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Rushing to appoint a new EC Chair won’t solve any problem

Jean Mensa Red Mrs. Jean Mensa (Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Affairs)

Wed, 25 Jul 2018 Source: Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.

Folks, in my curt reaction on Facebook to the announcement that Akufo-Addo had nominated Mrs. Jean Mensa (Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Affairs) as the replacement for Mrs. Charlotte Osei (whom he booted out of office in damnable circumstances), I made it clear that I saw something wrong with Akufo-Addo’s head, which I repeat here: that either that bald head is not properly screwed on his shoulders or within it there is an imbalance. Neither speaks well of him, which I will explain.

The shameless copycat that he is (Don't forget his terrible acts of plagiarism when being inaugurated into office), Akufo-Addo told Ghanaians that he would appoint a woman as Mrs. Osei's replacement. And that woman is this NPP lap-bitch called Mrs. Jean Mansa whose husband is a known NPP buff as well. Shameless political busy-bodies!!

Furthermore, by rushing to put Mrs. Mensa in this slot despite the filing of a case at the Supreme Court by one Fafali Nyonator against his removal of Mrs. Osei from office and the demand for an injunction against his nominating a replacement until the determination of the case, Akufo-Addo comes across as someone who has no respect for the law. Unless it is proved that no case of the sort has been filed at the Supreme Court, one would expect him to hasten slowly, which he hasn’t done. As such, he stands tall for condemnation.

Granted that he practised law in Ghana for 40 years (even without producing any evidence of his professional qualification after claiming in 1971 that he had lost his law qualifying certificate), one would expect him to respect the legal regimen and not subvert legality in our 4th Republican constitutional democracy. But he hasn’t done so, which is disturbing.

We won’t belabour the matter here but go ahead to state our case against Akufo-Addo’s nomination of Mrs. Mensa in the circumstance and play the role of the devil’s advocate so right-thinking Ghanaians can see issues and place them in context.

Akufo-Addo went for Mrs. Mensa because of some kind of gravitational pull that can be traced to her firm support for the Danquah-Busia cause (If you doubt it, find out where she stood while a student at the University of Ghana) and her scheming at the IEA to put Akufo-Addo in good light for the Presidency in 2012 and 2016. It isn’t difficult to confirm such issues. No more.

I am really not bothered about the other three nominees, even though much exists to prove their allegiance to the Danquah-Busia cause as well. They are Dr. Eric Asare Bossman (a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana); Ms. Adjoa Esuama Abrefa (a corporate legal practitioner with specialisation in land property acquisition); and Samuel Tettey (Director of Electoral Services in charge of elections at the Electoral Commission).

In effect, then, Akufo-Addo has now put in place the full complement of those to fill the gap at the EC. Parliament will vet them for confirmation or otherwise. I expect a heated session.

Even before the timeline is given for how Parliament will do things, I will be quick to state grounds for sensible opposition to what Akufo-Addo has put in place. As is to be expected, the NPP Majority in Parliament will sink low to approve intoto the nominees. They know no shame on such a score!!

Here is my stance. I urge the NDC Minority to abstain from proceedings, especially on the principle of legality if Parliament is convened to vet the nominees before the suit at the Supreme Court against Akufo-Addo’s firing and hiring of Mrs. Osei is heard and concluded. It is a simple matter of respect for the due process. The NDC front must be unmoving in dissociating itself from proceedings. If they don’t, they should consider themselves as a wash-out at Election 2020.

Whatever is being done by Akufo-Addo at the level of the EC has already been seen through as a scheme for rigging Election 2020. That scheme won’t succeed for as long as proper steps are taken to nip it in the bud. And the NDC can do so if it puts its own house in order.

For Akufo-Addo, there is one inescapable fact: that retaining the NPP in power doesn’t have to involve all that subterfuge. All it will take is for him to outdo the Mahama administration and all others headed by the NDC (Rawlings and Mills combined) to prove to Ghanaians that the NPP front has solutions to the country’s hydra-headed problems.

No need for arm-twisting tactics or disrespect for the law. No need to establish an armada of vigilante groups. No need to position individuals in institutions of state to do its bidding.

What will help retain Akufo-Addo in power and extend the NPP’s dominance in Ghanaian politics will come from how Akufo-Addo uses the electoral power given him at Election 2016 to improve living conditions in the country to earn the voters’ respect, trust, and confidence.

What it boils down to is that putting individuals in the state apparatus and filling them with gas to become potentates won’t serve Akufo-Addo’s cause. Those individuals have their limitations, which can’t subvert the voice of the people at the polls. And the Ghanaian voters are wide-awake and willing to die in defence of their mandate.

If he so likes, he can appoint the Okyehene as the EC Chair with the intent to establish his Akim Mafia’s hegemony. It won’t work because whatever made it impossible for Nana Sir Ofori Atta (MBE) in the days of the Joint Provincial Council of Chiefs to become the leader of Gold Coast still prevails in Ghanaian politics. Deep thinking needed here, folks.

What Akufo-Addo needs to focus on is his government’s agenda for national development to outpace the NDC one. So far, nothing!! Having toured some parts of the country thus far, he should be in a position to know what will woo voters or otherwise. He needs to do serious introspection to know what exactly his government has in common with the Kufuor one that set the benchmark for a Danquah-Busia government to accomplish in our time if it seeks renewal of its mandate and be uplifted as such.

The big question is: Which of the grand designs of the Kufuor government is Akufo-Addo pursuing to justify his being retained in power on the basis of track records? What is Akufo-Addo doing to deepen what Kufuor set up? I don’t see it.

Instead, Akufo-Addo is off tangent, imposing his own agenda wrapped around nothing but free senior high school education and expending national resources to that effect, even though a lot of loopholes in that agenda indicate its political liability.

Truth be told, there is no consistency or continuity between the Kufuor agenda and that of Akufo-Addo unlike happenings in the NDC camp from Rawlings through Mills and Mahama, where heavy emphasis was laid on infrastructural development as the main plank in that camp’s ideology of social democracy. And Ghanaians love development projects, even if they got swayed by the hefty lies and deceptive politics by Akufo-Addo and Bawumia at Election 2016. If you doubt it, find out why Akufo-Addo lost Elections 2008 and 2012.

Let me land here to say that Akufo-Addo’s abject disregard for the law in filling the holes at the EC speaks volumes of how undisciplined he is. No matter how he manipulates the technicalities, the truth remains that winning the next elections will have more to do with how the voters rate his performance than how he uses state institutions for arm-bending purposes. It won’t wash in a democracy. And any rigging machine put in place as such will be exposed and dismantled as the vigilant citizens do all in their power to monitor the situation on voting day. Instead of wasting time and energy looking for lackeys to put in place, why not do what will endear oneself to the electorate?

Finally, let me hit the nail hard on its head that at 74 years, Akufo-Addo is past his prime. It is not now that he will be giving Ghana what it has lacked all these years. Deceiving himself that he now wields the clout to make amends won’t wash either. If anything at all, a second term for him may ring loud as a requiem.

I shall return…

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Columnist: Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.