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Mahama criticizes Akufo-Addo's timing in Ken Ofori-Atta's removal

Former President John Dramani Mahama has strongly criticized President Akufo-Addo for not removing Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta from office earlier.


According to Mr. Mahama, Ofori-Atta should have been reshuffled out of his position as early as 2019 due to his detrimental financial decisions and conflicts of interest.


Addressing Journalists in Accra on Sunday, the NDC Flagbearer emphasized the importance of cabinet reshuffles in maintaining an effective government, suggesting that bringing new individuals into different roles can lead to improved performance.


He highlighted that cabinet reshuffles are a common practice worldwide and often necessary when a minister is underperforming in a specific sector.


Former President Mahama’s call for the removal of Ofori-Atta dates back to 2019, predicting that his tenure would lead to significant financial distress for the country.


He criticized Ofori-Atta's reliance on borrowing from international capital markets, which he argued was not only a limited approach but also benefited Ofori-Atta personally.


Mr. Mahama pointed out that Ofori-Atta's company, Data Bank, received commissions from government borrowings, creating a conflict of interest that incentivized borrowing.


Comparing their records, Mahama noted that during his four-year tenure, his administration borrowed $3.5 billion from the Eurobond market, primarily investing in projects and infrastructure.


In contrast, he accused Ofori-Atta of borrowing $13.5 billion over six years, much of which went into consumption and unproductive projects that failed to yield returns for the country.


Mahama argued that if President Akufo-Addo had removed Ofori-Atta earlier, the current economic crisis could have been mitigated.


He suggested that the president's decision to keep Ofori-Atta in office was influenced by their familial relationship, as they are cousins.


This, he claimed, was the primary reason for Ofori-Atta's prolonged tenure despite his poor performance.


The former president dismissed any notion of congratulating President Akufo-Addo for the eventual removal of Ofori-Atta, stating,


"The distraction has been done. In English, they say it's bolting the stable after the horses have escaped."


Mr. Mahama argued that removing Ofori-Atta now, after significant economic damage has been inflicted, is too little, too late.


Mahama's comments underscore his belief that proactive leadership and timely decisions are crucial for effective governance.


He asserted that Ofori-Atta should have been dismissed in 2019, preventing the economic turmoil that the country is now facing.


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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