Former Member of Parliament for New Juabeng South, Dr. Assibey Yeboah who was Chairman of the Finance Committee in the 7th Parliament of the Fourth Republic over the weekend had a conversation with a group of journalist friends of his during which he suggested that it would make no economic and administrative sense for Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to be fired or forced to resign ahead of the Budget and Economic Policy Statement this week.
This suggestion is both timely and sensible.
It is clear that Parliament, at least the elected Members from both the Majority and Minority Caucuses want the Finance Minister out of office and they have not hidden that unusual desire.
Dr. Assibey-Yeboah is not challenging the grounds for that desire. He only suggests, if not pleads, that time and tact should be taken into consideration.
He explains that barely a week ago, Charles Adu Boahen, a Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, was sacked from office, well, Mr. Adu Boahen claims he rather resigned, and his absence has created a void yet to be filled.
If even before the critical void is filled, the substantive Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta is also forced to leave office in the middle of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and at the threshold of the presentation of the Budget and Economic policy Statement and the subsequent passage of the Appropriation Bill, we would be shooting ourselves in the foot as a country.
One would ask why the rush? Why the haste? Ken himself has not said he would not resign. The appointing authority, which is the President himself, has not dismissed the calls for Ofori-Atta to step aside.
What the President did was to plead with the Majority Caucus to hold on with their request until after Ken presents the Budget and Economic Policy statement as well as sees to passage of the Appropriation Bill.
Certainly, this is not too much to ask for and it is no wonder the Caucus agreed to the terms of the roadmap to granting their request.
It therefore smacks of bad faith if a few days to the presentation of the Budget and Economic Policy statement, there are renewed calls for the sacking of Ken with additions of threats to boycott Parliament if he is the one to present the Budget statement.
Let the persons instigating the sack of Ken Ofori-Atta not behave like a spoilt boy-child crying over a favourite toy and would not listen to the voices of reason and conscience unless the toy is taken from wherever and whoever at any cost and given to him immediately irrespective of the consequences.
Rather they are expected to continue to show the maturity they have exhibited so far in agreeing on the roadmap to the exit of Ken Ofori-Atta. A mature compromise is worthy of commendation.
If after the IMF negotiations, the presentation of the Budget and Economic Policy statement and the passage of the Appropriation Bill, Ken and his appointing authority dare shift the goal post, then the agitating MPs would have a case if they start to wag their forefingers skywards and wash their hands off any and all Government related businesses on the Plenary, like Pontius Pilate did in Matthew 27.24.