Suspicion Over Request For EC Directors’ CVs
…Ransford Gyampo, YEA PRO, NDC Clash
A directive from the Office of the President, requesting directors of the Electoral Commission (EC), to submit their curriculum vitae (CV) has been greeted with suspicion, amid political spins and twists.
It follows the leakage of a memorandum issued to directors of the electoral management body, both at head and regional offices, requesting them to send their educational details to the Presidency.
The one-page memo, which many had thought was directly from the Presidency to the Electoral Commission only, has left some commentators, including a political science lecturer, Professor Ransford Gyampo, screaming that the directive amounted to an interference in the commission’s work.
But The Anchor’s monitoring of the issue has revealed a different argument being espoused by government communicators who say the circular could not have come from the Presidency, but rather the Public Services Commission, after the President instructed it.
A circular, sighted by The Anchor, from the Electoral Commission’s director of Human Resource (HR), indicated that the directive was not issued to the EC alone.
It reads, “I bring you greetings from the Corporate Head Office of the Commission. This comes to inform you that the Office of the President His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has requested for the Curriculum Vitae of Senior Management of State Agencies from Director and above.
You are therefore requested to submit your CV by noon today, 29th May, 2023 through firstname.lastname@example.org for the attention of the Commission.”
Even though no reason was assigned to the memo, which has been trending on the internet this week, a sharp criticism has greeted it, with some questioning the motive behind it.
While Prof.Gyampo and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have expressed separate concerns about the directive, a former public relations officer (PRO) at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Mohammed Awal, has downplayed their fears.
Referencing Prof, Gyampo, Mr. Awal noted, “With the usual political spin-doctoring, the senior political science lecturer at the University of Ghana (UG) said President Akufo-Addo was meddling in the running of the EC, citing the recent appointment of one Dr. Peter Appiahene, who allegedly is a communication member of the NPP and a patron of the party’s Tertiary Students Conference (TESCON) one of such examples.
He also said of Prof. Gyampo, “He claimed history will be unkind to the President when the independence of the Commission is brought to the fore.
“The history of Ghana’s Fourth Republic show that you are currently the worse President in promoting the sanctity of the independence of the Electoral Commission.”
He said the university don had continued, “Why do you want to do this to an Independent Commission? It appears under your tenure, you are doing everything you can to decimate the independence of all independent institutions, but to what end?”
He noted that the President’s excesses have largely gone unchecked due to the lack of courageous people to call him to order, Mr. Awal said.
The former PRO said the senior political science lecturer recalled a similar action in the past where even powerful people in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) stood up to the then President.
“Unfortunately, there aren’t courageous people around you to tell you to back off your attempts at annexing the Electoral Commission. Back in the days, Dan Botwe as General Secretary of the NPP could boldly tell President Kufuor in the face to back off his attempt to usurp the procurement powers of the Electoral Commission and the President had no choice than to listen, ”Prof. Gyampo had asserted.
He added, “Please leave office and leave the sanctity of our independent institutions intact. This is not a practice worth emulating or repeating, Sir. This demand is unnecessary and it’s optics for the quest to deal with the independence deficit of the Electoral Commission are bad.”
Prof. Gyampo also called on the EC, headed by Chairperson Jean Mensa, to be assertive in defending its independence from such executive interference, Mr. Awal said.
But in a sharp contrast, Mohammed Awal, a former public relations officer (PRO), in his preliminary remarks, said there is nothing untoward about the memo and that it was not peculiar to the EC.
He pointed out that, the memo did not come directly from the Presidency, but rather, the Public Services Commission (PSC), which was written to by the President to collect these CVs from the affected institutions.
To make his point clearer, Awal forwarded to the host a copy of the letter that was issued to YEA by the PSC and the one from the President to the PSC.
“This is not peculiar, it is not only EC. If you check right now, let your producers call…. I am saying that this is a general memo that has gone through the Public Services Commission requesting for the updated CVs not just CVs of people within the Public Services Commission, which the EC is part of the Public Service.
When you single out the EC alone, I don’t understand the rationale behind it.
Maybe, you saw this and you decided to speak about it, but I am saying that, if you check, it will tell you that this is a letter that came from the Public Services Commission, to all state agencies,” he stated.
Awal said that the director of Human Resource at the EC, who signed the EC circular, Samuel D. Boadu, did not receive any letter directly from the Presidency, but from the PSC, just as the YEA did.
“We have an internal memo too that has been sent to the regions for our regional officers,” he maintained.
On his part, a deputy communication officer of the NDC, Malik Basintale, while making a contribution on TV3’s NewDay programme on Wednesday, May 31, said the circular could not have been issued in a vacuum.
According to him, two reasons informed the President’s directive, warning the NDC will in the coming days come out to expose the agenda being pushed by the government.
Brandishing some documents on the show, hosted by Rowland Walker, Basintale said the request to the EC directors and other top management officers is a move to witch-hunt some officials of the EC who are not kowtowing to their whims and caprices.