An individual, Dr. Thomas Anabah, has petitioned the Electoral Commission (EC) arguing against the membership of the Eminent Advisory Committee.
Dr. Anabah opines that the membership of such a committee ought to be national in character, having representation of the diverse groups of people making up the republic of Ghana.
In the petition dated 10 December, 2019, Dr. Anabah said, “The membership of the committee as currently constituted is not representative of the diverse groups of Ghana because all the five regions of the North of Ghana is not represented at all and this is in sharp contrast to the guiding principles that ought to guide the electoral commission in its work as public body working for the interest of the public.”
Read below Dr. Anabah’s full unedited petition:
10TH December, 2019
PETITION AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE EMINENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
I am a citizen of Ghana concerned with the unity, cohesion, and collective progress of our beloved country as a Unitary Republic made up of many diverse group of people. The unity, cohesion and progress of our country can only be achieved if we citizens and public officials and institutions abide by the tenets of the Constitution that we ourselves put together for ourselves and posterity.
That the electoral commission of Ghana, a public institution mandated to oversee elections and related matters on Tuesday, the 3rd of December, 2019 inaugurated what the commission called Eminent Advisory Committee to enhance public engagement and interaction between it and the public as election 2020 approaches. For purposes of the preceding paragraphs, the memberships of the commission are set out below:
- Emile Short-Chairman
- Gifty Affenyi-Dadzie-Deputy chairperson
- Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante
- Shiekh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu
- Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih
- Rt. Rev. Kwabena Boafo
- Nana Ato Dadzie
- Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams
- Rev. Dr. Cyril G.K Fayose
- Tony Forson
- Rev. Dr. Paul Frimpong Manso
- Most Rev. Prof Emmanuel Martey
- Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin
- Roland Affail Monney
- Nana Kobina Nketia V
- Dr. Eric Oduro Osae
- Ekua Buabema Ofori-Boateng
- Sam Okudjeto
- Rev. Dr. Kwabena Frimpong Opuni
- Dr. Yaw Baah.
That I, as a person not having anything negative against the idea of the Eminent Advisory Committee to assist the electoral commission in its work, the constitution of the membership of the such a committee ought to be national in character, having representation of the diverse groups of people making up the republic of Ghana. The membership of the committee as currently constituted is not representative of the diverse groups of Ghana because all the five regions of the North of Ghana is not represented at all and this is in sharp contrast to the guiding principles that ought to guide the electoral commission in its work as public body working for the interest of the public.
That the directive principles of state policy as provided in chapter six of 1992 Constitution of Ghana enjoins all public office holders and institutions including the electoral commission to take into consideration national unity and cohesion of the many diverse groups in Ghana. Article 35 of the 1992 constitution especially provides in clause 5 that “The state shall actively promote the integration of the people of Ghana and prohibit discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of place of origin, circumstances of birth, ethnic origin, gender or religion, creed or other beliefs” Article 35 clause 6 states also that “towards the achievement of the objectives stated in clause 5 of this article, the state shall take appropriate measures to”
- Foster a spirit of loyalty to Ghana that overrides sectional, ethnic and other loyalties
- Achieve reasonable regional and gender balance in recruitment and appointment to public office.
That furtherthe committee as currently constituted for all intents and purposes ignored the entire northern part of the country and therefore discriminatory. This non-inclusion of the whole north of Ghana contravenes the directive principles of state policy stated above and the non-discrimination provision of article 17 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana. Article 17 clauses 1 and 2 provides that all persons shall be equal before the law and no person shall be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, creed, social or economic status.
That, election and related matters are an important subject matter in Ghana that everybody show keen interest in and so for the entire north of Ghana to not be part of any deliberation concerning election and related matters is a serious and dangerous precedent and should therefore not be glossed over. There are many eminent persons from the north of Ghana who are capable, willing and could have also served mother Ghana if an opportunity was given them.
I therefore petition the electoral commission to as a matter of urgency demonstrate goodwill and commitment to the rule of law, unity and cohesion of Ghana and its people and for public trust, confidence and support across the length and breadth of our Ghana, reconstitute the said committee to ensure national representation as admonished by the letter and spirit of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
Dr Thomas Anabah
THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
THE NATIONAL PEACE COUNCIL
THE NATIONAL HOUSE OF CHIEFS
THE DEAN, DIPLOMATIC CORPS, GHANA
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES, GHANA
THE CHINESE EMBASSY, GHANA.