Mixed reactions greet removal of EC bosses
There are mixed reactions to the decision by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to remove the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Mr Amadu Sulley and Mrs Georgina Opoku Amankwah, from office with immediate effect.
While the All People’s Congress (APC), led by Dr Hassan Ayariga and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) endorsed the action taken by President Akufo-Addo, the youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has vowed to fight back through demonstrations to ensure that the right things were done.
In a statement signed by the Founder and Leader of the APC, Dr Hassan Ayariga, and issued in Accra yesterday, in response to the dismissal of the EC boss and her two deputies, the APC described as reckless the intended demonstration by the opposition NDC and said the APC would want to dissociate itself from the demonstration.
The statement said: “l wish to disassociate myself and the APC from the reckless demonstration the NDC is scheduled to embark upon tomorrow. The demonstration is against the Public Order Act, as the police have not been duly notified, the APC and myself cannot be part of the process.”
“The APC wishes to commend the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, and her committee for confirming what we have always said about Mrs Charlotte Osei ” it said, and commended President Akufo-Addo for acting boldly on this matter.
“The arrogance and abuse of office by Mrs Charlotte Osei left no one in doubt that she was a danger to the EC and the country. In the 2016 election, the hostility she showed towards the APC and its leader and her utterances gave her out as an unfair commissioner,” the statement added and urged Ghanaians to embrace President Akufo-Addo’s decision and see it as an opportunity to reform the EC.
For its part, the PPP also commended the government for its decision, saying “The PPP has welcomed the dismissal of the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Georgina Opoku Amankwah and Amadu Sulley.”
The red and white party also commended the Chief Justice’s Committee for its recommendations.
“We are satisfied that the Chief Justice’s Committee has followed due process to sponge down the EC of abuse of power, arrogance and complete disregard for public law and order. We thank the President for acting with urgency on the recommendations and applying the law without fear or favour,” the statement, signed by PPP’s National Chairman, Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, said.
The PPP further called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to appoint Ghanaians of high integrity to the EC, who would put the national interest first, and conduct their affairs in accordance with stated public policy and live above partisanship so that “our Electoral Commission will symbolise fair play, justice, selflessness, objectivity, transparency, accountability, honesty, independence, integrity and strong leadership.”
Meanwhile, the youth wing of the NDC has vowed to resist the removal of Mrs Osei and her two deputies from office.
Reacting to the announcement last Thursday of the removal from office of the three commissioners by the President, the National Youth Organiser of the NDC, Mr Sidii Abubakar Musah, said the party was more than ready to face off with the President's decision in every way possible.
"We are not going to sit down and allow this decision to go through. Everybody within our party, we are telling them that let us stand up and fight for the right things," he added.
According to Mr Musah, the party would not work with anyone that President Akufo-Addo would appoint as EC boss.
"We are going to resist it and we will not allow it to work because anybody that he Nana Addo will appoint as EC, I promise him that, the NDC will not cooperate and work with that EC," Musah warned in an interview with Graphic Online.
"And I think this decision by President Akufo-Addo is a recipe for disaster for this country," he said, adding that "If indeed it is true, it is better not true because if it happens, I am telling you that this country of ours is going to go through a lot of crisis."
A committee, set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three persons by Ghanaian citizens, recommended their removal.
In 2017, a five-member committee was set up by the Chief Justice to investigate alleged acts of corruption involving Mrs Osei and her two deputies.
Some staff of the EC also petitioned President Akufo-Addo to remove Mrs Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance, as well as abuse of office.
Mrs Osei also counter-alleged corruption against her deputies insisting that she had done nothing wrong and was only being hounded out because she was fighting internal graft.
The President, in accordance with the Constitution, forwarded the petition to the Chief Justice to look into the matter.