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Bribery Impeachment Process Is A Dent On Government House
 
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31-Aug-2016  
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I did not attend the 21st Awards Night of the Ghana Journalists Association on Saturday. It was a personal protest against the invitation of Mrs. Charlotte Osei as Guest Speaker at the greatest night for media practitioners in this country.

The moment the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission was announced as the Guest of Honour, I called the Ghana Journalists Association President, Mr. Affail Money, and informed him that I would not be at the awards night on the basis that the association had sought to confer legitimacy on Mrs. Osei, whose eligibility as a fully-fledged Ghanaian is dodgy.

According to an entry in Wikipedia, the world-wide web, Mrs. Osei, (nee Kesson-Smith) was born on February 1, 1969 in Nigeria. Her mother is of Nigerian nationality, precisely, from Anambra State.

The problem with this kind of information is that the 1992 Constitution emphatically states that for a person to be one of the commissioners of the Electoral Commission, that person ought to be a fully-fledged Ghanaian. That is not the only proof of Ghanaian identity required. He or she must satisfy the nationality requirement necessary to become a Member of Parliament.

One intriguing aspect of the long lecture she delivered at the GJA Awards Night is that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission failed to take advantage of the platform offered by the GJA to put her nationality conundrum to rest.

I was not going to listen to a lecture from someone who, to all intents and purposes, ought not to be leading the group conducting elections in my native Ghana. Mrs. Osei was fondly referred to as ‘Ama Alata’ while a student of the Faculty of Law, at the University of Ghana, Legon, I am told.

I understand that when she attended Queens University in Canada, together with a number of Ghanaians, she chose to join the National Association of Nigerian Students. It is interesting to note that at the time she joined the Nigerian student body, there was a similar association for Ghanaian students.

Mrs. Osei’s long lecture, asking Ghanaian journalists not to pander to political patronage, is interesting. But one would like to know why the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission has failed, so far, to put her nationality conundrum to rest. I am told that Mrs. Osei bored guests at the GJA Awards Night with a very long speech that could rival Kil-il-Sung at his best, when the deceased North Korean leader spoke on the imperialistic aggression of South Korea, at a time when the Great Leader presided over the political direction of North Korea. Why she failed to enlighten us on her nationality tells everything about the confusion which is directing this nation-state.

It is beginning to look like in this election year, confusion is being deliberately manufactured to mislead the people as a political strategy. I was going through the internet yesterday, when my attention was drawn to a very interesting news item sourced to the Minister of Communications, Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, who is fast emerging as the heir apparent who has the ear of President Mahama

With Mr. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, 2012 Campaign Manager of President John Dramani Mahama, virtually sitting aloof in this campaign, the sighs are there for all to see that the man driving Ghana’s migration to the digital age is lacing his boots to replace his immediate boss in the next elections. Of course, the next vote after December 7 is quite a while away. In this game, anything and everything can happen. For now, the medical doctor, who speaks for the Head of State, appears to be the main ally of the occupant of Government House.

It is difficult to put the assertion of the heir apparent into its proper context, given the cloud of suspicion surrounding the main occupant of Government House. The Minister of Communications is quoted as saying that his boss does not need the endorsement of former junta head Jerry John Rawlings to win the next vote. The statement is pregnant with meaning, I would like to believe.

For some of us though, it tells a lot about how the party is shaping itself up, that the founder of the party, who signed the National Democratic Congress into being with his blood, is becoming irrelevant in the scheme of things, as the sitting President goes wild on the campaign trail with statements that might be classified as devoid of statesmanship.

Does it mean that Mr. Rawlings is no more the founder of the party which is driving the presidential campaign of the Head of State? Once upon a time, there were hints from very reliable sources indicating a challenge to the assertion that Mr. Rawlings is, indeed, the Founder of the NDC.

In official documents though, the junta head, who ordered state-sponsored murder of three former heads of state and five top officials of the Ghana Armed Forces in June 1979 under a dubious house-cleaning exercise, is still listed as Founder of the NDC.

Mr. Rawlings must have his hands soiled with the blood of many innocent Ghanaians, especially when it was established by the Special Investigative Board, which tried to unravel the mystery of the abduction and murder of the judges in June 1982, found that that four of the five-man assassination squad lived at the boys’ quarters of Flt. Lt. Rawlings and Mrs. Konadu Agyeman Rawlings at their Ridge residence in Accra, at that point in time.

It is being hushed in silence, but there are those who are openly making their submissions in public, that the open confession by the man who was once worshipped as Junior Jesus that he took US$2 million bribe from Sani Abacha, the butcher of Nigeria, to fight his cause at the time the Nigerian leader was an international pariah, has dented the image of the former military strongman. That is one reason emerging why the Presidency is distancing itself from the founder of the party.

If it were so, it is a very interesting development. Apparently, bribery scandals involving the Presidency are not limited to the former junta head. On Thursday, September, 1, the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana will be recalled from recess to deal with a matter that will go down in the political history of this nation as a novelty in our democratic evolution.

The 275-member House will assemble to discuss a motion brought by the Minority, inviting the House to consider impeaching President Mahama for accepting a car gift from a Burkinabe contractor. Mr. Djibril Kanazoe, who constructed a wall around state property in Ouagadougou at an outrageous cost of US$650,000, and later presented a Ford Expedition four x four vehicle to the President of the Republic of Ghana .

The news in the presentation is not only that the President accepted the gift on the blind side of Ghanaians. Following the presentation, the contractor was given two more juicy contracts – a 35 million Euro and 85 million Euro job – to contract part of the Eastern corridor road network.

It is interesting to note that since the exposé, the contractor has voluntarily given up on those two juicy contracts.

As expected, the impeachment process has already divided the House. Deputy Majority Chief Whip Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak told an Accra radio station that the impeachment process would not see the light of day, stressing that the majority side would not condone what he called the treacherous act of removing the President by the back door.

Minority leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who is pushing through the impeachment procedure, is not worried by the threat by the majority side in the House to kick the motion on the Presidential bribe allegation to touch. “Mubarak can say what he likes. But, as a nation, we need to expand the frontiers of our democratic experiment. We intend to push through the motion,” the Minority Leader told The Chronicle.

Whatever happens to the motion, Ghanaians would be waiting with bathed breaths. One thing is certain, the bribery allegation is one more dent on the image of the occupant of Government House.

I shall return!

 
 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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