Criticizing think tanks is not demonizing them – Gabby replies Ace Ankomah

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A stalwart of the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has argued that criticising Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) does not amount to demonizing them or being intolerant of them, insisting that some CSOs must do away with their sense of untouchability and have the humility to admit when they are wrong.

His comments are in response to an appeal by lawyer Ace Ankomah to the effect that CSOs must not be demonized or killed because of the pivotal role they place in governance even if they sometimes get things wrong.

Mr Asare Otchere-Darko, known for having insider information about the working of the current Government, however, argued that CSOs must learn to be accommodating of criticism when they go wrong rather than seek to portray themselves as infallible and beyond criticism.

He contends that certain CSOs become judgemental and are too eager to push their views as the gospel truth as if their opinions were sacrosanct and unassailable.

For him, actors of some CSOs must learn to admit the modesty of their opinions at times.

Background:

Imani Africa, one of Ghana’s leading think tanks, had made some projections about the number of people the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) could register within the period set for the mass registration of all Ghanaian voters. Their projections haven’t been met as claimed by mostly Government activists and communicators even though the think tank insists they got it right.

This has led to a deluge of criticism being heaped on Imani Africa and other CSOs that backed Imani.

In reaction, Mr Anan Ankomah said that it was inappropriate to demonize CSOs because they have had some opinions or calculations wrong.

Several CSOs have had cause to complain about seeming intolerance from Government and other institutions that have been subject of their work.

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