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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 February 2016

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

Enough blame to share in NPP paranoia with EC Steering C'mittee

Opinion Opinion

I have read quite a bit about what experts like Profs. H. Kwasi Prempeh and Stephen Kwaku Asare have to say about the prematurity of the decision by Electoral Commissioner Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei to establish an Election Steering Committee for the conduct of Election 2016 and do not intend to rehash the same here.

If the terms of reference for the Steering Committee have yet to be clearly articulated, and delineated, as Prof. Asare, for example, has been reported to have noted, then there was absolutely no necessity for the establishment of the Committee to have been officially announced and the names of its membership publicly disclosed at the time that the EC Chair did.

This is tantamount to the proverbial concept of putting the cart before the horse. Or divvying up the loot before the necessary heist has even been strategized, let alone successfully executed. Among the Akan, there is a maxim that says that “One does not dress up one’s bed before one’s lover has shown up at one’s doorstep to spend the night with the host/suitor.” From what I have been able to gather, the establishment of the Election Steering Committee appears to be quite progressive and potentially productive to the efficient management of Election 2016 by the Electoral Commission (EC).

And so Mrs. Osei would do all the stakeholders involved remarkable good by promptly working out the functional modalities of the same. The stiff resistance being presently faced by the EC Chair may well have far less to do with her professional competence, or the perceived lack thereof, than the quite understandable paranoia of some of the key operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

And such paranoia, of course, partly stems from the scandalous legacy bequeathed our nation’s political culture or, perhaps even more appositely, our electoral culture, by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan.

It is undoubtedly this psychologically traumatic burden that is being obviously unwisely projected onto Mrs. Osei and her executive staff at the Electoral Commission. To be frank with the dear reader, I am not very happy about what some of these key NPP operatives are doing to the Electoral Commission’s Chair. But it is equally repugnant to see some of the key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) leeringly goad the EC Chair on her otherwise well-intentioned, albeit clearly premature and thus untenable, establishment of the Election 2016 Steering Committee.

Needless to say, Mrs. Osei is a quite erudite woman, and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the entire motive behind her decision to establish an Election Steering Committee is the direct result, or fruit, of remarkable research and common sense.

I, however, vehemently disagree with Mr. Divine Nkrumah, the National Youth Organizer of the Nduom-owned and operated Progressive People’s Party (PPP), that the NPP leaders who have so strongly decried the move as one that is obviously aimed at skewing the conduct of Election 2016 in favor of the Mahama Posse as being childish and idiosyncratic (See “NPP Behaves Like Small Children – PPP Youth Organizer Fires” Ghana Politics Online / 2/20/16). We cannot fully trust the integrity of the decision by President John Dramani Mahama to capriciously, and whimsically, move Mrs. Osei from the statutorily coordinate, or parallel, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to the EC.

One is apt to smell a rat here. Then also, the President’s backdoor Gitmo racket clearly reflects an agenda that does not gibe with the healthy development of the socioeconomic, cultural and political interests of Ghanaians at large. Which, of course, does not necessarily translate into either a total lack of integrity on the part of Mrs. Osei or the possibility of her being in cahoots with the cynical and sullen architect of the odious culture of Shit-Bombing.

Needless to say, anybody who witnessed President Mahama honor and proclaim Dr. Afari-Gyan as the best Electoral Commissioner Ghana has ever had can only wince and scratch his/her head and hang their noggins in shame. But, of course, we also need to honestly put on record that a major reason for the paranoia and high-strung or edgy behavior among some front-bench members of the New Patriotic Party has to do with the NPP leaders’ apparent incapacity for serious political engagement.

The anti-Akufo-Addo faction within the NPP has done far more damage to the image and reputation of the three-time flagbearer of the party than any brigade of NDC detractors could do to him. And the likes of Drs. Richard Anane, Charles Wereko-Brobby (aka McNasty), McHypocrite and McMole, the latter two men know themselves, had better come to terms with this inescapable fact of historical reality.