As constitutionally-required of every president in Ghana to make appointments from his political party, upon assuming office, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo nominated some people he believed would help him drive his political agenda adequately.
Three of such appointees are the former Minister of Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation, Prof Frimpong-Boateng; the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu; and a former Deputy Minister for Railways Development, Andy Appiah-Kubi.
While all three are no longer at post, they keep making it into the news every now and then because of their criticisms of the sitting government, over one thing or the other.
The recent details of the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), which was recently leaked into the public, is one of such reference points.
In this piece, we focus on instances where each of these former appointees have come out to call out the government.
Popularly known as the ‘citizen vigilante,’ Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu was appointed in 2018 by the president to serve as the first Special Prosecutor of Ghana, an independent office set up to help in the fight against and prevent corruption.
The appointment of the citizen vigilante came as welcoming news to the public.
However, two years into office, Martin Amidu, in November 2020, wrote a letter to the president to announce his resignation from the position, citing the presidency and others as frustrating his mandate as a Special Prosecutor.
After resigning, the citizen vigilante has now become a major critique of the government and the president.
The recent of such critiques came after the international news network, Al Jazeera, published an exposé titled, Gold Mafia.
The citizen vigilante, in a statement, alleged that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is an admitted friend of Alistair Mathias, the suspected gold kingpin who is reported to have been smuggling huge amounts of gold out of Ghana.
“The argument that Nana Addo could not have been Mathias’ lawyer when the president himself does not remember whether he was Mathias’ lawyer is spurious and diversionary. Nana Addo is an admitted friend of the alleged kingpin gold smuggler and money launderer for gold deals. Period! Befriending a criminal gang member and/or financial architect is typical of the previous conduct of the President of Ghana,” he noted.
Since his resignation in 2020, Martin Amidu has, on a number of occasions, written opinions calling out the president on his governance style, severally accusing him of being corrupt.
The former deputy minister was appointed by the president to serve at the Ministry of Railways, a newly-created ministry under the first term of the Akufo-Addo government.
He served in that capacity until he was relieved in 2021.
He hoped for an appointment to the Ministry of Trade and Industry but this did not happen.
Ever since, the former deputy minister has been on the neck of the government, calling for the merger of some ministries over job repetitions. He also influenced the Majority Caucus in Parliament to move the anti-Ken Ofori-Atta motion, which was aimed at getting the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, sacked..
In 2022, he was captured in an interview on Joy FM saying; “I am part of the group that organised the press conference in respect of the claim that the Finance Minister should be relieved of his position and we have been meeting on this subject matter, there was an occasion that a man approached us and wanted to mediate on behalf of the finance minister.”
In February 2023, the former deputy minister again came out to say that he regrets accepting the role as a deputy minister, after his hope of being appointed to a substantive ministerial position by the president was not met.
“I will never accept the position of deputy minister again. I made a mistake of accepting such a position and I will not do that again. I didn’t get the opportunity to exhibit my talent,” he was quoted in a report by 3news.com.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng:
For about a week now, the name Prof. Frimpong-Boateng has been in the news over a report he authored in 2021 to the president on the work of the committee he chaired, responsible for fighting illegal mining in the country.
The said report only came into the public two years after it was submitted to the president.
In the report titled: “Report on the work of the IMCIM the way forward,” the former minister mentioned the names of some government officials who were either hindering the work of his committee, or were also engaged in the galamsey menace.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng, in the report, detailed instances where the government interfered in the execution of their mandate.