The Deputy National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communications Officer for Bono Region, Eric Adjei, is asking the Council of State to refund to Ghanaians the US$3 million allocation made to them from the budget.
According to Mr Adjei, if this is the advice the council gave to President Nana Addo for Dr Peter Appiahene, an avowed New Patriotic Party (NPP) affiliate, to be appointed to the board of the country’s elections management body, Electoral Commission, then the council is undeserving of the tax-payers’ money.
The Council of State in Ghana is a body of prominent citizens, analogous to the Council of Elders in the traditional political system, which advises the President on national issues as well as some appointments to independent state organisations.
”I shudder to say that the President did not consult the Council of State members, if he did then Ghanaians should be marching to the offices of the Council to have the taxpayer’s money allocated to the council refunded,” Mr Adjei said.
“They need to refund the money because they are doing a disservice to the nation,” he stressed.
“How can a body like the Council of State okay the appointment of two NPP-tainted personalities to the board of the EC?” he quizzed.
He said Dr Peter Appiahene was a polling agent for Mr Kwame Baffoe during the NPP’s regional chairmen conference in the Bono Region.
He, Appiahene, is a lecturer at the University of Renewable Energy, Sunyani, and the director of Information Communications Technology (ICT) for the NPP in the Bono Region.
In the region, “we know him as a thoroughbred NPP person and we [NDC] will not allow him to carry out any duties in the name of EC in the region,” he warned.
“So how can the Council of State tell Ghanaians that they do not know that his appointment to the EC will affect the EC’s quest to ensure fairness in the next elections?” he queried.
Mr Adjei raised these concerns about the council’s failure to better advise the president on national issues when he spoke in an interview on Accra-based Okay FM on Thursday, April 6, 2023.
Meanwhile, The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has called for the resignation of the three new Electoral Commission (EC) board members.
CODEO at a press conference held on Wednesday, 5 April 2023, in Accra noted that it is aware that the voluntary revocation of the appointments of the three is unlikely.
A leading member of CODEO Rev Dr Fred Degbey addressing the press conference said: “We are painfully aware that voluntary and constitutionally grounded revocation of these unfortunate and democratically problematic EC appointments by the President is extremely unlikely.”
CODEO, however indicated that, “nothing stops the affected appointees, namely Dr Peter Appiahene and Hajia Salima Tijani from voluntarily and honourably resigning from the EC.”
According to CODEO, “This will be in the supreme interest of our country’s continued democratic progress, election peace and credibility and indeed overall national interest.”
The president on Monday, 20 March 2023, appointed three new EC board members namely; Rev Akua Ofori Boateng, Salima Armed Tijani and Dr Peter Appiahene.
Their appointment is in line with Article 43 (1 and 2) of the 1992 Constitution which states: “There shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consist of a chairman, two deputy chairmen, and four other members.
The members of the commission shall be appointed by the President under article 70 of this Constitution.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in swearing the EC board members in urged the EC to be firm with its decisions as the 2024 general elections approach and not allow itself to be railroaded by anyone since its decisions would be closely monitored by Ghanaians.
“It is no secret that I have spent most of my adult life trying to fight for the establishment of democracy and human rights in this country and I have always fought and advocated credible elections in Ghana,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
“In emphasising the importance of the credibility of elections, it must be pointed out that the counting, collation and declaration of the results cannot and should not be more important than the sacred God-given rights of the citizen casting his or her ballot,” he added during the swearing-in ceremony of the three EC Board members at the Golden Jubilee House.