Rev. Prof Emmanuel Asante – Chairman National Peace Council
The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, has explained that Mr Francis Azumah was appointed to the 18-member Elections Steering Committee in his personal capacity and not as a representative from the council.
Mr Azumah, who is the Executive Secretary of the Peace Council, has been described as a member of National Democratic Congress (NDC) who has contested Parliamentary elections in the party in Builsa North and therefore cannot serve on the EC’s committee because of his partisan stance.
According to Prof Asante, the Peace Council was not officially asked to nominate a representative and that there has not been any official communication to that effect.
This is contrary to information by the EC that it wrote to various organisations for them to nominate representatives.
Speaking on Accra based Neat FM on Thursday morning, Prof Asante said members of the council heard about the appointment of Mr Azumah in the media and congratulated him but as far as they were concerned, the appointment was in his personal capacity.
“The last time the board met, there was no letter before us from the Electoral Commission asking us to nominate someone… As far as I am concerned as chairman, there is no such letter,” Prof Asante said.
“Francis is somebody who does his work. As far as I am concerned I have no reason to believe that Francis is partisan in the way he does his work.”
Prof Asante said he may not know Mr Azumah’s partisan stance because at the council they do not ask about people’s partisan position but concentrate on peace work.
Rather, he said Mr Azumah would have to respond to those allegations personally.
Using himself as an example, Prof Asante said when he was appointed to serve on the 5-member committee that looked into the agitations for a new voters register, it was done in his personal capacity and not an official invitation to the council to nominate someone.
On Wednesday, the EC dropped Dr Karl Mark Arhin from the election steering committee, following claims that he is a member of the NDC.
Dr Arhin had been appointed to the committee as a representative of the National Service Scheme (NSS) as part of the EC’s plan to use National Service personnel as Election Officers.
The NSS is now set to withdraw him and appoint a replacement in the light of the feedback on his partisan status.
The Electoral Commission inaugurated an 18-member steering committee to oversee and ensure the smooth conduct of this year’s general elections.
The committee which is chaired by the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Charlotte Osei includes acting boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Joseph Whittal and COP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, the Director-General of Police Operations.
Other members of the committee are Col F. Ogbe, Deputy Director General of Joint Operations from the Ghana Armed Forces, Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, Deputy Chairman in charge of operations at NCCE, Mr Bernard Ntim, Head of Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring Unit at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Francis Azuimah, Executive Secretary of National Peace Council, Mr George Sarpong, Executive Secretary, National Media Commission (NMC), and Sylvester K. B. Rabbles, Director of Prisons Operations, Ghana Prisons Service.