President John Mahama has said she will not fire Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection merely because she revelled in an “ostentatious” birthday party organised for her by her husband, even though critics of the government have accused her of using state funds to put that party together.
Answering a specific question during an exclusive interview with Ovation International about there being talk in town that “you have not been assertive enough; that you have not been able to control members of your cabinet who are not behaving properly,” Mr Mahama said: “We have 300 FM stations in this country, we have seventy newspapers or so, we have all kinds of media. All kinds of media raise allegations against office holders.”
“I cannot on the basis of every allegation that is raised take action. It means I will change my cabinet so many times if I acted on every single allegation.
“For every allegation that is made, I have said I will consider the accusation seriously, we will investigate and if those allegations are substantial that requires that I take action against a Minister, I will do so. And I have done that in several cases, I have changed Ministers.
“But they expect that anytime anybody comes out and says that this Minister did this, I should remove the Minister,” he said.
Citing an example to buttress his point, Mr Mahama said: “A Minister held a birthday party, her 50th birthday party, Nana Oye Lithur, her husband is a prominent person in this country. He organised a good party for her, they said I should fire her – that she is showing ostentation.”
“Meanwhile, this is one of my best Ministers. Oye has turned that Gender Ministry around. Before now, no development partner will touch the Gender Ministry. Today, they are chasing them with funds to do programmes for children and women.
“And because she had one ostentatious party, and lets her hair down, I should sack her. Those are some of the examples. And we all know how passionate she has always been about women and children issues.”