The Chief of Staff role comes with a great deal of responsibilities beyond politics. It takes a lot of tact and diplomacy to survive such position because you work with individuals from all walks of life irrespective of their political persuasions.
In the political space, the Chief of Staff ensures that the executives, especially the president of the Republic constantly remain in touch with the citizenry by keeping an eye on the smooth operation of government machinery.
The current and first female Chief of Staff of Ghana, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has operated an open door policy ever since she took office in 2017, constantly working behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes, and deal with issues before they are brought to the attention of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“She is the kind of Chief of Staff that the president can go to sleep knowing she won’t do or say anything against his wishes. She is loyal, dedicated, disciplined, wise and careful,” is how one insider describes her.
Beyond making sure that government appointees are on top of their games, Osei-Opare’s office on a daily basis receives a plethora of requests from ordinary citizens (both party faithful and non-party members) to deal with their personal or family issues. The issues bother on medical bills, scholarships, job placements as well as funeral donations.
Her benevolent reputation has always preceded her – a trait that has almost landed her a bad press recently because some party folks believe they deserve better and should be given more attention than “outsiders.”
New Patriotic Party (NPP) members crying foul may be right, but the Chief of Staff is not wrong in opening her doors wide to every tax payer including non-party members when they also need help, especially in times of grief such as in the case of popular actress, Afia Schwarzenegger aka Valentina Nana Agyeiwaa, when her father died. In any case, the GHC50, 000 donation claim from the Chief of Staff to Afia is not factual and should be disregarded.
When someone is naturally generous, it is difficult to suppress that rare God-given gift and they do so without taking into consideration your party colours. For them, it’s always about humanity and nothing else. Osei-Opare has over the years been in the news for all the good reasons, majority of which she prefers remain private.
On top of mind is the recent GHC 15 million donation on behalf of President Akufo-Addo to carry out the first medical procedure in Ghana to separate conjoined twins at the Ridge Hospital in Accra. Also, through her political affairs director, Frank Asiedu Bekoe (Protozoa), she facilitated for a surgery that saved the life a little boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Back in 2019, the Chief of Staff also donated items worth thousands of Ghana Cedis to the maternity ward of the University of Ghana Hospital in celebration of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day. In addition, she has on several occasions called for support for the disadvantaged in society to help them live happy lives after making donations to some mental homes, orphanages and special schools across the country during the festive seasons.
The Office of the Chief of Staff is not only there to serve political purposes, but to serve Ghanaians irrespective of one’s political, ethnic or religious divide. Osei-Opare does not discriminate and on occasions where she is unable to personally attend to the myriads of Ghanaians who throng her office unannounced, her aides have always been on hand to assist.
May we not sacrifice a mother whose only perceived crime is being sympathetic towards her neighbour’s dying children.
By Joycelyn Anaba, Nsawam
Source: Daily Mail GH