A meeting with former President John Mahama by officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) did not end without drama.
As officials of the EC and executives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) made their way out of a closed doors meeting, General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, was heard telling the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa that “you’ve stopped being fair” to which she (Mrs. Mensa) quizzed “how can anyone be unfair over there (EC)?”
Mr. Asiedu Nketia’s “you’ve stopped being fair” comment sought to suggest that Mrs. Mensa was fair to all parties when she was Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) but has in his view stopped being fair to all parties as Chairperson of the Commission.
Mrs. Mensa tried to put up a spirited defense of her integrity but could not continue as she had to pose alongside former President Mahama, Mr. Asiedu Nketia, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, former Communications Minister, Omane Boamah, among others, for a group photo.
The start of the meeting itself which took place on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the former President’s Office at East Cantonments, was dramatic as ex-Presidential staffer, Stan Dogbe, forced journalists to handover their phones before entering the meeting hall.
Journalists who covered the event were not comfortable with the order and pleaded with Mr. Dogbe to allow them to take their phones in so as to help take pictures and do voice recordings for their stories.
Mr. Dogbe denied the journalists the opportunity to take their phones in, with some of the reporters describing his action as a “seizure” of their phones.
Inside the meeting hall after brief remarks from the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, Mr. Mahama and National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the former President personally asked journalists to leave the meeting room for a heart-to-heart closed doors meeting with the EC officials, a sharp departure from the two previous meetings with former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings where journalists sat in from the beginning of the meeting to the end.
Mr. Mahama had assured the media that at the end of the closed doors meeting, everything that transpired would be summarized to journalists.
Surprisingly, after waiting for several minutes, a staff in the Office of Mr. Mahama, George Azirigo, came out to announce that journalists were no longer going to be briefed at the end of the meeting.
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