....To The Electoral Commission And Need To Apologize To Ghanaians.
When Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) such as CODEO, STAR-Ghana Foundation and the likes, which purport to reflect the conscience of a right-thinking Ghanaian society seek to take on public officials including the President of the Republic and subject them to a high threshold of moral accountability, then the right-thinking Ghanaian society shouldn’t expect any less standard from these CSOs either. After all, he who seeks equity, they say, must come with clean hands and must also be ready to do equity.
That said, it would be recalled that on April 5, 2023, CODEO and STAR-Ghana Foundation held a Press Conference, where they took on the President for the appointment of Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani and Dr. Peter Appiahene to the Board of the Electoral Commission describing same as unconstitutional and a recipe for chaos. They, therefore, demanded the immediate resignation of the duo as members of the election governing body. The graven of their case was that Hajia Salima and Dr. Peter Appiahene were both known affiliates and activists of the governing NPP, among other claims.
Owing to the severity of these allegations and the dangers that same portend to the peace and security of this nation, one would have thought that for a serious organization to come out publicly to make these serious allegations, they would have done the most basic thing, which is, due diligence on the matter, crossing all the ‘t’s and dotting all the ‘i’s. Unfortunately and indeed, shockingly, CODEO, STAR-Ghana et al did none of that, at least in respect of Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani.
My checks regarding the information put out by Reverend Dr Fred Deedge of CODEO on behalf of the CSOs on Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani confirm that, not only did the CSOs fail to discharge this elementary duty of verifying their allegations, but they also deliberately churned out blatant untruths to make the appointing authority and indeed Hajia Salima look “irresponsible” in the eyes of righting-thinking members of society. It was such a very poor job, and I just cannot hide my disappointment.
Here are the FACTS contrary to what was put out by the CSOs:
1. Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani is not and has never been married to Sheikh Alhaji T.B. Damba, former NPP National Vice Chairman and Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
2. Alhaji T.B. Damba had four wives, his 1st wife, Hajia Ayishetu is living in the United States. His 2nd wife is Hajia Balchisu. His 3rd wife is Hajia Hawa of blessed memory. His 4th wife is Hajia Ramatu. So, Alhaji T.B. Damba is currently living with his 2nd wife (Hajia Balchisu) and 4th wife (Hajia Ramatu) in Accra.
3. Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani was once married to Alhaji Ahmed Tijani. The couple are now divorced.
4. There is absolutely no evidence of Hajia Salima Tijani’s involvement in partisan politics unlike the woman she has been appointed to replace, Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida, who was appointed to the board of the Electoral Commission by the NDC administration.
5. Hajia Sa-Adatu’s father, Alhaji Maida, was the NDC Chairman in the Northern Region from 1992 until he passed on.
6. Hajia Sa-Adatu herself contested Hon. Haruna Iddrisu in an NDC Primaries in the then Gukpegu -Saabonjida Constituency of the then Northern Region sometime in the year 2000 thereabout.
7. Even when she [Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida] was due for retirement from the Electoral Commission upon attaining the compulsory retirement age of 60, she was alleged to be caught in an age cheating scandal which necessitated a court action by one Boakye Asomaning, the plaintiff therein who was represented by Lawyer Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, an astute legal practitioner and a former acting Director of Legal Education in the country. (See
https://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/EC-chief-caught-in-age-cheating-scandal-675462; https://dailyguidenetwork.com/ec-chief-caught-in-age-scandal/; https://citinewsroom.com/2018/12/ec-worker-sued-for-allegedly-altering-her-age-to-benefit-more/hajia-sa-adatu-maida/?amp)
8. It cannot be said that CODEO, STAR-Ghana Foundation and the other CSOs as well as the media are unaware of all the issues with Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida regarding her relationship with the EC. Why didn’t they hold a press conference to raise the concerns they are raising today? Who is more politically exposed than the woman whose father was NDC Chairman and who, herself, contested in NDC Primaries against Hon. Haruna Iddrisu? Are the CSOs telling us they didn’t know of the spirit of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana as can be gleaned from the provisions of Chapter Seven of the Constitution, which they are raising today?
9. So, if CODEO and the other CSOs did not have a problem with a seemingly “partisan Hajia Sa-Adatu” serving on the EC, why should they have a problem with Hajja Salima, who, in any case, has neither contested nor occupied any political position in her entire life? She has also never been engaged in any partisan politics, and till now, nobody has been able to provide any iota of evidence in rebuttal. I am daring the CSOs to provide such evidence if they have it or forever hold their peace. After all, silence is oftentimes much better than ugly noise.
10. The only allegation by the CSOs that is factual is the claim that one of the step-sisters of Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani, in the person of Hajia Abibata Shani Mahama is serving this country as the current Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC. But if this is the standard that the CSOs want us to use then I dare say nobody in this country would be qualified to serve on the board of the Electoral Commission because every Ghanaian is somehow related with one person or another in the two major political parties.
From the foregoing, my fellow countrymen and women, it is abundantly clear that CODEO, STAR-Ghana Foundation and the other CSOs, have peddled blatant falsehoods and have by that, hurt the reputation of Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani as well as the reputation of Sheikh Alhaji TB Damba for which a cause of action in defamation would lie against them if the two are minded to explore their legal options, and I will advise them to that immediately.
The so called moral society have also done great disservice to Ghanaians for this poor job. Silence and inaction cannot be an option when wrong is being perpetuated, else evil would triumph and society would be the ultimate loser. Therefore, I call on my fellow citizens to demand some responsibility from the people who seek to hold others responsible on the basis of a certain moral test. After all, the watchman also needs to be watched (apologies to Hon Kennedy Agyapong and Anas Armiyawo Anas) in order to achieve a free, fair and just society.
Ghana certainly deserves better.
Citizen, NOT Spectator
Source: Iddi Muhayu-Deen/[email protected]
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