The process of transitioning from the out-going National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to the in-coming New Patriotic Party (NPP) government began yesterday, with a closed-door meeting of the transition team, made up of both parties.
The joint transition team, which was inaugurated on Sunday December 11 to ensure a smooth transfer of power, held its first meeting in Accra, with members of the in-coming government’s team raising concerns over allegations of sale of state assets by the outgoing NDC government.
The leader of the transition team of the NPP, Yaw Osafo Marfo, at a press conference before the closed-door meeting, said he had heard from the grapevine that the current government was selling state assets without due process.
He also alleged that the government had began a process of recruitment into the security services, and added that some temporary staff at some state institutions had also been made permanent staff within the past few days.
The former finance minister, said information gathered by the NPP’s transition team indicated that the government had entered into new contracts after the declaration of the results of the presidential polls last week.
“We do not want to believe this information is true. We hope it is not true,” he said and urged members on the NDC’s transition team to be factual and transparent in the transition process.
The leader of the transition team of the NDC, Julius Debrah, the Chief of Staff, said his team would be as transparent as possible to ensure a smooth transfer of power.
He noted that the various committees would be established in accordance with the provisions of the Presidential Transition Act to assist in the process and stressed that nothing would be hidden from the Joint Transition Team.
Mr. Debrah said the handing-over notes of ministries such as the Ministries of Finance, Transport, and Food and Agriculture, were ready to be handed over to the team, and gave the assurance that the handing over notes of the other ministries would be ready at the team’s next session on Monday December 19.
After the first session, the Spokesperson of the transition team of the NPP, Mustapha Hamid, told newsmen that the concern raised over the sale of state properties and recruitment into the security services and other state agencies were not necessarily an allegation.
“It is just a concern we are raising. We are not necessarily looking for answers. We are operating according to the law,” he said.
Mr. Hamid said the team, representing the in-coming government had received the handing over notes of seven ministries from the team of the out-going NDC government.
“Our team is going to look at the handing over notes. We have agreed on the modalities and procedure of asking questions and how those questions would be answered. There was an understanding between us and we have agreed to deal with each other on the basis of openness and transparency,” he said.
The Spokesperson of the team, representing the out-going government, Hannah Tetteh, confirmed that there was an advertisement to the effect that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) had began a recruitment process, but was quick to add that the process was not a deliberate attempt to recruit party supporters into the security service.
“Whatever takes place will take place in a transparent manner. They (GAF) just began the process and it is highly unlikely the process will be completed before the handing over so the in-coming government will have the opportunity to oversee the process,” she said.
On allegations over the sale of government properties and contracts, she said the team from the out-going government would address such claims appropriately when it received allegations on specific issues.
“I am not aware of any contract awarded. I am also not aware of the sale of government properties. If they have specifics, we can address them accordingly,” Madam Tetteh said.
The team of the out-going government includes the Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, Prosper Bani, Minister for the Interior, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, Minister for Defence, Aljhaji Collins Dauda, and Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.
Those on the NPP side are Frema Osei Opare, Gloria Akuffo, member responsible for legal Affairs, Ken Ofori-Atta, member responsible for Finance, Ambrose Dery, member responsible for the Interior, Dominic Nitiwul, member responsible for Defence, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, member responsible for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Alima Mahama, member responsible for local government and Albert Kan Dapaah, member responsible for national security.
The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Adjaho, Professor. Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the National Develoment Planning Commission and Prof Mike Ocquaye, a former Member of Parliament and member of the NPP Council of Elders, have been constituted to form the Advisory Group for the transition team.
By Yaw Kyei