The NDC Professionals Forum in North America has called for the resignation of the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu.
According to the group, this is as a result of his handling of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine procurement, describing it as irresponsible.
Contained in a statement, signed by its President, Arnold Appiah, it explained that answers provided by the Minister in relation to the contract renders he leaves office.
During the ongoing Parliamentary probe into the vaccine procurement, the Minister indicated that desperation pushed him to negotiate the deal with a middleman, Sheik Maktoum without the input of the House.
“The Health Minister blatantly disregarded the Supreme Court ruling in Attorney General (1) Balken Energy Ghana Ltd (2) Balken Energy LLC and (3) Mr. Philip David Elder and Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of the Ghana.
“The Minister knew he was offending the law but regardless, went ahead to engage in an unapproved deal on behalf of the state.
It further mentioned that this “required all international business or economic transactions to which Government is party be approved by Parliament”.
The Health Minister had explained that, “if you were the Health Minister, I think you might have taken certain decisions that in hindsight you may not have done those things. The country was not in normal times”.
“I was in a desperate and helpless situation with the management of the Covid numbers. In February [this year], we had 78 deaths; by March, we had 56 deaths, and these were the numbers that pushed me to act”
Procurement of COVID-19 vaccines
Additionally, the statement further revealed that the group were “uphurled by the comments of the Hon. Minister”, over the purchase of the vaccines.
“We believe his actions are irresponsible and undeserving as a Minister of State”.
It further noted that the committee charged him with the responsibility for scrutinizing all Government payments. However, he “was heard saying he made an error with respect to the prior approval of the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines”.
“Secondly, he said, he was in hurry to save Ghanaians from the Covid-19 second wave as such he relayed on the Executive Instrument 61 passed by parliament to hide behind emergency clauses invoked under the EI, hence his reason for not seeking parliamentary approval”.
In those moments, the Minister explained to the committee that “those were not normal times. And I was seriously in a situation that couldn’t make me think properly the way you think that now I will actually address such a situation.”
The response has been widely criticized by a section of the public with the latest being the North American wing of the main opposition party.
The group believes the explanation deserves to be chucked out as “the Minister knew he was offending the law but regardless, went ahead to engage in an unapproved deal on behalf of the state”.
In concluding, the group emphasized that Mr Manu’s actions indicate a lack of “moral fortitude, integrity to continue as a Minister for Health and as such the NDC Pro forum, North America is calling on him to honourably resign with immediate effect”.