The 2016 campaign manager for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Mac Manu, is unhappy with what he describes as untruths being peddled by some persons following government’s disclosure that there are 998 members of staff working under the office of the president.
He labelled some interpretations on various media platforms of the list presented by the government to Parliament detailing the number of staff currently employed at the presidency as “fake news.”
Speaking to some media during the NPP’s Western Regional delegates conference, Mr. Mac Manu said suggested that not all the names on the list were persons working at the Jubilee House, adding that some of them were working from “various locations.”
“It is not true. When we say presidency, they work for the office of the presidency. It is not everybody who works at the office of the presidency who is at the Flagstaff House. Some of them are even at various locations but their designation is that they work under the office of the President,” he explained.
“If NPP came with 200-and-something and somebody writes on his Facebook wall that NPP has employed 935 people at the Jubilee House, isn’t that fake news? It is.”
In an earlier address during the conference, Mr. Mac Manu cautioned party members to be wary of fake news circulating on both traditional and social media platforms across the country.
According to Mr. Mac Manu, spreading fake news has the potential to divert people’s attention from the good works the NPP government is embarking on.
He urged NPP members to subject news stories to strict verification.
Although several people have criticised the number of staff other presidency, others have defended the figure arguing that the new ministries created by the Akufo-Addo government and secretariats for Free SHS, among others, all operating at the presidency, may have contributed to a large number of presidential staffers.
Officials of the Mahama administration have been among the strongest critics of the number of employees at the Presidency with former Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu stating that figure amounted to an abuse of the public purse, contrary to Nana Addo’s repeated promise to protect the public purse.
Describing the government as “obese”, he added that the growing staff size will eventually ‘kill’ it
The Presidency’s list features nine Ministers of State, 27 Presidential Staffers, 256 junior political appointees, and some other 706 persons including domestic and household workers and civil servants.
Indications are that the previous Mahama administration had 778 staffers by the time it handed over.