Our story on Monday, September 3, 2014 on the dismissal of the Director of Passport, Mr Anim Odoi, has sparked a furious but mixed reaction, and those leading the attack are Franklin Cudjoe and his policy Think tank, IMANI Ghana.
IMANI and Franklin feel the dismissal was unfair and unjustified; and they also believe that our story was unfair and unjustified.
Franklin and IMANI could not advance their arguments, which should be intellectually based without vituperations, we were described in the shortest write-up we have seen IMANI and Franklin write as state sponsored newspapers, whatever that means, we are yet to find out.
IMANI in the write up state inter alia that “The chaos in that office was certainly not his doing. He was as much victim as anyone else (crazy working hours and all). This career diplomat has done all he can to professionalise the Passport Office and some of its major operations. His blowing the lid off the Buck Press (refusal to issue new books) incident and other matters may have riled some political heavyweights, but the truth is these challenges were undermining his capability to deliver sound service to Ghanaians”.
Anybody appointed in terms of the president’s prerogative powers is still expected to account for themselves by demonstrating competence in the exercise of their duty. Mr Odoi has not demonstrated enough capacity to change the fortunes of the passport office and Ghanaians applying for passports.
IMANI and Franklin only shot themselves in the foot, when they stated that his blowing the lid off the Buck Press incident and other matters was what informed government decision to sack him.
In the first place, what was he doing that he sat there until Buck Press decided to withdraw their service, is it not his duty as he is being paid by taxpayers money to ensure that the place is run effectively?
Government cannot be cajoled by anybody and certainly not IMANI and Franklin, who have always found reason to criticize everything it does to reinstate Mr Odoi. We were surprised that when we have all become apostles of strengthening our institutions, the sacking of one man, so that a more competent and capable person can be appointed to take over the place is being resisted by the so-called middle class men.
Every action and every appointment the President makes must be accounted for to the good people of this country, the frustrations and the day light extortion that prospective applicants go through before acquiring passports is becoming unbearable.
We have introduced biometric means of acquiring passports, and have gone to the extent of marginalizing the poor by introducing express service, yet the value is the same.
Mr Odoi, was not appointed yesterday and dismissed today, he has been there for some time now, whatever plans he had, should have taken off by now, does he need state sanction to beef up security at the passport office and do away with contractors?
Must the president get his hands dirty with everything, if people are appointed to certain positions and are not living up to expectation; the honourable thing to do is to ask them to leave.
Finally, as for the derogatory words that was used in the write-up to describe us, we think we can all advance our arguments without the use of insulting and demeaning words, we can respond in equal measure, but we do not want to cross swords with them, not for now, the matter is a serious one and needs serious thinking.