The Minister-designate for Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, was left stunned before the Appointments Committee of Parliament as he was being interrogated by Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson on Monday.

Mr Acheampong appeared convinced that their friendship was going to be a determining factor during the vetting.

But he was left in utmost shock as Dr Forson seemed to have laid friendship aside in order to execute the day’s tasks.

Dr Forson pressed the Abetifi legislator for assurance that he will deliver on his mandate if approved by Parliament to run affairs at the Agriculture Ministry.

To his bewilderment, the Minister-designate exclaimed “Ato you are my friend. Today, you don’t trust me? Ei Ato. You should be testifying on my credibility.”

In response to the shock displayed by his supposed friend, the Minority Leader explained that it doesn’t matter if they are friends, he is only doing his job in the interest of the country and therefore has to ask questions that are needed.

“We are here for the people of Ghana. So we have to ask the questions that are needed,” he said.

Dr Forson had asked Mr Acheampong how he can be trusted as Minister of state again given that he had once been a Minister of state at the National Security Ministry under whose jurisdiction a violent incident had occured during a by-election within the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency. It was alleged that he had deployed national security agents to cause mayhem.

Mr Acheampong, however, rejected the claims, saying he had not done as alleged and that a report by the Commission of Inquiry did not indicate that he authorised the deployment of said security agents.

“In the 500-plus page report [of the Commission of Inquiry], there wasn’t any part that mentioned that I authorised it. So everybody including myself was surprised and afraid that my name found expression in the conclusion that I should be reprimanded. That is why the White Paper rejected that recommendation because it failed to establish the factual basis that I authorized that operation,” he said.

All Ministerial appointees by President Akufo-Addo are currently undergoing vetting processes. The President, in his reshuffle has appointed some new members to head the ministries following the resignation of some Ministers who seek to embark on their presidential ambitions.

The change has been subjected to criticism from the opposition National Democratic Congress, some experts and ordinary Ghanaians in that the appointment has come after calls for the downsizing government.