa Tetteh.
But when President Mahama won the last election and started forming his government, the position of presidential spokesperson was missing in the list of the President’s new appointments.
Information and Media Relations Minster, Mahama Ayariga was to later confirm “there won’t be a presidential spokesperson. Instead, he revealed “the minister of Information and Media Relations would be the spokesperson of government which includes the president”.
Though the Ministry of Information and Media Relations has two deputies, information flow from the seat of government has not been very effective and this sources at the Flag Staff House say informed President Mahama’s decision to get a presidential spokesperson.
Source: A. A. Yayra/Al-Hajj
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