If you can find Burundi on a map go ahead and then google their circumstances. You will understand my incredulity when once upon a time, I was threatened with deportation at the airport, on my way out.
The idea that this Ghanaian who had entered the blighted country for work, would be threatened with ejection, when I was already leaving, as planned, simply beggared belief. Some random immigration type in Bujumbura caught the short end of my tongue, you may not alter the facts and stamp in my passport that you deported me.
Kenya is no Burundi, and the refusal of its immigration services to grant entry rights to 2 Ghanaians invited privately to observe their August 8, 2017 elections is personally galling. After all, by presidential fiat, we sneak former detainees from Guantanamo Bay into Ghana and backdate their akwaaba visa by an act of Parliament.
Raila Odinga, a former Prime Minister and the presidential candidate for the National Super Alliance (NASA) was convinced that he would win if the August 8, 2017 Kenyan elections were not rigged. One of the two Ghanaians unceremoniously refused entry at the airport in Kenya was Peter MacManu, the former National Chairman of the majority New Patriotic Party (NPP). Our former President John (IV) Mahama, he who facilitated the unauthorized entry of the Guantanomo Bay duo into Ghana, was also in Kenya, observing the elections under the formal auspices of the African Union.
Parallels can be drawn and stretched. Like Odinga, the NPP had previously insisted in the media and they also went to court, to argue that the 2012 elections that brought Mahama to office were rigged. Following the revealing verdict of the Supreme Court, it is the dedication and vigilance of the NPP before and during our 2016 polls that is largely credited with their unseating the party Mahama led.
Our former President is now a neutral, respected international statesman. Any suggestion that still stung by having been unceremoniously dumped, Mahama used backchannels to initiate, condone and support the decanting of his political nemesis Mac Manu as payback, should be treated with contempt. Uhuru Kenyatta and some of those who work for his government (they have their own random immigration types), are perfectly capable of making their own infantile and reckless public missteps. Will Kenyatta remain as President or will he be deported from Government House?
It is fair to say that the CitizenGhana (CG) movement is an offshoot of OccupyGhana (OC). As the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Michael Ocquaye did, I am also calling it. Similar to the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and the latter day Convention People's Party (CPP) 'divide', some of the foundational members of OG and 'new' entrants, moved on from the mothership to form CG.
It was CG that proceeded to court to compel the office of the Attorney General to show what it was actually doing to attach the properties of Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyoeme and enforce the judgment against him to return Ghc52 million to our public coffers. It was CG that took the Ministry of Transport to court, forcing the government of that day to reveal the sordid details of the illegal Smartty's bus branding contract. That ruling established, that our right to information is fundamental and essential if we are to effectively police accountability.
EC and 2016 elections
Before the 2016 elections, the Electoral Commission (EC) controversially sought refuge under the Political Parties Act (2000) to disqualify some candidates and parties from participating. It took the storming of the Supreme Court by Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, presidential candidate of the Progressive People's Party to test the EC and win a judgment to right the wrongs.
The Political Parties Act also requires every registered political party within 90 days of the issuance of their final certification to submit a written declaration to the EC detailing their assets and expenditure including contributions and donations. The EC is required within 30 days of the receipt of this declaration to publish the audited accounts. Further, 21 days before a general election, registered political parties must submit their audited accounts in a form that the EC determines.
Parties’ audited accounts
CG has proceeded to court again, this time to compel the EC (8 months after the election), to publish the audited accounts of political parties. Any suggestion that this suit is part of some orchestrated attempt to undermine the Commission as an institution or cause further grief to its embattled chairperson is laughable. The institution and the person are perfectly capable of blundering under their own steam. Why seek to enforce parts of the Act and ignore other required provisions of the same law?
At the lecture marking the 70th anniversary of the formation of the UGCC, Professor Ocquaye stated the obvious, the CPP 'added significantly to the struggle' for our independence. The truth never dies, it does get burnished over time. Occupy the facts, as citizens of Ghana.