I have no qualms, whatsoever, with any country under the sun awarding any kind of prize to any Ghanaian citizen or leader in the country. For, at the end of the day, the only award/prize that really matters is one that is awarded by a credible and well-respected institution in Ghana itself. We may, however, choose to make a reasonable exception of one or two globally acclaimed and respected merit-based award-giving institutions. This is fundamentally the reason why I have not been in a hurry to make a comment or two on the reported awarding of the “Woman of Courage” prize to Electoral Commissioner Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, by the United States’ Department of State or Foreign Affairs Ministry (See “CharlotteOsei Wins US Woman of Courage 2017 Award” Starrfmonline.com / Modernghana.com 8/23/17).
We understand the award was presented to Mrs. Osei by Mr. Robert P. Jackson, the United States’ Ambassador to Ghana. And on the latter count, it is worth promptly underscoring the fact that throughout 2015, when the Electoral Commission’s Chairperson was appointed, and much of 2016, Ambassador Jackson was not on the proverbial Ground Zero and therefore could not have really been privy to the quiddities of what really went on in Ghana, between the unorthodox summary transfer of the award recipient from her statutorily independent post as Head of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to the equally statutorily independent but much more influential and sensitive post of Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Those of us who have been studiously following America’s own problems with the wholesomeness or integrity of its 2016 general election, to wit, the widely alleged Russian hacking of the same, with the purport complicity of then-Candidate Donald John Trump, can only chuckle and snort with amused contempt. Ordinarily, you would think that the alleged hacking of the US’s general election is a phenomenon that is more routinely associated with a Third-World country. In other words, for Mrs. Osei’s award to be objectively deemed to be credible, respectable and wholesome, the United States itself, at least under the questionable and morally blotchy tenure of President Trump, ought to first demonstrate that it truly appreciates what a clean election is before it can be taken seriously.
Perhaps before presenting his award to Ghana’s Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Jackson ought to have conducted a survey of what the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian citizens themselves thought about the character and managerial competence of the Electoral Commission’s Chair. Then also, Ambassador Jackson ought to have gleaned mainstream Ghanaian media fare on the subject, especially Mrs. Osei’s repeated defiance of the Wood Supreme Court, before presuming to even symbolically lecture Ghanaians on the critical question of who best qualifies to be awarded the “Woman of Courage” award or prize.
If this award is intended to facilitate the entrenchment of the EC Chair at the post to which she was unconstitutionally transferred – to do the hatchet job of rigging Election 2016 in favor of former President John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress, then it is quite obvious that this award has absolutely no significance or value beyond cynical US Republican propaganda politics.
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