General News of Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Source: Accra Mail
Christmas & End of Year Edition
Man of the Year
In this Election Year, three Ghanaians have stood out as exemplary in the performance of their duties. The Accra Mail has therefore nominated them as the joint personality of the year. They are the Rev. Professor Asante, National Peace Council, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, National Commission on Civic Education and Dr. Kwadwo Afari Djan, National Electoral Commission.
Professor Asante was indefatigable and assiduous together with other members of the National Peace Council in campaigning for free, fair, peaceful elections. The Council travelled throughout the country meeting stakeholders in the electoral process to press home the message of non-violence. Sometimes pleading, all the time admonishing, Professor Asante always exuded moral authority and when the occasion demanded, he told off those who words or actions constituted a threat to the peace of the country. The intervention of the Council in the closing hours of the elections is considered by many people as the action which calmed nerves and prevented a flare up of violence.
Mrs. Charlotte Osei, became Chairperson of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) in the Election Year of 2012. She started off by rebranding the Commission with a new logo and slogan “Stand Up For Ghana”. The slogan became the theme of the NCCE’s public education outreach programmes for the elections. Just like the National Peace Council, the NCCE covered the entire country with seminars and workshops geared towards ensuring public understanding of the electoral process. A very significant aspect of the initiative was the encounter with the media in all the ten regions of the country. With resource persons drawn from the media and other relevant institutions like the National Media Commission (NMC), journalists debated guidelines for political reporting and other codes of conduct to ensure free, fair and violence-free elections. The NCCE also engaged political parties, traditional rulers and other interest groups in similar programmes.
Dr. Afari Djan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission has been involved in Ghana’s 4th republican elections since 1992. Considered one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, he has steered the Electoral Commission since taking over as Chairman in 1993. He supervised the elections of ’96, ’00,’04,’08 and the just-ended one. Election ’12 was a vastly more complex one than the others due to the entirely new biometric system that was adopted. Also district redemarcations meant the creation of new constituencies – 45 of them. Many people felt the EC might have bitten more than it could chew and the elections would end in confusion but Dr. Afari Djan steeled his nerves, stuck to his mandate and saw through the elections, arguably the best so far. Glitches here and there were taken on board and remedial actions taken. He is expected to retire after the elections; he leaves behind a legacy of successful elections that have earned Ghana the respect and admiration of the international community.