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Opinions of Saturday, 2 January 2021

Columnist: Edward Bam

It is time the competent president removes the EC Chair and her deputies

EC Chairperson Jean Adukwei Mensa EC Chairperson Jean Adukwei Mensa

In the Fourth Republic, the opposition parties have questioned the competence of those appointed to serve in government.

These criticisms climaxed when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) campaigned and lost power in 2008 and 2012. As such, words and phrases like 'competent, more competent, incompetent, more incompetent, most incompetent, super-incompetent' have become common in Ghana these days.

One would have thought that such fierce critics of the then governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) would take lessons from their criticisms. Unfortunately, it is easier to find faults than to live a sin-free life.

The 2020 election supervised by the Jean Mensah led Electoral Commission (EC) is one such example. As we know it, a wise king appoints meticulous people into his business. The NPP chastised the Charlotte Osei led EC and tagged them incompetent to remove her and her deputies from office in a very scathing way. Jean Mensah, the competent one, replaced Charlotte as the Chair. However, there is nothing skillful about Jean Mensah and her EC as it turns out to be in all elections conducted under her.

Jean's handling of the EC would be summarized as everything Jean touch turns into ashes – chaos and death. By their performance and using the same measurement scale, Mrs. Jean Mensah and her deputies ought to have either voluntarily resigned or got the president's sack. Mrs. Mensah has not only disturbed the peace and tranquility that Ghana enjoyed before her appointment. She will also go down as a genuinely incompetent person who was unfit to lead the EC. Suffice to say, ironically, she was imposed on the country by a super-competent President.

The aftermath of the 2020 Election also revealed how greedy politicians could say anything to get elected. Above and beyond, they work hard at compromising state institutions, pastors in name only (PINOs), and civil society groups. Integrity, honest arduous work, and competence, which they preach while in opposition, mean nothing and command nothing once they gain power. With this attitude, Ghana can never fight the wanton thievery of public funds and dishonesty that has engulfed our public life.

The Clergy, not the PINOs and members of the National Peace Council have house cleaning to do in the coming years to regain trust in our public discourse. A nation that majors in symbolism rather than substance are doomed to fail. There is nothing smart/wise of being two-faced all the time; your time will come.

Long live Ghana!

Writer: Dr. Edward Bam, Ph.D. Research Fellow at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada