The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is allowing pettiness to warp its judgment about Electoral Commission Chairperson nominee Jean Mensa, political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo, has said.
Apart from Mrs Mensa, the president also named as deputy commissioners head of the political science department at the University of Ghana, Dr Eric Bossman Asare and Mr Samuel Tettey, Director of Electoral Services in charge of elections at the EC, pending approval by the Council of State.
Both the NDC and its Minority in parliament have accused Mrs Mensa and Dr Bossman Asare, of being pro-NPP and anti-NDC.
It is recalled that the NDC boycotted the 2016 presidential debate organised by the IEA with reason that it had not been treated fairly and respectfully by the Jean Mensa-led organization.
In the view of the NDC and the Minority, as espoused by General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Sagnarigu MP A.B.A Fuseini, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s nomination of the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs and UG lecturer, is part of the governing New Patriotic Party’s grand scheme to rig the 2020 polls.
However, Prof Gyampo, Director for the Centre for European Studies at the University of Ghana, who has worked closely with Mrs Mensa at the IEA for 14 years; and with Dr Bossman Asare at the UG political science department for close to a decade, told Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Tuesday, 24 July 2018 that the NDC and the Minority are fussing over petty issues.
“We have to look at younger people who have what it takes to run the show, and, so, for me, I commend the president for the appointments that have been made, and, as you may be aware, the two of them: Bossman and Jean Mensa, are my bosses. I’ve worked with Jean Mensa for the past 14 years. Until recently, I was senior research fellow at the IEA and I did this for 14 years; Prof Bossman Asare is the head of my department, I work with him, they are [both] good, I’ve understudied them, I know what they bring to the table and all that, and, so, for me, I think we should look at the broader picture.
“Of course the NDC is saying that they are partisan and all that, I do not know, I’m very curious in knowing about their partisan connections that the NDC says they will expose, but as far as I am concerned, the issues that are being raised by the NDC against Jean Mensa is something that borders on some petty issues.
“I’ve worked with them as coordinator of the Ghana Political Parties Programme, and for long, and, so, I know the issues and they are quite petty that we should not allow those issues to cloud our judgement about whether people are competent or people have what it takes”, Prof Gyampo stressed.
In his view, the NDC must look beyond the pettiness of their concerns and see the bigger picture.
“I think we must not really do what the politicians want us to do. Let’s look at their CVs, let’s look at their competence, let’s look at their track-record and see whether they have what it takes to deliver as EC commissioners or not; if they can do it, so be it.
“Even if it had not been Jean Mensa, anybody who would have been appointed would have been subjected to this same criticisms by the opposition just as the opposition did during the regime of the NDC, too, and so, I think we have to decide as a nation whether we would allow politicians to take us for a ride and to take us for granted.
“Pay-back time politics shouldn’t be something we should be proud of otherwise we cannot build the nation called Ghana and it’s the ordinary people that will suffer. It’s becoming one too many that whatever NDC does in government, NPP will pay them back, whatever NPP will do in government NDC will pay them back. And, so, I was worried when I heard some NDC fanatics saying that they can’t wait to be elected to also get rid of Jean Mensa and all that. I said the woman has not even been appointed, she’s just been nominated”, Prof Gyampo added.