The Council of State has a very significant role to play in the governance of the country, as it is enjoined by the 1992 Constitution (Chapter 9, Article 89) to “counsel the President in the performance of his functions”.
Its advisory role is akin to what pertains in many families where there are elders to be consulted, especially when very difficult decisions have to be taken or when there is a crisis that requires wisdom to have it resolved.
Specifically, the council is to “consider and advise the President or any other authority in respect of any appointment which is required by the Constitution or any other law to be made in accordance with the advice of, or in consultation with the council”.
Also, upon request or on its own initiative, the council is to “consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, or any other authority established by the Constitution”.
Over the years, the council has mostly worked silently in the background, fulfilling its mandate as enshrined in the Constitution, and people who are chosen to serve on it are usually elderly people of various competencies who wield respect in society.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday February 27, 2017 swore in the members of the Council of State, with a call on them to provide him with advice based on the truth, no matter how distasteful it might be.
He advised the members of the council to break the tradition of praise-singing and rather be forthright about situations, so that he could steer affairs of state towards growth, progress and prosperity.
The Council of State is made up of 25 members, including the President of the National House of Chiefs, who is an ex-officio member.
Per the Constitution, the council is made up of 10 regional elected representatives and 14 others appointed by the President.
In accordance with Article 89(2), the President is to appoint a former Chief Justice, a former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces and a former Inspector General of Police.
However, in the case of President Akufo Addo, he was unable to appoint a former Chief Justice (CJ) to the council, as required by the constitution, because there was no living former CJ.
Below is a list of the 24 members of the council of state
10 Elected Members
1. Greater Accra: Nii Kotei Dzani, Greater Accra Region, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ideal Group of Companies
2. Ashanti: Nana Owusu Achiaw Brempong, a 63-year-old chief of Agona Akrofoso and entrepreneur
3. Western: Ms Eunice Jacqueline Buah, a 52-year-old businesswoman of Takoradi
4. Upper East: Tongo-Rana Kubilsong Nalebgtang, Paramount Chief of the Tongo Traditional Area (known in private life as Robert Nachinab D. Mosore)
5. Upper West: Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton IV, Paramount Chief of the Tumu Traditional Area
6. Eastern: Nana Somuah Mireku, a 63-year-old accountant
7. Brong Ahafo: Mr Kodwo Agyenim-Boateng, a 73-year-old retired public servant
8. Volta: Mr Francis Albert Seth Nyonyo, a 50-year-old oil and gas dealer from Anloga
9. Northern: Bo-Na Professor Yakubu S. Nantogma, a 74-year-old Chief of Bogu, near Savelugu in the Northern Region
10. Central: Obrempong Appiah Nuamah II, Omanhen of the Twifo Mampong Traditional Area
11. Lt. General Joseph Boateng Danquah (retd), a former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces
12. Nana Owusu Nsiah, a former Inspector General of Police
13. Mr Sam Okudzeto, a former President of the Ghana Bar Association
14. Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, a former Accra Mayor
15. Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Juabenhene
16. Nana Kofi Obiri Egyir II
17. Alberta Cudjoe
18. Alhaji Aminu Amadu.
19. Dr Margaret Amoakohene of the School of Communication Studies at University of Ghana, Legon,
20. Alhaji Sahanun Moqtar
21. Georgina Kusi (Georgia Hotel)
22. Alhaji Sule Yiremiah
23. Paa Kofi Ansong
24. Togbe Afede, Agbomefia of Asogli State and President of National House of Chiefs (ex-officio member of Council of State)