The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin has insisted that the swapping of ministerial positions between Mr Bryan Acheampong and Mr Henry Quartey was normal in Ghana’s politics.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday morning reassigned the Minister of State at the Ministry of National Security, Mr Bryan Acheampong and Mr Henry Quartey, the Deputy Minister of Interior with immediate effect.
"Hon. Bryan Acheampong, MP, Minister of State at the Ministry of National Security, is now Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior;"
"Hon. Henry Quartey, MP, deputy Minister for Interior, is now deputy Minister at the Ministry of National Security," said a statement issued by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin on Thursday morning [February 13, 2020].
The statement did not provide reasons for the reassignments, however, Graphic Online gathers there has been some talking in government circles and within the security agencies of friction between Mr Bryan Acheampong and the Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah.
The issue of clarity of roles between the Minister of National Security and the Minister of State at the National Security came up during the work of the Emile Short Commission on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.
The Commission's report indicated that there should be a clear role for the Minister of State at the National Security, however, that assertion was shot down by the government in its White Paper.
Eugene Arhin's radio interview
Responding to public concerns for an explanation on the swapping of roles in a radio interview Thursday afternoon, the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin insisted that this is not the first time in Ghana’s history a Minister of State, for example, has been deployed to the Ministry of Interior.
"We recall that on 24th of July 2007, the then President of the Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor appointed Nana Obiri Boahen to that particular Ministry [Interior] as a Minister of State, so this is not the first time,” he said in the radio interview with Accra based Joy FM during the midday news which was monitored by Graphic Online.
Mr Arhin explained that his understanding was that the Ministry of Interior will not be assigned a deputy Minister as things stand now.
Reacting to the recommendations of the Emile Short Commission which suggested a clarity of role for the Minister of State at the National Security, Mr Arhin said, "if you recall, that assertion by the Emile Short Commission was shot down by government in its White Paper... we believe there was no problem at all with the two persons working at the National Security Ministry.”
“As I said when Bryan Acheampong was there..., he was assigned a specific role.“
He explained that “he [Bryan] is just going there [Interior] to be assigned a specific role by the President or the substantive Minister [Ambrose Dery] himself so I don't believe it is going to create any problems for us,... no problems were created whilst he was there at National Security, we don't believe he is going to create any problem at the Ministry of Interior with this new role he has been assigned by the President.
Asked if he will be working under the substantive Minister of Interior, Mr Arhin said: "he is going to be assigned a specific role, normally that is what a Minister of State... virtually do, assigned specific roles."
“From my understanding, Mr Bryan Acheampong will be reporting to Mr Ambrose Dery,” Mr Arhin said in the Joy FM radio interview.