By Classfmonline.com on 2019-05-06 09:07:44
A Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Dr Bossman Asare, has described the various media reports about a clash between his boss, EC Chairperson Jean Mensa and the General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia during an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting a few weeks ago, as “much ado about nothing”...
A Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Dr Bossman Asare, has described the various media reports about a clash between his boss, EC Chairperson Jean Mensa and the General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia during an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting a few weeks ago, as “much ado about nothing”.
At the said meeting, Mr Asiedu Nketia told Mrs Mensa directly in the face that if she acts respectably, she will earn the respect of others.
During the altercation, Mr Nketia told the head of the election management body that she could only earn his respect if she behaved respectfully.
This was after Mrs Mensa had taken offence at a “laughter” by Mr Nketia while she answered a question posed by the latter during the meeting.
“Mr Asiedu Nketia, we gave you that respect when you were speaking, so, please allow us … You are making the asides and obstructing the discussion … You were laughing … It’s like you’re ridiculing us”, Mrs Mensa protested.
Mr Nketia punctuated the EC Chair’s reservations saying: “I haven’t said anything madam … So laughter interrupts your presentation? … Please madam, I have kept quiet, I’m not part of what is happening, if you have a personal problem against me, you may bring it up”.
“Laughter and disruption, which is which?” he inquired. “So, if I’m smiling it means I cannot smile … So, I cannot laugh?” to which Mrs Mensa replied: “Both”.
Mr Asiedu then said: “Respect is earned”, explaining: “If you put yourself in a respectable position, people will respect you”.
“Same with you as well”, Mrs Mensa is heard interrupting.
“Look, the question I asked, I don’t think it solicited all the information you are bringing up”, Mr Nketia said.
“It does she said”, she responded.
“I’m asking you a simple question and you go on delivering a thesis”, Mr Nketia rebutted.
In a statement, however, Dr Asare said: “In my view, what transpired at IPAC cannot be described as an incident, hence, the Chairperson’s response that no incident happened at IPAC”.
According to him, “Her answer that no incident occurred was in no way intended to cover up. In her view and that of the Commission this was not a matter that warranted the attention it had received in the media landscape. Specifically, the Chairperson’s call to the General Secretary of the NDC to stop disrupting the meeting cannot be described as an incident or unusual occurrence to necessitate the interest it has attracted”.
He continued: “IPAC meetings are routinely characterised by that. A listen to the said recording would reveal other participants calling their counterparts to order for interrupting their contributions and interventions. Why are we not taking issues with that?”
“Over the last seven months, the EC has taken pains to create a civil and humane atmosphere at IPAC meetings and accommodate all views. Yet despite how hard we try, certain individuals are bent on carrying out an agenda targeted at maligning the integrity and credibility of the Chairperson, the Deputies and the Commission as a whole. This is becoming a pattern and points to a clear agenda to cause disaffection for the Chairperson, the Deputies and the Commission. For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission remains committed to delivering transparent, credible and fair elections. We remain open to constructive criticisms and feedback that will advance the course of democracy in our dear country. We invite all well-meaning Ghanaians to join us as we put our hands to the plow to make our country great and strong”.
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