Ghana Politics

Fatimatu Abubakar and Pius Hadzide; A tale of two opposites

Ghanaians familiar with political activities in the country in the last four years, would by now be wondering what has happened to the once vibrant Information ministry, which was always in the news sometimes for all the wrong reasons.

Pius Enam Hadzide, a former deputy Information Minister, once upon a time in this same administration, became the butt of jokes in this country.

He became the laughing stock among his peers, not because he was not good at his job, but because he was often pitched against people, who were more eloquent and could advance their arguments in a more cogent and coherent manner. He was not able to hold his own, because most often he was put up to lie.

He was trolled anytime he appeared on any programme, especially when he is paired against Felix the likes of Felix Kwakye Ofosu or Sammy Gyamfi, both of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Did he love his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP)? Yes he did, he was at every given time trying to prove his loyalty. His avowed commitments to the ideals of the party, was what became his Achilles Heel. He became a disaster of a deputy minister.

He sets himself up to fail, when he had a problem with his former boss at the Sports Ministry and was reshuffled to the Information ministry, it was fait accompli.

Having proved himself even to his own detriment, Akufo-Addo, upon winning his second term, decided that Pius Hadzide was no longer deserving of that portfolio, although the substantive minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, was kept at post.

Akufo-Addo, might have agreed with a section of the public that, Pius Hadzide, has had his run and could no longer continue and so a more suitable, capable person was needed to continue or if you may start from where Pius failed.

In the president’s wisdom , Fatimatu Abubakar, a young and budding lawyer, had the exuberance to bring dynamism to the ministry and help her minster to execute the agenda of the government.

Whether by design, strategy, or sheer coincidence apart from her appearance at the vetting committee, little is heard of the woman who came to replace Pius Enam Hadzide.

I do not want to conclude that, she is not good at her job or as they say, she is a square peg in a round hole.

I am a feminist and I make no excuse for that, but in a male dominated terrain, any woman given the opportunity must be able to prove her capacity. An opportunity offered to one woman, is an opportunity offered to all the women in Ghana, because I believe it is time they take their rightful place.

Many women, have made their mark and actually epitomize the saying, what men can do, women can do better.

But for the stolen verdict last year, Ghana would have had its first woman vice-president. So yes, since 1992, we have seen women not only take part in active politics, but have played significant roles in the governance of this country at the various arms of government.

Since the exit of Pius and the coming in of Fatima, little has been heard of the ministry, especially those manning it.

This goes without saying that, the ministry organizes weekly press briefings, which is addressed by various ministers to appraise the people of what they are doing, where they are and where they intend to take the ministry.

I can understand the frustration of president Akufo-Addo, when he said the story of his government is not being told.

The president knows where to direct his anger and frustration to. The ones vibrant Information ministry, which made headlines is now defunct and does not appear on programs as it used to.

I am yet to see Fatima Abubakar appear on any talk show, example News File on Joy FM, as Pius used to do.

If Pius was insulted, humiliated for doing his work, why won’t Fatima, who replaced him, also be subjected to the same test to see if she can pass it or be ridiculed as happened to Pius.

Pius’s first outing as a minister did not go well, at the Sports Ministry, he was investigated for the Australia visa scandal, although he was said to have done nothing wrong by the committee established to go into the scandal, and was actually declared innocent by the president, even before the committee could finish its work, that scandal, will forever define his political life.

His second outing, at the Information ministry too, was full of sound bites. The kinds that you do not wish to be replayed, but that has been his fetish and for a long time to come, he will have to live with those two experiences.

Was it bad, it is hard to tell as posterity, will see it differently.

Pius, has now moved from the limelight to a more quiet place, as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, will he write the wrongs in the past, or the status quo, will remain, whatever happens, he can never run away from his own story.

As for Fatimatu Abubakar, I don’t know what her story is, but as a lawyer, she earns or must earn her living through talking, so the Information ministry is the best place for her. Whichever shadow that is hanging over her, she should quickly cut a niche for herself and establish her presence, in the political space.


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