"I'm sure he's working behind the scenes," social commentator Bernard Allotey Jacobs said in response to calls asking President Akufo-Addo to fire Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
The Health Minister has come under intense pressure from the public to resign after it emerged that he bypassed Parliamentary approval to purchase Sputnik V vaccine from a middleman, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum.
Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has also been accused of lying under oath when he appeared before a Parliamentary ad hoc Committee investigating the botched Sputnik V deal.
The Committee therefore recommended the Ministry of Finance to contact Sheikh Al Maktoum for a refund of US$2,470,000.00 being cost of the non-supplied Sputnik-V vaccines.
However, the UAE businessman and his SL Global company, wrote a letter dated March 9, 2021, to the Ministry of Health to terminate the contract with the excuse that they are unable to supply the quantities of doses as agreed in the deal.
But Mr. Agyeman-Manu, in a letter dated August 2, 2021, responding to the contract termination by the Emerati Shiekh, also requested for a refund of the money paid for the purchase of the Sputnik-V vaccines, excluding the already supplied 20,000 doses.
Ghana had made an advance payment of 50% (US$2,850,000.00) of the total contract sum of US$5,700,000.00 for the purchase of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Groups demanding his resignation have also insisted that the President sack him if he fails to resign.
Commenting on this during a panel discussion on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' programme, Allotey Jacobs claims the President has not responded to calls for him to fire the Health Minister because he wants to handle it "carefully as a matured man".
"I'm beginning to believe that the President is handling this thing very carefully as a matured man . . . I'm sure he's working behind the scenes . . . some of these things are collateral damage," he said.
On August 11, 2021, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum and his SL Global company wrote to the Ministry of Health, announcing a refund into Ghana’s treasury, an amount of US$2,470,000.00, representing 280,000 non-supplied doses of the Sputnik-V vaccines.
“The requested amount of Two Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand United States Dollars (US$2,470,000) has already been refunded to the designated bank account, as communicated by you,” the letter from the Emerati in part read.
Listen to him in the video below
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has waded into calls for the Health Minister to resign
“There are a lot of people from the Bono Region in my government; including the Minister of Health, who is currently receiving slaps. . . .he is an indigene of Dormaa. He has really suffered in that Health Ministry and is still suffering,” he said jocularly.
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