A group that calls itself the Concerned Clergy Association of Ghana has asked staff of the Electoral Commission (EC) who have petitioned the President for the removal of their Chair Charlotte Osei to desist from hounding her out of office.
According to the clergy, the petition can jeoperdise the political stability of the country, a situation they fear can have dire consequences for Ghana’s democracy.
The petition, signed by the lawyer for the staff, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, said among a litany of allegations that Mrs Osei’s cancellation of a contract between the EC and Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) – a company contracted to supply and manage Biometric Voter Registration machines (BVRs) and the Biometric Voter Devices (BVDs) – coupled with her ordering of the payment of $76,000 to IT firm Dream Oval, were fraudulent.
Mrs Osei has responded to each of the 27 allegations and also sued the lawyer for the staff since none of the petitioners is know so far.
A press statement released by the coalition and signed by its President Bishop Prince Benny Wood said: “We take great exception to the subtle attempt by some unknown faces allegedly at the EC to blackmail” the Electoral Commission char “out of office.” “This we see as dangerous and a recipe for chaos in the country as the two main political parties take opposite positions in the ensuing ‘crisis’. Unfortunately some very respectable people in society including some clergy have fallen into what we see as a trap to frustrate and remove the EC boss out of office,” the group said.
The group said irrespective of the unfolding squabble, “we still believe the commission is capable of rising to the occasion if need be, therefore, any call for the resignation or removal [of the EC boss] is premature and misplaced.”
“We expected that after having conducted a successful election”, which gave Ghana its “only uncontested results in the history of our nation, the attack that greeted her appointment will be put to rest, but it seems to us that some people have made it their agenda to remove her from office by all means.
“It is interesting to observe that when the petition became public, certain sections of the public started calling for her resignation and when the EC boss responded to the petition, she was again called upon to resign, so it looks like right from the beginning, the agenda was to get her out whether the allegations in the petition were true or not,” the group said.
The concerned clergymen cautioned that “any premature attempt to remove or force” Mrs Osei to resign may “plunge this nation into chaos and mar our enviable record as an oasis of peace, stability and democracy in Africa.”