The embattled Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, yesterday threw caution to the wind when he exploded and barked at a morning show host, who had called him for an interview, by raining plain insults on him.
The EC boss had virtually gone underground before he was smoked out yesterday by journalists from his hideout.
“…look; this is crazy, this is stupid, this is unethical” and banged the phone on the host of the programme, Oman Fm’s Fiffi Boafo.
The EC boss stunned Ghanaians when he flipped on air, used vitriolic expressions following questions posed to him about his whereabouts as demanded by the Justices of the Supreme Court on Wednesday. He abruptly cut short the interview when he hung up on a sour note.
For the many listeners of Oman FM, it was a bitter experience listening to the enraged EC Chief Returning Officer who threw decorum to the dogs in that fashion using words as ‘stupid and crazy’ on air.
Similarly he reacted to another radio show host asking if he thought the Supreme Court was a movie theatre where people should flock to watch cinema.
The bout of abrasive words was preceded by an arrogance-laced response such as “why are you asking this question? Are you not using a local number to call me? I am in Ghana and have never left the country,” in reference to his whereabouts.
Fiifi Boafo, host of Oman Fm’s ‘National Agenda’, had sought to know the whereabouts of the EC boss as inquired by the Supreme Court justices hearing the election petition pending before the court the previous day.
Instead of answering the question, Dr Afari-Gyan, who has cultivated a snobbish attitude, asked “where do you think I am?”
Host of the programme in turn said he did not know and for which reason he was asking.
That did not seem convincing enough to the man who again asked “as you’ve called me now where do you think I am; am I abroad, did you call abroad, when you are calling outside Ghana is that how you call?”
He was not ready to listen to an explanation that he could be reached on his mobile phone through roaming services even when in abroad.
“I am in Ghana, I’ve never been outside this country…why should anybody be asking whether I am in Ghana?” he asked rhetorically, saying “I don’t know why you are asking this question…what has happened?”
There have been wild rumours that Dr Afari-Gyan had been out of the country after he announced the controversial December election results. Some said he had been sighted in Canada while others mentioned the United States.
The EC boss was equally not prepared to listen to the fact that his name had popped up at the Supreme Court during proceedings the previous day.
The Supreme Court justices had wondered whether as the Chief Returning Officer of the Presidential election where Ghana is seen as one constituency, he was not bothered by the electoral dispute as he had not found it necessary to come to court but rather sends his deputies.
Instead, Dr Afari-Gyan demanded to know “is my name required; it’s the Commission that has been sued. Any high officer in the Commission can sign; is my signature required?” brushing aside the suggestion that the ultimate responsibility rests on his head as Chairman of the Commission.
“If it’s not acceptable, why will the Supreme Court accept it; why are we making an issue of this… if Mr Sarfo Kantanka’s signing is not acceptable, why will the Supreme Court accept it?” he queried.
A provoked Afari-Gyan then noted that “these are preliminary issues; why should I go? It’s the lawyers who are talking and discussing these issues; why should I go, what is my contribution.”
By this time, an obviously enraged EC boss demanded to know whether he was being recorded since in his own words “because you did not tell me you are recording me and that will be most unethical.”
The host of the programme then told him he was live on air and that he was sure producers of the programme, Adubofuor Agyekum and Emmanuel Ohemeng informed him earlier before being put on air.
This hysterical attitude of the EC boss attracted negative reactions from a cross section of listeners of the programme who condemned his action in no uncertain terms.
An unrepentant Afari Gyan proceeded to make similar comments on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ morning show, when he told host of the programme, Kwame Nkrumah ‘Tikesee’, that it was unnecessary to mount pressure on him by asking him to be present during proceedings in court when the place was not a movie house.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Daily Guide