Deputy Chief of Staff and Vice Chairman for the Ghana at 60 Planning Committee, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has defended President Nana Addo’s decision to set up a 30-member committee to plan for the country’s 60th-anniversary celebrations, saying the committee members ‘will do a sacrificial job’.
Ghana will on 6th March 2017, celebrate its Diamond Jubilee after gaining independence from Britain in 1957. The committee, chaired by Ken Amankwa will supervise all events and planning processes leading to the celebration.
Other members of the committee include Historians, Professor Irene Odotei and Professor JH Nketiah, Senior Lecturer at the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo and a lawyer, Kweku Asirifi.
But the President’s decision to set up the committee has triggered concerns from various stakeholders who argue that such a move might create an opportunity for people to siphon state funds just like what happened in 2007.
But speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Jinapor allayed such fears, saying that the committee will “serve the country” and not use the occasion as an opportunity to make money at the expense of the state.
He reiterated the President’s assurance that the celebration will be modest to save the already ailing economy from further challenges. Mr. Abu Jinapor however failed to say whether or not committee members will receive the usual allowance, except to say that they will do a “sacrificial job.”
“This is going to be a sacrificial job. It is going to be a service to country . We are serving our country. It is an honour and priviledge to be given an opportunity. It is going to be absolute service to the country. At the end of the day, be rest assured that all objective and fair Ghanaians will be satisfied with the manner with which this committee conducts its affairs and nobody is going to engage in ostentatious work. We are going to have a very modest celebration and we have to live by example. We are going to reciprocate the President’s confidence in us.”
According to him, the President will closely monitor the activities of the committee to ensure accountability and transparency. He explained that the committee is yet to meet to decide on a budget for the national event.
“It is not going to be an auto pilot directionless planning committee. ..We are going to be reporting through the Chief of Staff to him. He said we are going to have to do everything transparently and those are going to be the guiding principles.”
Below is the list of members serving on the committee;
Ken Amankwah (Chairman)
Samuel A. Jinapor (Vice Chairman)
Eugene Arhin (Secretary)
Ama Serwaa Nyarko
Kwaku Danso Misa (Communication Working Group)
Abyna Ansah Adjei (Communication Working Group)
Representative from the Vice President’s Office
Director of State Protocol
Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Chief Director at the Presidency
Director Finance and Administration at the Presidency
Director Budget at the Presidency
Representative from State Protocol
Group B Institutional Representation
Representative from the Ghana Armed Forces
Representative from National Security
Representative from the Ghana Police Services
Representative from the Ghana Prison Services
Representative from the Ghana Revenue Authority
Representative from the Ghana National Fire Services
Representative from the Ghana Education Services
Representative from Ministry of Education
Representative from Ministry of Information
Representative from Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts
Representative from Ghana Immigration Services
‘Ghana at 50 saga’
The last time a similar committee was inaugurated was in 2007 by President John Agyekum Kufour, to organize the celebration of Ghana’s 50th anniversary.
It emerged after the celebration that there was a gross misappropriation of funds by the committee that operated as a secretariat.
Dr. Wereko-Brobbey and Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, Chairman of the National Planning Committee for Ghana@50 in August 2010, were discharged by an Accra Fast Track High Court of charges of willfully causing financial loss to the State.
They were accused of financial malfeasance and recommended for prosecution by a 3-member committee set up by the then President John Atta-Mills to investigate the celebrations.
They pleaded not guilty and were subsequently discharged by a Court of Appeal on the grounds that the charges leveled against them were instituted in breach of their fundamental human rights