Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, has called on the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Mrs Jean Mensa and her deputies to be impartial in the execution of their constitutional mandate.
“It is our conviction that the new Chair and members of the commission will endeavour to carry out their duties with impartially and without fear or favour,” Otumfuo said in his speech over the weekend when he delivered the Annual Leadership Lecture of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
“We will urge all concerned to smoke the peace pipe so the Commission can reset the button and begin preparations for the conduct of our next elections with total commitment to fairness and justice.”
The Lecture on the theme: “Leadership: Strengthen Democratic Institutions for National Development”, was attended by high profile personalities such as former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Nana Otuo Siriboe, Omanhene of the Juabeng Traditional Area and Chairman of the Council of State, and Nana Opoku Ampomah, a traditional ruler and Founder of the UPSA.
The Leadership Lecture was instituted to strengthen the stature of the University as it strives to improve on scholarship, research and professionalism.
It coincided with the launch of UPSA’s 55th Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of the distinguished keynote speaker since his enstoolment as the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said peace and order were the preconditions for national development; adding that the survival of the nation as a democracy depends upon Ghanaian’s ability to conduct free and fair elections.
“Indeed, it is our ability to conduct such elections peacefully and in the process ensure a smooth transfer of power that has given our Fourth Republic the universal accolades from the international community.”
He said the responsibility for this credit belongs to the EC and yet somehow, the Commission has never had a free rein.
“That its operations have always been shrouded in controversy in my view reflects the sheer intensity of the political contests over which the Commission is called upon to preside,” he said.
“For the first time, the Commission has suffered the abrupt termination of its membership as a consequence of some perceived wrong-doing. A new Commission has been constituted but not all the political parties have as yet embraced them. I can only hope that a prolonged conflict may be avoided. We may find a lot to disagree with in our hearts but reality obliges us to appreciate that continued mistrust can only be harmful to the future of this crucial institution.”
He said, he could not comprehend that persons appointed to this august body would come with the intent of compromising the integrity of the Commission and working in favour of one party.
“We can never get away from the fact that there will always be one appointing authority at any point in time. However an appointee is under no obligation to do any favours to the appointing authority,” he said.
Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice Chancellor of the UPSA, expressed gratitude to Nana Opoku Ampomah for graciously offering them a 35-acre land at Amanfo, near Bekwai, for the construction of another UPSA Campus.
“While at that, I would also like to thank the Asantehene for his swift intervention in averting a legal battle regarding the said land,” he said.