I have already tackled that aspect of the Electoral Commission chair’s attitude that has attracted quite a flurry of negative attacks, including one from the irrepressibly fractious Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the Assin-Central New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament, to the effect that Mrs. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei may have used a means other than professional merit to secure her present position; and so I shall not bother to rehash the same issues herein. Instead, I have decided to examine a news article captioned “Charlotte Osei Neither Lazy nor Dumb – IMANI Defends EC Boss” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 6/28/16), in which Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, Executive Director of the renowned think-tank IMANI, puts up a spirited defense for the Electoral Commissioner.

NCCE
NCCE
Before I venture any further, one flabbergasting aspect of the article that requires prompt highlighting is the revelation that the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has no headquarters building of its own and has had to literally sponge on the architectural and spatial resources of the Electoral Commission (EC) in order to function. This is very shocking because the NCCE is by law the executive coequal of the Electoral Commission. But it well appears that the NCCE receives miserly attention from the central government in terms of budgetary allocations. As the sort of first-rate administrator that Mr. Cudjoe would have the rest of the nation believe Mrs. Osei was as NCCE boss, one would have expected that her first order of business would have included a request for the NCCE’s own physical plant facilities or headquarters building.
In retrospect, it well appears that Mrs. Osei was named to the NCCE chairpersonship so as to better position her to replace then fast-aging and long-jaded EC Commissioner Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan. This is also quite interesting for somebody who recently spent quite a considerable amount of the taxpayer’s money re-designing a new logo for her so-called Independent Electoral Commission. And that latter act, we must quickly point out, was done without the necessary approval of Parliament, or the elected representatives of the people. President John Dramani Mahama would later come public, well after the fact, to sardonically express his unreserved approval of such a constitutionally unwarranted act.

Is there any reason, therefore, for the hip-shooting likes of Mr. Agyapong not to speculate or even directly imply that Mrs. Osei may well have secured her present job by compromising her morals and integrity with Mr. Mahama? Indeed, it can scarcely be gainsaid that it is the same level of arrogance and spirit of impunity that inform the EC chair’s persistent and stubborn decision not to comply with the constitutionally sanctioned decisions and orders handed down by the Wood Supreme Court. One would have expected that an even-minded think-tank – at least that is how its key operatives would have IMANI publicly perceived – would have also tackled this patently obnoxious aspect of the temperament, character and behavior of Mrs. Osei.

Alas, that is not what we find in this news report which also contains a remarkable chunk of verbatim IMANI assessment of Mrs. Osei’s performance as NCCE chairperson. Needless to say, Mr. Cudjoe and his associates at the IMANI Center for Policy and Education may be entitled to their own biases, but they definitely are not entitled to their own brand of objectivity, which is sacred. What we have parading as an objective assessment of Mrs. Osei’s performance as NCCE’s chairperson is literally a paean, a profuse praise-song. Unfortunately, serious political and social commentators like yours truly are not about the soft-brained business of praise-singing.

The fact that under the leadership of Mrs. Osei, the NCCE developed a quite remarkable computer database of the Commission’s activities is all well and good. But it would unarguably be far better if in a country with relatively marginal access to cyber technology, particularly in the rural communities, coupled with the grim established culture of Dumsor, the Commission could also have readily made such vital and considerable corpus of civic knowledge available in print to the people. Inadequate budgetary allocation cannot be a tangible excuse for poor leadership. Somebody is not being “objectively truthful” about the real Mrs. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
June 28, 2016
E-mail: [email protected]

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