The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has clarified that his dissention to the Senior Minister portfolio created by President Akufo-Addo is not borne out of hatred for the minister-designate, Yaw Osafo Marfo.
Mr. Ayariga in a letter to the president argued that the Senior Minister designation was unconstitutional and “discriminatory.”
He said: “A Senior Minister suggests the existence of a hierarchy among Ministers of State. There is no hierarchy among ‘Ministers of State’ appointed under articles 58 and 256.”
“At best, there could be informal seniority protocols within government once approval as Ministers of State is given by parliament. I am not operating in the realm of protocols now. I am asking that we pay attention to the dictates of the language of our constitutions when communicating to other constitutional bodies and arms of government,” he wrote.
Explaining the contents of his letter on Thursday an interview , the former Minister of Environment, Science and Technology said his actions were in good faith, aimed at upholding the supremacy of the constitution.
“We [Parliamentarians] swore to preserve and respect the constitution,” he said, adding that “It’s important to keep with the wording of the constitution.”
According to him, his opposition to the portfolio that would be manned by the former Finance Minister, is not personal but in the interest of the constitution.
“Everybody knows Honourable Osafo Marfo, he is an excellent gentleman, well experienced, he’s been minister for several ministries and we all know his track-record and etc…” said Mr. Ayariga.
“So there is really no issue with the competence of Honourable Osafo Marfo and this challenge to what the president has done is not about Honourable Osafo Marfo…it [the challenge] has nothing do with [him] because he did not nominate himself.
“It’s the president who has nominated him and we’re simply questioning the conduct of the president.”
He has thus called on the president to change Osafo Marfo’s portfolio to Minister of state in accordance with article 78(1) of the constitution.
“That is what the constitution states Minister of state,” he maintained.