“Respect was earned, not demanded, but dignity was taught by example” – (Julie Garwood, American Author)
Madam Jean Mensa how do you wish to be remembered one day long after you are no longer the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana? I hope that the circumstances that befell your immediate predecessor, Madam Charlotte Osei, following your fortuitous appointment as EC Chairperson when the unexpected opportunity presented itself, your brief hesitation followed by the stern prodding of your husband and blessings of your dear aunt, Auntie Naa Okaikor aka Madam Rebecca Akufo-Addo (First Lady) are not lost on you.
Jean Mensa, today I will share some hard truths and realities of life and politics, mindful that every person is the author of his/her own destiny. We each have a choice to make in life should we desire to be respected, trusted and successful in whatever undertaking or endeavor that fate and chance presents to us. We equally make our own choice to be disrespected and distrusted, and to fail spectacularly to the extent that we prefer to vaporize and vanish to the hereafter than live and suffer shame and indignity for the remainder of our lives.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose this day whom ye will serve” – (Joshua 24:15, KJV)
Madam Jean Mensa your job and task at the EC would have been an easy task to accomplish if your previous job and role at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was a noble one and constructive engagement to improve political governance and democracy in Ghana, rather than the work of a Trojan horse and proxy for a political party. Unfortunately in your role as Executive Director of IEA Ghana, you signed up and belonged to a network of partisan activists who were assiduously working for their beloved New Patriotic Party (NPP) until many discovered rather belatedly that the power behind the NPP throne was not what they thought it was. NPP over the years has projected to the world a façade of unity, but behind the veneer of tranquility is the insidious power and immense influence wielded by the Akyem Kyebi clique.
“Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to Government (i.e. Political Party) when it deserves it” – (Mark Twain aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens, American Author)
Jean Mensa as Chairperson of the EC your independence is guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, and not by the President or regime that appointed you as EC Chairperson, or even NPP of which you are a card bearing member. Your role as EC Chairperson is akin to the role of football referee who in a competitive football match is expected to act neutrally even when officiating a match involving his/her hometown football club. On the field of play a referee is required to interpret the rules of football without favoritism. At the end of the day it is up to the political parties to market themselves to the electorate and based on their track record of achievements and accomplishments stand to be re-elected, just like a football club works hard for victory.
Madam Jean Mensa, as the EC Chairperson no matter the temptations you are expected to act like a football referee by not taking sides to help any political party gain unfair advantage by bending the rules of the game to create an uneven electoral playing field to aid easy victory for your preferred NPP political party.
Jean Mensa with the benefit of the foresight of the NDC and other well-meaning political parties and Ghanaians, and with the benefit of your won hindsight, please be sincere with yourself and answer the following questions:
If it were your personal money and family inheritance of US$150 million would it have been sensible and prudent on your part to use all that money to compile a new voter registers rather than spend a maximum of US $20 million to update the old voters register?
Whose interests were you serving by eliminating the use of the old Voter ID cards as a personal identification document for eligible voters thus voiding their accumulated citizen legacy rights as voters, and their “right to vote” and freely choose their political leaders?
What do you understand by Article 42 “Right to Vote”?
If respect and trust are both earned, and if openness, transparency and accountability build trust and respect, how do you explain and reconcile the following:
When was the decision to register Senior High School students who have attained 18 years taken as it appears no provision was made for them in the gazette notice publication of announcing scheduled dates, locations and names of voter registration centers and neither were all political parties given the statutory notice?
Why did the EC deem it prudent to print Voter ID cards at offsite locations (at EC District offices) deep in the night after the end of the voter registration on the blindside of the political parties except perhaps your NPP party?
How did NPP supporters residing outside Ghana get wind that a supplementary voter registration exercise was in the offing and would be conducted on 01 October 2020 and so many have arrived to be registered following the reopening of Kotoka International Airport (KIA)? Is this supplementary voter registration exercise duly captured in the original EC gazette notice publication for voter registration?
How would Jean Mensa in her former role and capacity as Executive Director of IEA respond (react) to some of the prevailing developments and incidents listed above if they had happened under Charlotte Osei’s tenure as EC Chairperson?
“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy actions” – (Ian Fleming, British Author)
Madam Jean Mensa the hard truth is that your Aunty, Naa Okaikor is married into a family with a checkered past and whose thirst and quest for political power knows no bounds, and from the dawn of Ghana’s independence have been behind many dastardly political incidents in Ghana. To put it bluntly they are devious 2-faced characters that you may have to be very mindful and careful in your dealings with them.
If you doubt what I am saying just cast your mind to the spate of dead bodies of that were littered is parts of the country before the 2008 elections and the intercepted telephone recording of Hon Samuel Atta-Akyea (a cousin of Nana Akufo-Addo) where he was heard saying “that the dead bodies were to provide evidence to impugn the integrity of the people of Volta Region suggesting that some of the dead were NPP polling agents who were killed just to nullify the 2008 elections results” – (Who is burning Ghana – Ghanaweb 07 June 2013). Hon Samuel Atta-Akyea today is a prominent fixture at International Central Gospel Church (ICGC).
“Trust is earned when actions meets words” – (Chris Butler, Author)
Madam Jean Mensa from my crystal ball I can see that you want to make amends and right the wrongs and mistakes you’ve made thus far. Fact is you still have the chance and opportunity to make a difference and leave behind a legacy that brings honor to you personally and to your family name. You have the chance to prove your critics wrong and to put your love for Ghana over and above your love for NPP. You may kindly reflect on Proverbs 14:12.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in its end is the way of death” – (Proverbs 14:12, NKJV)
Opanin Archimedes Owusu-Ababio
C/o Cocoa Shed: Suro-nipa Nkwanta
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