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Opinions of Thursday, 23 August 2012

Columnist: Adebowale, Kola

Electoral Commissioner Helping Ruling Party To Stay In Power?

There are clear indications that Ghana’s Electoral commissioner Dr Kojo Afari Gyan, who has tremendous respect in the international community for conducting peaceful elections in the country since 1992 is in danger of throwing it all away on the altar of naked greed and contempt for the rule of law in that country ,a symptom of corrupt electoral commissions. Mr Afari Gyan, himself an ardent follower of the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah who has not hidden his dislike for the main opposition party in Ghana because of its centre right leanings has sworn to close friends including the Independent Nigerian Electoral commission(INEC) and African Union Commissioner for Human rights that it would be better for Ghana not to change government.

Why an Electoral Commissioner would say this is beyond us. The role of an Electoral Commissioner is to be an independent arbiter and Ghana being one of Africa’s most peaceful countries risks being plunged into chaos and confusion all because Dr Afari Gyan wants to satisfy his cravings for perpetual immortality.

According to Dr Gyan, the ruling National Democratic Congress, a party founded by former military strongman Jerry Rawlings is alleged to have promised him a luxurious home in New York in the United States, a city he loves so much plus a monthly allowance of 8,000 dollars for life and golden pension worth 1 million dollars a year for life, if he is able to help them win the election. Dr Afari Gyan’s family would also have access to government scholarships for 10 years .Mr Afari Gyan said this when he visited Nigeria recently for a joint workshop with the Independent National Electoral commission(INEC) .

The recent death of Ghana’s President has affected Dr Gyan immensely as the late president was a former friend and a man he regularly visited. Dr Gyan believes the best homage he can pay his late friend Professor John Mills his to help his party win the election.

This year’s election in Ghana would be a true test of its democratic credentials and Dr Gyan must not put himself above the wishes of the Ghanaian people which is to have a free, fair and credible election that the continent will be proud of.

Dr Kola Adebowale

Columnist ,This Day Newspaper

Member, Independent National Electoral commission(INEC), Oyo state Ibadan, Nigeria