A private legal practitioner, Ibrahim-Anyass Muhammed is calling on the Privileges Committee of Parliament to summon Imani president, Franklin Cudjoe, over some allegations he made against the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Minister-nominee Daniel Kweku Botwe.
This comes after Franklin Cudjoe accused Daniel Kweku Botwe, the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Minister-nominee of being part of those who disenfranchised the people of Santrofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL), by denying them the right to vote and have a representative in Parliament.
Ibrahim-Anyass Muhammed said Dan Botwe cannot be blamed as they were not assigned to him by law; his duties were merely administrative.
He is therefore calling on parliament’s privileges committee to demand particulars of Franklin Cudjoe‘s allegations against Dan Botwe.
In a Facebook post the lawyer said “to accuse the Honorable Minister of lying however is a very low and despicable behaviour that must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians in light of the strong wording of Article 21(4)(e) of the Constitution which provides for a law that is reasonably required for the purpose of safeguarding the people of Ghana against the teaching or propagation of a doctrine which exhibits disrespect for the nationhood of Ghana or incites hatred against other members of the community.”
“Indeed this behaviour warrants for his summoning by the Privileges Committee of Parliament to give particulars of that unfounded allegation.”
FRANKLIN CUDJOE NEEDS TO GET IT RIGHT
“They claim to be honest, hardworking and effective and they have answers to every problem. They are mistaken.” – Elizabeth Ohene, All-Knowing Neutrals (2020)
I must concede at the inception of this piece that for any growing democracy, criticism and contrary opinions of constructive nature and based on merit must be apparent. This system of governance as accepted widely by Ghanaians implies the diversity of thoughts and opinions to reflect the intended purpose of the framers of our constitution in having a free, fair and transparent society.
It is in this vein that the popularity of Civil Society Organizations have soared. The idea for some of these CSOs is that because they are not openly political, they must lock horns with politicians, political actors or parties to appear credible to the unsuspecting public.
The Founding President and chief executive officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe is one of such persons who have been on a deliberate path to disagree with anything a politician says even when most of the time that posture tends to mislead the public.
Indeed his latest fuss has been against one of Ghana’s most reputable public servants, Minister-designate for local government and legislative representative, Hon. Dan Botwe. I will accordingly reference two of Mr. Cudjoe’s tweets from his official Twitter account:
“I just discovered that the former minister for Regional Reorganisation could be an accomplice in the SALL debacle. We shall meet at his vetting – 9:27 PM • Jan 23, 2021”
“I respected Dan Botwe. I now firmly conclude he is part of the cabal that clandestinely disenfranchised SALL. He has told lies at vetting!! – 6:30 PM • Feb 15, 2021”
The accusation by Mr. Franklin Cudjoe against the former Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Botwe in the Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lipke and Lolobi (SALL) debacle is that the former Minister could have contributed to the ‘disenfranchisement’ of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lipke and Lolobi in electing their Parliamentary Representative in the just-ended election.
It is quite shocking that Mr. Franklin has maintained this untenable position even when well-meaning persons who know better have cautioned him against such unscrupulous allegations.
Firstly, Article 47 of the Constitution places the creation of constituencies solely within the authority of the Electoral Commission of Ghana. The Supreme Court in the case of Ransford France v AG and EC emphasized that the EC was under no obligation to publish in the gazette the mode of exercising its mandate including those under Article 47 of the Constitution.
The former Minister’s duties at the Ministry was to execute the will of the people as made in the referendum on the creation of six new regions on 27th December 2018 which was conducted smoothly by the Electoral Commission and the results effected by the President by issuing out Constitutional Instruments in compliance with law.
A primary school student should be able to arrive at this conclusion without any assistance and yet we have the head of a whole think tank consistently failing to comprehend this simple constitutional process.
It should be beyond clear by now that the Honorable Minister could not possibly be blamed for matters that were not assignable to him by law since his duties were merely administrative in providing the necessary state apparatus for those newly created regions, which he indeed discharged dutifully and faithfully.
As to his second tweet, the multitude of social media posts that commended the Honorable minister for his sterling performance at the vetting for the position of Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs betrays that alleged firm conclusion.
To accuse the Honorable Minister of lying however is a very low and despicable behaviour that must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians in light of the strong wording of Article 21(4)(e) of the Constitution which provides for a law that is reasonably required for the purpose of safeguarding the people of Ghana against the teaching or propagation of a doctrine which exhibits disrespect for the nationhood of Ghana or incites hatred against other members of the community.
Indeed this behaviour warrants for his summoning by the Privileges Committee of Parliament to give particulars of that unfounded allegation.
This teaching and propagation of hate speeches by the “All-Knowing and Mighty Lord Cudjoe” and his disciples must be nipped in the bud so as to give effect the wishes of the framers of our Constitution and to serve notice to all manner of persons seeking to create mischief out of social and political capital in order to cause disrespect to our nationhood and our revered elders.
After all, a nation that lacks respect for its seniors lacks dignity and wisdom.