After spending torrid years with then Candidate Akufo-Addo in opposition, leading all the fierce attacks on his fellow Northerner, former President John Mahama, and hoping to play a key role in a New Patriotic Party administration, Information Minister, Mustapha Abdul Hamid, is instead, reported playing second fiddle to his deputies.
Party insiders and sources at the Flagstaff House told this paper that, kinsmen of President Akufo-Addo wielding unlimited influence in government have succeeded in rendering Mustapha Hamid impotent at the Information Ministry.
Though Hamid was appointed as both Information Minister and Presidential Spokesperson, “the presidential spokesperson job has been taken away from him completely. He is just there as Minister. He has no influence in government…even his deputies have more influence in government than him”, a source revealed.
However, to dispel media reports of how the Information Minister is being shabbily treated and to assuage his pain after it had been reported in the media, the source disclosed that handlers of the President quickly arranged for Mustapha Hamid to moderate the President’s recent maiden encounter with the media.
According to the source, the Information Minister had little knowledge of the presidential encounter until he was “told at the last minute to prepare to moderate the program. This was done after it was reported in the media that he has been sidelined.”
Despite this, the Information Minister, The aL-hAJJ has gathered, is not oblivious of how President Akufo-Addo’s advisers, mainly from his Akyem clan, have relegated him to the background and are relying on his deputies to run the Ministry.
Unsure of where to direct his grievances after several complaints to the President yielded no results, the outspoken Mustapha Hamid is said to have threatened to resign from government if he is not moved to a different ministry in the President’s first reshuffle.
Another source told this paper that Mustapha Hamid feels “used and dumped by Akufo-Addo and the NPP. He never thought he will be shabbily treated like this in an Akufo-Addo government. Hamid was Akufo-Addo’s darling boy throughout his days in opposition but now things have changed. He is the least respected in this government”.
The source narrated how Mustapha Hamid’s deputies have ceased “taking instructions and directives from him. They don’t regard him as head of that Ministry…they feel they are not under him. They bypass him and report to the Flag Staff House directly.”
“Ordinarily, he should have been nominated Cabinet Minister but no…the Akyem guys around Akufo-Addo made sure his name was struck out. This was done purposely to render him powerless because there has not been any government in the Fourth Republic that Information Ministers were not part of Cabinet,” the source added.
Mustapha Hamid, then spokesperson of candidate Akufo-Addo was the marksman of the NPP that led all the vicious and scathing attacks on his fellow Northern brother, John Mahama, to ensure the party won last year’s election.
Aside variously branding former President Mahama and his family incompetent and corrupt, Mustapha Hamid was later to accuse the former President and his brother, Ibrahim Mahama of attempting to bribe the Northern Regional Chairman of NPP, Bugri Naabu with cars and money among others.
He has, however, apologised for some of the disparaging statements he said about the person of Mr Mahama and his family when he was put to strict proof during his parliamentary vetting for the position of Information Minister.
When the NPP won the 2016 election, Mustapha Hamid was appointed spokesperson for the NPP’s side of the transitional team only to be surprisingly substituted with Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who was later to be appointed one of his three deputies.
Shortly after his appointment as Information Minister following his resignation as a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Mustapha Hamid openly said he would have preferred President Akufo-Addo sent him to a different ministry.
Though he apologised for this comment too during his vetting – insisting, he was on the moon when he was appointed to the Information Ministry, sources told this paper that his comment angered the President and his Akyem controlling sect who have halted all dalliance with the Information Minister.
This has led to the Information Minister virtually wasting at the Ministry with his deputies running the show as he looks on helplessly.