Franklin Cudjoe must stop parading ignorance on popular media

Franklin Cudjoe 25 Franklin Cudjoe

Tue, 4 Feb 2020 Source: Francis Atayure Abirigo

A recent caution, issued out to the polarizing figure of Jean Mensah as head of Ghana’s election management outfit, received widespread media treatment.

In the notice put out by George Opare Addo, otherwise known as Pablo, the NDC’s Youth Organizer entreated the EC’s Chair, to exercise caution and desist from ignoring the cries of the many who oppose the compilation of a new voter register for the elections in December.

In a submission on Accra FM, the NDC’s Youth leader, made it clear that Jean Mensah would be held liable if anything untoward occurred before, during and after the elections on account of her posturing which appeared intransigent.

To capture him verbatim, “I've said it and I’m saying it again that there is a thin line between peace and instability… Let me also assure Jean Mensa that she'll be the first person to suffer the casualty in case something untoward happens, she should do the right thing that will bring peace. Ghana is not bigger than other jurisdictions where electoral violence is recorded.”

He continued “violence will only occur when there is a misunderstanding. The EC is the first point of call in case there is any electoral violence, so, Jean Mensa has a bigger responsibility; she should remember that Nana Oduro Anim Appau, Afari Gyan, Charlotte Osei have all occupied the seat before; they all administered elections in the country and they were free, fair and peaceful..."

This, apparently harmless but well-intended caution as usual, was embraced and despised in equal scoops if the media treatment and the predictable analysts are worth any weight.

Enter, Franklin Cudjoe, head of policy think IMANI Africa, and by the way, congratulations for landing a seat on Akuffo Addo’s collage of exorcists assembled to cast out the demon afflicting the Cedi’s health against the US Dollar.

Franklin Cudjoe, his motivation unknown, twisted, tossed and turned this comment much like a gymnast exhibiting flair at the Olympic games. Taking to Twitter, Cudjoe, labeled Mr. Opare's comment as "very very silly" and urged the EC boss to report him to the Police in anticipation of the unforeseen.

A cursory glance at Mr. Cudjoe's comment reveals a very premature and hasty intervention completely at odds with the mission of the entity he leads – which is, careful, scrupulous, sophisticated and thorough processing of perspectives.

Mr. Cudjoe's advice is as bizarre as it is completely disconnected from the statement of the NDC’s Pablo. Historically, Pablo joins a laundry list of other eminent scholars and respected individuals who have issued out wisdom to guide the EC’s conduct in matters as delicate as this. If Mrs. Mensah adheres to Pablo's caution will she suffer any casualties? Did Pablo suggest that he would personally inflict harm on Mrs. Mensah should she defy his caution? Or is it Mr. Cudjoe’s position that someone else should suffer the casualties as a result of Mrs Mensah's arrogance and failure? This comment smacks of an attention-seeking cartoon, baying for more despite the lion’s share of media space wasted on him over the years. What is this futile prompting for the Police to intervene? Franklin should desist from attempting to issue gag orders on politicians.

Only recently, a string of CSO’s - Imani included, took a rigid stance against the compilation of a new voter register based on financial wastage and the resultant problems a new voter register is likely to trigger in an election year. They stressed that should the EC ignore their hints; mayhem may be occasioned. Indeed Mr. Cudjoe has also said before that a new register is needless.

Going by Cudjoe’s logic in the event the EC proceeds and something untoward happens will Imani’s designated executives be arrested or charged together with him? How different is their position from the NDC’s Youth Organizer? I hope not, however, reason suggests that Cudjoe is on an agenda to please his paymaster - the President who is solidly behind the EC and the New Patriotic Party because of his appointment into the FX Committee. I appeal that when we are chatting a path, do it boldly and meticulously. Mr Cudjoe has been noted for his neutrality on national issues. However, for this, he falls flat on the scale.

The writer is a Development Communications Expert.


Columnist: Francis Atayure Abirigo