Fred Deegbe and Elizabeth Joyce Villars named co-chairs of CODEO
A 25-member Advisory Board for the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has been inaugurated in Accra.
The new Board is under the Co-chairmanship of Reverend Dr Fred Deegbe, former President of the Ghana Baptist Convention and Mrs Elizabeth Joyce Villars, Founder and Board Chairperson, Camelot Ghana Limited.
CODEO is an independent and non-partisan organisation, made up of civil society groups, faith-based organizations and professional organisations which observe elections in Ghana.
Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the immediate past Acting Chairman of CODEO and the Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, handed over the baton to Rev Dr Deegbe and Mrs Villars at the launch of the reconstituted CODEO Board.
Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu took the reins of leadership as the acting Co-Chair in 2019 when the leadership of the Coalition was transitioning following the demise in the preceding year of our beloved Co-Chair Justice VCRAC Crabbe.
Rev Dr Deegbe and Mrs Villars in their inaugural address said they were honored to have been given the nod by members on the Board to serve as Co-chairs in leading the Coalition in its next chapter.
“We recognize the invaluable work that CODEO has done over the past two decades, and we hope to continue this legacy in the upcoming years,” they stated.
The duo said since its inception in 2000, CODEO had dedicated itself to ensuring transparent, free, fair, and peaceful elections in Ghana.
They said as part of its mission, CODEO had observed every single election in Ghana – from presidential elections to parliamentary elections to district elections and many more.
They noted that CODEO had contributed to an improved electoral environment by independently and objectively observing our polls and contributing significantly to deepening citizen participation in electoral processes.
“It has continuously expanded its scope and activities, including providing support for election observers in countries across Africa.”
Rev Dr Deegbe and Mrs Villars said the importance of CODEO could not be overstated in bringing transparency to the electoral process and inspiring public confidence in the outcomes.
They said the presence of election observers at polling stations during elections poses a significant deterrent effect against attempts by malicious actors to manipulate results by exposing potential malpractices is critical in promoting accountability and contributing to the electoral credibility.
They said CODEO would not renege on its mandate and would explore all opportunities to continue to fulfill its commitments to the people of Ghana.
“On the back of this, we would like to express appreciation to the Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, the founding Chair and longest serving member on the Board for her meritorious voluntary service in leading and building a solid foundation and integrity for the Coalition since its inception,” the stated.
Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu in his handing over address expressed gratitude to CODEO for the opportunity given him and his team to serve Mother Ghana.
He noted that CODEO’s aim was to promote free, fair, and transparent elections; adding that CODEO had risen to be the most credible election observer body in Ghana.
The new Advisory Board Members of CODEO include Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Co-founder and Former Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-
Ghana), Prof Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD-Ghana; Prof Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh, Fellow, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; Mr Albert Dwumfuor, President, Ghana Journalists Association; Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the immediate past Acting Chairman of CODEO.
Mr Eric Angel Agbe-Carbonu, President, National Association of Graduate Teachers; Mr Kofi Bentum Quantson, former Director, Bureau of National Investigations, Madam Daphne Lariba Nabila, Executive Director, Legal Resource Centre; Madam Philippa Larsen, a former President, Ghana Association of Teachers; and Mr Frank Beecham, former Board Chair, Access Bank.
Others are Mr Alexander Bankole Williams, Coordinator, Assistive Technology Unit of the University of Ghana Computing Systems; Rev Dr Cyril Fayorsey, Senior clergy person, Evangelical Presbyterian Church – Ghana; Madam Joyce Nyame, Programs Manager, Youth Bridge Foundation; and Mrs Hamida Harrison, Convener, Women’s Manifesto Coalition.
The rest are Mr Edmund Acquaye, Public Relation Director, Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana; Alhaj Ahmad Suleman Anderson, Member, Public Interest and Accountability Committee; Apostle Immanuel Tettey, General Secretary, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council; Dr Marzuq Abubakar Azindo, Personal Assistant to the National Chief Imam; Madam Gifty Florence Anin-Botwe, a retired Commissioner of Police; Nana Asantewaa Afadzinu, Executive Director, West Africa Civil Society Institute; Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, President, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association; and Mr Francis A. Tsegah, Senior Fellow, CDD-Ghana.
At the event, CODEO honoured Prof Miranda Greenstreet, the founding Chair of CODEO and longest serving member on the Board for her outstanding leadership and dedicated services to the organization.
Story by Fada Amakye from Daily Sun