Feature Article of Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
Afriyie-Ankrah’s Lack of Conscience Typifies NDC Political Culture
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I know that it would be absolutely pointless to call for the immediate resignation and/or summary dismissal of Mr. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, the Campaign Coordinator for President John Dramani Mahama for the 2012 Presidential Election and the Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, and so I would not waste my time in calling for just that. But that Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah doubles as Campaign-Coordinator for President Mahama ought to tell Ghanaian voters more than enough about the conscience and caliber of their transitional president.
Anyway, even more significantly, I would not call for the delivery of his veritable bird’s head on a diamond platter, because Ghanaian voters are bound to do just that by massively voting the so-called National Democratic Congress resoundingly out of power in a landslide victory for the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party come December 7, 2012. Indeed, the Akan have a saying that “a dying animal kicks and screams.” And it is precisely this phase of its logical ride into the proverbial sunset that has witnessed the desperate likes of Messrs. Mahama and Amissah-Arthur and, of course, Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah literally kick and scream, albeit to no avail, against Nana Akufo-Addo’s educational policy proposal of making public schooling fee-free from Kindergarten through Senior High School. As a concerned Ghanaian citizen recently confided to this writer, “What is good for Northern Ghanaians is equally good for Southern Ghanaians.”
And the New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate fully recognizes the fact that a government geared towards the comprehensive intellectual and cultural, as well as the socioeconomic, development of the entire country cannot wisely and fairly do so by deliberately and mischievously holding back the academic and professional advancement of able-bodied youths of one-half of the country while advancing that of the other half. This, in essence, is what the continuous fee-free public education of Northern Ghanaian youths to the criminally crippling exclusion of Southern Ghanaian youths is fundamentally about. In brief, it is the very soul and destiny of our country as a modern democratic organic political unit that is at stake here. And on the latter count, Ghana cannot afford to lose.
We need to also underscore the fact that as a Third-World nation, our entire country has a lot of catching up to do in order to be able to proudly beam at having arrived at either a middle-income national status, or even that of an enviable advanced post-industrial technological economy and culture. Bluntly speaking, the fact of the matter is that contrary to what self-serving politicians like President Mahama would have the rest of the world believe, there is fundamentally no significant difference in the quality of life and the global economic status between Northern and Southern Ghanaians.
To be certain, were a scientific survey of rich and wealthy Ghanaians to be conducted as of this writing (November 11, 2012), the results are likely to stunningly indicate proportionately an even split between Northern and Southern Ghanaians. The criminal mythology of the so-called Schools-Under-Trees would be palpably exposed for the abject scandal that it veritably is.
Anyway, when Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah thumbs his nose at the Akufo-Addo-proposed fee-free public Senior High School educational policy by disdainfully, derisively and insensitively likening it to the Melcom building collapse which snuffed the lives of at least 20 Ghanaian hardworking citizens, and which may well have occurred as a direct result of official negligence on the part of the Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress, of which Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah is an active and major participant, it ought to be clear to bona fide Ghanaian citizens and voters precisely why our beloved nation is mired in the kind of socioeconomic, cultural, political and security mess in which we presently find ourselves.
Personally, I don’t find the purported apology of Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah to be either amusing or worthy of any public interest and/or attention, much less our forgiveness (See “Afriyie-Ankrah Apologizes for ‘Melcom’ Disaster Comment” (Ghanaweb.com 11/11/12). Needless to say, there are certain things that civilized people, not the least of which are politicians, simply cannot fashion downright silly jokes out of – and the Melcom tragedy is no exception. Then also, Ghanaians need to remember that it was people like the Deputy Local Government and Rural Development Minister who caused the kidnapping and brutal assassination of the three Akan-Ghanaian High Court judges and the retired Ghana Army major. And it is also because of the criminal impenitence of cynical politicians like Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah that makes it our bounden and patriotic duty to thoroughly sweep the Mahama-led so-called National Democratic Congress out of office come December 7, 2012.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. ###