Stop Heckling EC Boss, General Mosquito!
The leaders of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), in particular Messrs. Freddie Blay and John Boadu, Chairman and General-Secretary, respectively, must rise up and match, “boot-for-boot,” the crude attempt by Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the General-Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to coerce and intimidate Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), into doing the ungodly bidding of the operatives of the NDC in the leadup to the 2020 General Election (See “ ‘Change Your Ways Or Face Our Wrath’ – Asiedu-Nketia Warns EC Boss” Peacefmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 4/20/19).
We must emphatically point out that we were all avid spectators to the patently mischievous decision by former EC Chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, to create some 35 new constituencies with only four months to Election Day, when it was incontrovertibly clear that there was not enough time for the various legitimately elected political parties, including the then main opposition New Patriotic Party, to campaign and to effectively contest these newly created parliamentary seats. Back then, even former President John Agyekum-Kufuor – not very well-known to have a great fondness for Nana Akufo-Addo – publicly decried the dastardly move and authoritatively observed that the creation of so many constituencies in the country, in so short a time, was both egregiously inexpedient and politically and practically unorthodox and unprecedented, unless Dr. Afari-Gyan harbored motives other than the fair and just conduct of the 2012 General Election. And guess what? True to his single-minded arrogance and obstinacy, the former University of Ghana’s political scientist rode roughshod over the expert advice of President Kufuor and callously went ahead to unconscionably create the aforesaid 35 constituencies.
Today, Ghana, a country with just over 30 million people and a voters’ register that hovers around at most 10-to-12 million eligible voters has nearly 300 parliamentary seats. Back then, I don’t recall the NDC’s General-Secretary, aka General Mosquito, even once raising his voice to publicly question such unorthodox and, perhaps, even patently illegal and abusive use of Dr. Afari-Gyan’s statutory powers as the EC’s Chair. You see, what makes the current Electoral Commissioner’s decisions far more wholesome than that of Dr. Afari-Gyan and even Mrs. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei’s equally scandalous decisions and policy initiatives, mostly geared towards skewing the outcome of the 2016 General Election in favor of the Mahama-led regime of the National Democratic Congress, is that not only is Mrs. Mensa a top-notch lawyer with relatively unbested and unimpeachable credentials, the former Executive-Director of the prestigious think-tank called the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has practical and enviable experience in the development and/or the drafting and revision of the Presidential Transitional Act of 2012, the Revised 1992 Draft Constitution of Ghana, the Political Parties Funding Bill and the Revised Political Parties Bill.
We must also quickly point out the fact that Dr. Afari-Gyan had absolutely no legal experience whatsoever. And yet, through the strategic shenanigans of the Rawlings-led regimes of the National Democratic Congress, the incessantly bungling and administratively grossly incompetent former Legon political scientist was allowed to remain at his post for more than 20 years, during this period, this physically and intellectually gangling and scrawny man was afforded carte-blanche powers to do unprecedented and near-irreparable damage to Ghanaian democracy and electoral culture. The situation was practically no better under the short-lived tenure of Mrs. Charlotte Osei who, although a well-trained lawyer like the current EC Chair, nevertheless, was scandalously too inexperienced of a Mahama-sponsored scofflaw who seemed to wickedly thrive on incessantly defying Supreme Court Orders and Decisions that did not appear to favor the election-winning chances of her paymaster.
In other words, practically and professionally speaking, this is the very first time in the little over a quarter-century of Fourth-Republican Ghanaian democratic culture that any government has had the privilege of appointing a first-rate constitutional lawyer and unarguably the best qualified Electoral Commissioner in Ghana’s postcolonial history. Now, it is unmistakably obvious that faced with certain defeat in the 2020 General Election, General Mosquito has crudely and primitively resorted to what the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress do best, that is, use intimidation tactics to compromise the EC Chair. In the latest of such move, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia presumes to lecture Mrs. Mensa on whether the Electoral Commission is equipped or resourced with adequate logistics to undertake its impending limited registration of newly qualified and/or eligible voters. He also wants to grotesquely impose what Mr. Asiedu-Nketia mischievously deems to be the Common Agreement or Common Cause of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).
The fact of the matter, however, is that any agreement and/or consensus reached by the IPAC representatives is not legally or statutorily binding on the EC Chair and her Associate Administrators. The Bui Dam Woyome has to be boldly and frankly told upfront to stay in his lane or be prepared to face the even greater wrath of the leaders, supporters and sympathizers of the ruling New Patriotic Party.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
April 23, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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