The most wrongheaded advice for Jean Mensa


Fri, 27 Jul 2018 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I don’t know precisely what he was thinking or upon what basis Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, of the IMANI-Africa policy think-tank, predicated his rather grotesque admonishment to the newly nominated Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, who is also the Executive-Secretary of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), to constantly and closely liaise with her legitimately ousted predecessor, Mrs. Charlotte Amma Kesson-Smith Osei (See “Stick to Charlotte Osei to Succeed – Franklin Cudjoe to Jean Mensa” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/25/18). This advice seems more like a recipe for disaster; pretty much like a premeditated trap aimed at effectively destroying the nominee’s chances for success even long before she has been confirmed for the job. That Mrs. Mensa is unarguably the best qualified candidate to be nominated as EC Chairperson in the country’s Fourth-Republican history is well beyond debate.

You see, don’t get me wrong, My Dear Reader, I am hereby in absolutely no way suggesting or even implying that the new EC’s nominee has nothing either meaningful or instructive to learn from Mrs. Osei, if only to learn from the legion egregious blunders committed by the latter. First of all, it was gross incompetence bred of overweening pride and arrogance, as well as her poor interpersonal and public relations skills that got the former EC Chair fired from her otherwise statutorily protected job. Her arrogance first manifested itself, albeit naively and scandalously ignored by former President John Dramani Mahama, the man who “misappointed” her, when Mrs. Osei decided to get rid of the mandatory Coat-of-Arms that officially defines the Electoral Commission as a statutory establishment and replace the same with that ugly and plagiarized logo that now misrepresents the EC.

As we all vividly recall, a Turkish institution promptly claimed proprietary rights over the mandala-like logo and forced Mrs. Osei to settle this breach of creative and intellectual property rights with the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money. To-date, we don’t know the amount for which such nationally embarrassing theft was settled. So, her very first order of business should be for Mrs. Mensa to have the original statutorily mandated Coat-of-Arms or national insignia immediately returned to where it has always belonged for most of the legal existence of the EC. A resolution must also be passed by Parliament to roundly condemn this criminal conspiracy and complicity to proscribe the sovereign status of the EC.

Then must also be sharply borne in mind the fact that Mrs. Osei spent most of her three-, or so, year tenure as the EC’s Chairperson rudely and virulently jousting with the members of the Wood-presided Supreme Court of Ghana over the integrity of our voters’ register, and would likely have doggedly pursued the same insufferably imperious course of action, if President Akufo-Addo had not so wisely, deliberately and effectively removed her from office, long after it had become excruciatingly painfully clear that she had become a veritable nuisance to the operations of the most important institution for the periodic expression and affirmation of our civic franchise as Ghanaian citizens and our Sovereignty as a nation.

To be certain, the forensically proven instances of the flagrant breaches of procurement laws and regulations upon which her dismissal was officially based, upon the recommendations of a committee of inquiry established by Chief Justice Sophia AB Akuffo, was only the tip of the iceberg, as it were. We also know about the $ 6 million question, and the sinister implications that “greasing the palms” of the senior staff of the EC in the leadup to the 2016 general election had for the destiny of our beloved country. Make absolutely no mistake, Dear Reader, even as publicly attested by the longtime NDC’s General-Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, it was the airtight vigilance of the pro-Akufo-Addo faction of the New Patriotic Party that unimpeachably guaranteed that Election 2016 would not be deviously delivered in favor of the loser, as had been clearly the case under the free-fall tenure of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan in 2012.

Personally, I think that a woman who has boldly and fiercely stood up to and successfully fought off vicious and cynical NDC attempts to bully, intimidate and sully her hard-earned and enviable image and reputation can wisely pick and choose the sort of advice that she needs to succeed at the EC, where her immediate predecessor was an epic failure. To tell you the unvarnished truth, Dear Reader: Jean Mensa needs a clean break from the past.

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Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.