General News of Monday, 24 July 2017
The 2016 flag bearer of the All People’s Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga has described the former chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan as a ‘shining example’ in Africa.
According to him, Dr Afari-Gyan was far better in handling election matters in the country than the current chair, Madam Charlotte Osei.
“I miss Afari so much because of his performance as far as election matters is concerned was superb and beyond imagination. He was dedicated to his work and makes sure nothing or no one interferes in his affairs and so I find it hard to understand why this woman has failed to learn from her predecessor” he said.
Mr. Hassan Ayariga was speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show “Dwaso Nsem” Monday.
His reaction comes on the back of a petition by some workers at the EC accusing Mrs. Osei for among other things, malfeasance and abuse of power.
The concerned workers at the EC in their petition stated among other things that: “Following her appointment as EC chair, Mrs. Charlotte compromised the independence and neutrality of the Commission by arranging for 2015 V8 Land cruiser with registration WR 2291-15 from the Office of the President for use as official vehicle without going through the procurement process or recourse to the Commission.”
But responding to this, Mrs. Osei said she did “not use a vehicle with the said registration number WR2291-15. Following her appointment as Chairperson, the Office of the Chief of Staff allocated Mrs. Osei a vehicle. This is certainly not a new practice in Ghana’s public service. Indeed, the office of the Chief of Staff provided and continues to provide vehicles for many government institutions and appointees. The Chairperson could therefore not have compromised her independence or neutrality as she neither requested nor lobbied for the said vehicle. Indeed, this flawed argument would imply that the Commission receiving money from the Government of Ghana compromises the neutrality of the Commission.”
But the former flagbearer of the PNC believes all these mishaps would not have happened if Dr Afari Gyan was still chair of the EC.
His sterling performance over the years, Mr Ayriga stressed has not been in doubt, as he has held the position of executive secretary of electoral bodies globally.
He indicated that Dr Afari Gyan has been instrumental over the past 23 years in shaping Ghana’s democracy.
Mr Ayriga noted that the fight between Mrs Osei and some of her deputies is unfortunate and also weakening the public confidence in the institution, therefore, urging the rightful authorities to deal with the matter quickly.
Since Ghana returned to democratic rule, Dr Afari Gyan successfully supervised the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and the 2012 general elections.