Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

NDC Professionals Forum in North America has called for the resignation of the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu describing his handling of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine procurement as irresponsible.

According to the group, answers provided by the Minister in relation to the contract leaves much to be desired and warrants that he vacates his office.

During the ongoing Parliamentary probe into the circumstances surrounding the vaccine procurement which the Minority had raised concerns about, the Minister had indicated that the desperation pushed him to negotiate the deal with a middleman, Sheik Maktoum without the input of the House.

“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.

“…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,” the Minister told the Committee on July 19.

In a statement which has since proven controversial over the past few days, the Minister told 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.”

This 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 deserved to be thrown out as “the Health Minister blatantly disregarded the Supreme Court ruling in Attorney General v. (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 which required all international business or economic transactions to which Government is party be approved by Parliament.”

“The Minister knew he was offending the law but regardless, went ahead to engage in an unapproved deal on behalf of the state,” he said.

In the statement signed by its President, Arnold Appiah, the group reiterated 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.”