– Minority Leader warns, saying NDC will fiercely resist witch-hunt of EC Chair
Apparent moves by the New Patriotic Party government to escalate a witch-hunt of public sector employees to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana has provoked a stand-up objection from the opposition National Democratic Congress.
The NDC has made it blatantly clear that it can tolerate the wanton expulsion of civil and public servants perceived to be pro- NDC, by President Akufo-Addo, but that the position of the Electoral Commissioner is off-limits to the witch-hunt.
“While we have accommodated him sweeping off the civil and public service and replacing them with officials of the New Patriotic Party, we are unable to accept and live with any attempt by him (Akufo-Addo) to erode public confidence in the independent constitutional body of the Electoral Commission. Therefore his effort and quest at blackmail witch-hunt will fail today, fail tomorrow, and will be resisted outright by the NDC.
“We will not accept the undue politicization of the Civil and Public Service of Ghana, but even that is tolerable; we will not and we will resist in all full force the attempt at blackmail-witch hunt directed at the Electoral Commission of Ghana,” Minority Leader, Haruna Idrissu, said yesterday at a press conference in Accra.
The warning seemed to have been triggered by a petition that the Presidency has received, requesting the impeachment of the Electoral Commissioner on allegations of misbehavior, including supposed cronyism.
The petition has also shocked Ghanaians with claims that the EC boss, who, a few months ago, was given an award for her successful execution of the 2016 elections in spite of so much tension, is incompetent.
A lawyer, Maxwell Agyemang, who detailed 17 claims of misbehavior on the part of Mrs. Charlotte Osei on his law firm’s letterhead and presented it to the Presidency as the basis for the impeachment of the EC boss, however did not name so-called concerned workers of the Electoral Commission behind the petition.
The scandalous fact of the lawyer filing a petition for the impeachment of the EC boss on behalf of anonymous people has led to an outpouring of scorn for the lawyer and invoked suspicions that Lawyer Agyemang is only a stooge that is being used by the Flagstaff House to undertake the hatchet job.
The ruling NPP has never hidden its dislike for Mrs. Charlotte Osei ever since she was appointed to the EC Chairmanship by President John Mahama in 2015.
Incredibly, the first wave of attack that greeted her appointment included an allegation that she was a loose woman who had given sexual favors to President Mahama in exchange for the job.
Hon. Haruna Iddrissu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, yesterday made it clear that the NDC had also become aware that loyalists of President Akufo-Addo, who appears to have so far failed on every front of statecraft, are scheming to get Mrs. Charlotte Osei out in order to put a malleable poodle at the EC for benefit of the ruling party.
“If he thinks that getting control of the referee of our elections is an important thing to do, we are reminding him that he should not extend his encroachment and political polarization of the public and civil services to the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
“What President Akufo-Addo must remember with his NPP is that the same Electoral Commissioner in whom today they have doubt, declared him President of the Republic and therefore he should know that when the Sovereign will and the voices of the people speak we will walk him out quietly on the basis of the sovereign mandate of the people of Ghana,” Hon. Iddrissu said.
This is not the first time that the opposition NDC has given a militant response to guerilla tactics that the ruling NPP is seen to have deployed in its own interest.
In early June, this year, General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, warned of the NDC’s preparedness to lead a social revolution against the Akufo-Addo government if the government’s incompetent management of national security and shielding of criminal party thugs who perpetrated violence, did not stop.
The opposition party, which seems to see that President Akufo-Addo, who has among others sacked medical directors and forced the resignation of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, is in the process of escalating the witch-hunt to the EC Commissioner, has made it clear that the EC is off-limits to the hounding by Akufo-Addo.
“While he (President) can interfere in the operations of the civil and public service, I hear for instance the National Labor Commission, the head of it, has been asked to go home…
“What the President has forgotten is that he swore to uphold the laws of Ghana. He is not the sole appointer of the National Labor Commission and its Chief Executive as by law established,” Haruna Idrissu said, adding that the witch-hunt that the regime is trying to extend to the EC boss is all over the place.
“The Chief Executive of the National Vocational Training Institute has been asked to proceed on leave, having worked for the state and surpassed every other administration including the combined NDC, NPP administrations.”
Mrs. Osei’s appointment in June, 2015 had been fiercely resisted by the NPP, which was then in opposition, with the NPP’s Assin Central MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, insulting her as a broad.
In spite of all the character assassination, Mrs. Osei went on to successfully deliver the 2016 elections, declaring the “enemy” as the winner of the elections.
Even so, the NPP government would not let her be. In April 2017, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, impugned bad work ethic on the part of Mrs. Charlotte Osei, claiming on the floor of Parliament that the EC Chairperson was not on good terms with her deputies.
Fatefully, those deputies, who seemed to have encouraged Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Special Budget Committee of Parliament, to impugn intemperance on Mrs. Osei, have since been caught in a corruption scandal at the EC and have been made to step aside for the Economic and Organized Crimes Office to investigate.
In another development, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu also disclosed that, in order to enrich themselves through looting of the state funds, the ruling NPP, has, through the Minister of Finance, infiltrated the Finance Ministry with eight workers of Databank, an investment bank, owned by the finance minister.
The eight infiltrated staff members of the Databank, the Minority Leader indicated, have been employed at senior levels of the Finance Ministry since Ken Ofori-Atta, the President’s blood cousin was appointed head of the ministry.
He stated that, the move to pack the Finance Ministry with Databank staff is part of a grand effort by the Akufo-Addo and family-led government to cleanse the civil service.
“Even at the Ministry of Finance, as many as eight civil service positions have been filled by officers who hitherto were working with the Minister of Finance at Databank and have been put on the payroll of the Ghana Revenue Authority. We will not accept the undue politicization of the civil and public service of Ghana,” the Tamale South MP noted.
The NDC press conference was to expose the happenings in the country within the six months’ period of the NPP government, led by Nana Akufo-Addo.
Sir Kofi Portuphy, National Chairman, who addressed the press conference, raised several issues berating the government for its failure to stem crime and also handle the economy.
He further accused the President of riding the government with his family, friends and cronies, without recourse to the laws, warning that such nepotism style of governance could break down the country, which is already polarised.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaba