Operatives of the United States’ Department of State, or Foreign Affairs Ministry, such as Ambassador Robert P. Jackson, have a right to give whatever trophies or awards they deem appropriate to the likes of Ghana’s recently ousted Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
But the incontestable fact still stands that it is Ghanaians themselves who, ultimately, reserve the inviolable right to determine whether Mrs. Charlotte Amma Kesson-Smith Osei performed competently as the country’s Chief Returning Officer during the three, or so, years that she illegally conducted herself as such (See “ ‘Charlotte Osei [Is] One of the Most Competent People I’ve Ever Met’ – US Ambassador” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/13/18).
Yes, per the stipulation of Ghana’s Fourth-Republican Constitution, Mrs. Osei, as the substantive Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), was the head of one of the “protected” or permanent commissions and ought not to have been transferred from the NCCE to the EC. In doing so, then-President John Dramani Mahama flagrantly violated constitutional statute. What was curious but absolutely unsurprising was the abject failure of Parliament to have promptly intervened to immediately revoke this questionable appointment by Mr. Mahama. But, of course, her laudably deliberate and patently justified removal by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was strictly based on the eloquently demonstrated gross incompetence of the former EC Chairperson.
That Mrs. Osei, like the man who illegally appointed her to her job as EC’s Chairperson, was an insufferable scofflaw is incontestably evinced by her persistent and consistent defiance of Ghana’s Supreme Court in the matter of the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme-issued health-insurance cards as proof of citizenship and the eligibility of the holders of these cards to be registered to vote. It is an open-secret that a significant percentage of the holders of the NHIS Cards are either resident non-Ghanaian citizens or total foreigners from neighboring countries like Burkina Faso, Togo and La Côte d’Ivoire. Somebody ought to ask the outgoing US Ambassador whether Mr. Jackson would have offered an award to Mrs. Osei, if the latter brazenly defied the SCOTUS – that is, the Supreme Court of the United States – in a critical matter verging on the voting rights of American citizens.
The fact of the matter is that not only would the former EC Chair have been promptly indicted and removed from her post, Mrs. Osei would most likely have been rigorously prosecuted and imprisoned with hard labor. But, of course, in this case Mrs. Osei only defied the Supreme Court of a “Shit Hole” country and thus deserves to be awarded a prize for fiercely and rudely fighting to protect the extra-constitutional rights of illegal migrants and non-citizens of Ghana for willfully and criminally violating the laws of our land. If, indeed, Ambassador Jackson is convinced that Mrs. Osei is one of the most competent people that he has ever met, then, by all means, let him petition President Donald John Trump to hire Mrs. Osei as Chairperson of the US Federal Board of Elections, if there exists any such establishment.
It is also a well-known fact that but for the timely intervention of globally distinguished Ghanaian citizens like Mr. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs. Osei would have thrown the nation into a tizzy or a constitutional crisis that could very well have resulted in the outbreak of a civil war. Which also clearly explains why the National Democratic Congress’ Parliamentary Minority has been fiercely fighting to have Mrs. Osei reinstated to her illegally appointed job. The NDC apparatchiks were determined to use Mrs. Osei to royally rig the 2020 general election in their favor, which is also paradoxically why they think that any replacement appointed by President Akufo-Addo would be doing a Charlotte Osei in reverse. There is, of course, a cynical edge to such warped logic or trend of thinking which presupposes that, somehow, the NDC operatives have an inalienable constitutional right to rig presidential and general elections in their favor.
This is what they have been studiously doing over the past 26 years with the two NDC-appointed Electoral Commissioners, namely, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and, of course, Mrs. Charlotte Osei.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York