by Stanley Azuakola
Victoria Hammah was Ghana’s Deputy Communications Minister until today. Although she was a key player in the election of John Mahama as Ghana’s president, he has wasted no time in sacking her, just 24 hours after a video leaked on social media in which she was recorded saying she would stay in politics until she has made $1m (£600,000).
The president did not set up any committee nor did he make any explanations – he simply sacked her. Nigerians are likely to link Pres. Mahama’s handling of the matter with the way Pres. Jonathan is handling the Stella Oduah (#Stellagate) affair, in which the Nigerian minister of aviation gave approval to the NCAA for the purchase of two bullet proof cars worth N225 million. As a minister, she had no statutory right to give approval for such a large sum.
In the Victoria Hammah tape which went viral in social media circles, she said, “If you have money then you can control people.”
Hammah has not yet commented on the tape or her sacking.
Sometime in August, the controversial Hammah said there was a lot of pressure on her to steal public money because people thought that, as a minister, she was rich.
“Corrupt politicians are the reflection of [a] corrupt society!” she said.
Apart from saying on the tape that she “will not quit politics until I make one million dollars,” Hammah also denigrated Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Rachel Appoh as a “loud, ugly, senseless and egoistic” woman who has always been needlessly fighting her boss Nana Oye Lithur.calling her “senseless, ugly, loud and egoistic”.
Information Minister Mahama Ayariga did not give any reason for Ms Hammah’s dismissal in her one-sentence announcement. She simply said: “His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama has relieved Ms. Victoria Hammah, Deputy Minister of Communications of her post as Deputy Minister.”
Hammah’s driver has been questioned by the police, after she lodged a complaint, saying her right to privacy had been infringed. Some reports claim that the driver who secretly recorded Hammah and leaked the video was a cousin of hers.
Police spokesman Freeman Tetttey told the BBC they were investigating whether an offence had been committed.