ABANTU, Women Manifesto condemn death threats on Jean Mensa
Two women groups have described a recent death threat on the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission as “unacceptable”.
“Unfortunately, we have sat in our comfort zones of incredulity, that now these abhorrent, vile, incendiary and contemptible verbal attacks are passing the threshold into threats of death,” ABANTU for Development and Women’s Manifesto Coalition said in a statement signed by the Executive Director of ABANTU, Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin.
Their comments come after 56-year-old Apostle Kwabena Owusu Agyei was arrested by operatives of National Security.
He had cannabis in his possession as of the time of his arrest.
The Apostle was picked up in his house in the early hours of Tuesday, 9 June 2020 for threatening to kill the EC Chairperson.
The pastor, during a Facebook Live church service streamed on Sunday, served a strong warning to the EC boss to stop the compilation of the new register.
He said if the register is allowed to be changed, the EC Chairperson will die, adding that Ghana will not allow a small family to dictate to the nation.
According to him, during the June 4 revolution, it was the blood of the military that flowed and that what he is hearing this time around is that it is the blood of the ‘Akyem mafia’ that will flow.
The pastor said should the EC Chairperson attempt compiling a new electoral roll, she will die at 12 mid-day without indicating the day.
The two women groups described the threats as “revolting, horrendous, awful and unacceptable”.
“We are deeply saddened that women in leadership positions have faced multiple insults and acts of degradation over the years while performing their assigned and constitutionally mandated duties,” the statement added.
The two groups Ghanaian women have managed to ascend to very high-profile positions of leadership, some for the first time, such as the first woman Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood; the first woman Electoral Commission Chair, Mrs Charlotte Osei; and the first woman Speaker of Parliament, Mrs Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo.
“These women and others served under the barrage of vitriol and threats, approval and disapproval from various sections of our citizenry. Nevertheless, they contributed in no small way, in progressing the aspirations and motivations of so many other women and helped push the nation’s required mandate of promoting women in institutional arrangements for sustainable development,” the two groups said.
According to them, they will continue to support women and defend their rights, including Mrs Jean Mensa’s.
“We will continue to advocate the need for Ghana to hold itself accountable to its constitutional mandate of increasing women’s equal participation and representation in public policymaking and decision making at all levels,” it stated.
“We want to assure Mrs Jean Mensa that we recognise the difficulties associated with serving in such a combative position as the Electoral Commissioner trying to satisfy strong diverse political viewpoints in the hope of delivering universally acceptable democratic and electoral outcomes,” the two groups added.