Story: Reuben Sackey
Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has written to the Council of State to reconsider the appointments of Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani and Dr Peter Appiahene to the board of the Electoral Commission.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday, March 20, 2023 swore in three new members of the Electoral Commission (EC) governing board. They included Rev. Akua Ofori Boateng, Salima Ahmed Tijani, and Dr Peter Appiahene.
The appointments have been slammed by a section of the public and some civil society organisations including the Coalition for Democratic Election Observers (CODEO) who have called on the president to rescind the appointments to their affiliation with the ruling NPP.
The NDC in a letter to the Council of State and copied to some selected embassies in Ghana stated that appointments will further dent the already soiled reputation of the Electoral Commission and must be reconsidered in the interest of the majority of Ghanaians.
“Dr. Peter Appiahene is not only a card-bearing member of the ruling New Patriotic Party but a recognized leading figure within the ranks of the Party. He has been a patron of the tertiary wing of the New Patriotic Party, TESCON, at the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani since 2017. He is a known communicator of the New Patriotic Party in the Bono Region on both radio and television.
“Prior to his appointment to the Electoral Commission, Dr. Appiahene had played various leading roles for the New Patriotic Party in the Bono Region. Indeed, he touts himself in his political profile and personal credentials as “a strong NPP man with a lot of experience in election issues in Ghana”.
On the appointment of Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani, the NDC said their “background search revealed that she has well-known New Patriotic Party leanings. Aside from the fact that Hajia Salima is herself an activist of the ruling New Patriotic Party, she is married to one Sheikh T.B Damba, a former Second National Vice Chairman of the NPP, and Ghana’s immediate-past ambassador to Saudi Arabia, from 2017 to 2021.”
The party added that “we are aware that once Dr. Appiahene and Hajia Salima have been sworn in as members of the Commission, the Council of State has become functus officio in the process of their appointments.
“We are nevertheless of the view that against the background of the evidence that we have presented, it is possible for the Council to re-consider its advice to the President in order to erase any perception that the Council has been complicit in the appointment of these patently partisan individuals to the Electoral Commission and to safeguard the integrity of the Council as far as its role in the structure of our governance architecture is concerned.”