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Suspending the Suspensions

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Never in our Fourth Republican political dispensation has an administration been rocked with so many suspensions as the present New Patriotic Party government.

The suspension galore, which started with President Akufo-Addo’s own political appointees, did not only eat into the nation’s sports administration but has crept into the judiciary, with no end in sight.

While suspending people suspected of wrong-doing is not new in our political diction, making it look like the norm, rather than the exception, can raise political eyebrows.

Beginning February 1, 2018, the President suspended the Upper West Regional Minister, Alhassan Suleman, following reports of political vigilantism in the region.

The decision was naturally hailed by party people; and when some three months later, the minister was reinstated, the new decision was again hailed by the same party people.

Then on April 12, 2018, the president, in reaction to a visa scandal in the wake of the 21st Commonwealth Games in Australia, suspended the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide, and the Acting Director-General of the National Sports Authority, Robert Sarfo Mensah.

As far as the media is concerned, investigations into the matter are still ongoing.

In the early hours of May 8, 2018, another report of suspension, this time not from the presidency, hit one of the president’s appointees.

The Board of Directors at the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company Limited (GCMCL) asked the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Frances Essiam, to consider herself suspended over claims that she had mismanaged the company and also awarded contracts without the approval of the Board or the Energy Ministry.

Her ‘suspension’ had since been frozen by the State Enterprises Commission (SEC), but the issue is not dead yet.

As if that was not enough, another report of suspensions hit the newsstands the same day.

Four High Court Judges, Paul Uuter Dery, Mustapha Logo, Gilbert Ayisi Addo and Charles Quist, were suspended by the president for bribery allegations against them to be investigated.

THE PUBLISHER is worried over the seemingly endless list of suspensions, and wonders if there is no other way to go when such allegations are levelled against appointees.

The paper is of the view that, randomly cracking the whip of suspension in the name of sanitizing the system may have its own political ramifications.

If there is any group of people that needs to learn from the ‘evils’ of suspension, it is certainly the ruling New Patriotic Party.

Fact is, the recent misbehavior of Hajia Fati at the party headquarters was as a result of an unresolved suspension of Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong, Sammy Crabbe, and Charles Wereko-Brobbey since December, 2015.

Yes, suspension is a necessary evil, but it must not be endless. It is a means to bringing finality to allegations, and not an end.

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