A week ago, my colleagues at IMANI and many public-spirited individuals wondered if the Passport Director had been arrested and detained as reported in the press. A Presidential Staffer, Mr. Stan Dogbe assured us that he had neither been arrested nor detained.
Yesterday, the Herald, a state-sponsored newspaper reported that the gentleman has been sacked for “encouraging the activities of passport contractors, while in office thereby frustrating the acquisition of Ghanaian passports through genuine means”.
It is clear that aside the many puerile allegations peddled by the newspaper for the sacking of the professional diplomat, Mr. Odoi-Anim’s purported sacking has nothing to do with his strong advocacy for government to streamline the political influences on the passport issuing process, with respect to issues like Hajj and Protocol!
The chaos in that office was certainly not his doing. He was as much victim as anyone else (crazy working hours and all). This career diplomat has done all he can to professionalise the Passport Office and some of its major operations. His blowing the lid off the Buck Press (refusal to issue new books) incident and other matters may have riled some political heavyweights, but the truth is these challenges were undermining his capability to deliver sound service to Ghanaians.
No public servant should be subjected to the crazy conditions that were imposed on Mr. Anim-Odoi! His arguments about the need to beef up security and efficiency procedures are no doubt inspired by his exposure to international requirements for the strengthening of passport issuing procedures, as part of efforts to fight terrorism and the like.
We are aware of his familiarity with the international system at The Hague. If, on the other hand, there are genuine suspicions of misconduct that are being investigated, it is important that the Civil and Diplomatic Service, through their own disciplinary mechanisms, initiate the process and exhaust their proceedings. This habit of using the intelligence services for administrative corrective purposes smack of Police State ideology, and should not be encouraged.
Please Reinstate Mr. Odoi- Anim immediately!
Founding President & CEO, IMANI
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