President John Mahama yesterday, swore into office the substantive heads for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and asked them to discharge their mandate with integrity.
Mr. Joseph Whittal, is the new Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and Ms Josephine Nkrumah, is Chairperson of the NCCE.
The NCCE post became vacant after its head, Mrs Charlotte Osei, was appointed the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, while that of CHRAJ became vacant after its head, Mrs Lauretta Vivian Lamptey, was relieved of her post following allegations of impropriety in the use of the Commission’s resources.
Until their appointment and swearing-in, Mr. Whittal was a Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ who acted as the Commissioner, while Ms Nkrumah was a deputy chairperson in charge of Finance and Administration at the NCCE.
Their swearing-in comes 17 days prior to President Mahama’s handing over to President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo on January 7, 2017, following President Mahama’s defeat in the December 7 election.
Swearing in the two commissioners jointly at the Flagstaff House in Accra, President Mahama urged them to uphold the national interest at all times, and lead their respective institutions to work for the benefit of Ghanaians.
He described the CHRAJ and NCCE as two key governance institutions which are required to execute their mandate with optimum integrity, and expressed confidence in the two to lead their respective institutions to serve the public with integrity, fairness and indiscrimination.
He urged the NCCE and CHRAJ to effectively collaborate in educating Ghanaians about governance issues, particularly human rights and corruption, so that the citizenry would be better informed to support the fight against corruption and human rights abuses.
The President was hopeful that the two heads would utilise their vast experience and institutional knowledge to promote the growth of their organisation for the benefit of the citizenry, and particularly urged the NCCE to be more “assertive”.
“Do not let Ghanaians, including myself and my successors, down,” he told them.
Ms. Nkrumah, responding, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them and the opportunity to serve the nation in their new positions, and pledged that they would faithfully serve.
She also commended the President for promoting institutional capacity through their appointments, saying such practice enhances effective growth of public institutions.
She gave assurance of the commitment of NCCE and CHRAJ to deliver, but called for “improved resource allocation” to strengthen the institutions to operate more effectively and efficiently.
By Edmund Mingle