Feature Article of Saturday, 24 November 2012
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
This is funny to recall, but the initial reaction of the key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress to the Institute of Economic Affairs-sponsored presidential debates early this year began with a flat rejection of any possibility of the now-late President John Evans Atta-Mills and his then-arch-lieutenant and now President John Dramani Mahama participating in any such democratic proposition whatsoever. The reason, if memory serves me right, was an alleged NPP-biased publication on discovered on the website of the IEA by some NDC bloodhounds.
And so it must have come as a great shock and a surprise that Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the NDC’s deputy information minister, should be accusing Nana Akufo-Addo of having been gratuitously hostile and even downright “intimidating” to the moderators of the second IEA-sponsored presidential debate (See “Akufo-Addo’s Penchant for Violence Won’t Be Countenanced – Ablakwa” Radioxyzonline.com/Ghanaweb.com 11/22/12). Either the thirty-something-year-old Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa was academically recalling Mr. Rawlings’ reign-of-terror, an apocalyptic event which preceded his own birth, or the inordinately garrulous young man must have been high on some narcotic contraband.
In the main, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa claims that shortly after the conclusion of the second presidential debate, the flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had made a proverbial beeline towards the table of the debate moderators and proceeded to verbally assault them, somehow, because the former Foreign Minister, according to the deputy information capo, had been bluntly denied a rebuttal request during the closing statements’ segment of the debate.
This accusation is rather weird because even as Akufo-Addo spokesman Mr. Abu Jinapor swiftly riposted, the NPP flagbearer was simply observing protocol when he approached the table of the debate moderators to briefly chat with them (See “Nana Addo Did Not Intimidate Moderators of the IEA Debate – Aide Insists” JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 11/23/12). Anyway, not to get personal here, but among all four presidential debaters, it is Nana Akufo-Addo who sports the least threatening demeanor. The former Justice Minister also appears to be the most cordial and diplomatically poised candidate among the four. Indeed, so non-threatening is the man and his demeanor and stature that even the NDC founding-father, former President Jerry John Rawlings, once described Nana Akufo-Addo as “a dwarf who gets easily forgotten and invisible among a crowd.” Couple the foregoing with the infamous, albeit deliberately calculated, incident at the funeral of the late President Mills, during which some key NDC operatives impudently and mendaciously faulted the NPP leader for having flatly refused to pay his last respects to his deceased political arch-rival, and the sinister thrust of Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa’s charge could not be more risible and preposterous. Needless to say, the communications director of both Messrs. Mills and Mahama would rudely claim, later on, that Nana Akufo-Addo had made the rather “unwise decision” to sandwich his diminutive stature between the husky and strapping personalities of former President John Agyekum-Kufuor and Mr. Alan K. Kyerematen, the former Trade Minister.
I also don’t know, and think, that a pathological liar like Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa has any moral heft and/or credibility to call Nana Akufo-Addo’s diplomatic skills and flair for good leadership into question. For not only was the Deputy Information Minister’s characteristically curious claim that the Mills-Mahama regime had created a whopping 1.6 million jobs immediately and roundly contradicted and condemned by Mr. E. T. Mensah, the NDC’s own Labor Minister, even before citizens and government critics and professional pundits had had the chance and time to discuss the same, the rookie deputy information minister has consistently and unconscionably lied about almost everything, including the glaring streaming of Ghanaian refugees into neighboring Togo during one of the Konkomba-Nanumba interethnic clashes in the Upper-East Region, a grievous occurrence that was amply documented by the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees and duly credited by the Togolese authorities!
Now, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa is shamelessly at it again; this time the wet-eared youth is caustically impugning a United Nations Security Council report credibly indicating that, indeed, the Mahama government has been harboring a remarkable number of Ivorian rebels inside Ghanaian territory, while at the same time woefully – or even willfully – failing to effectively monitor and control the seditious and treasonable activities of these rebels and militias against the Alassane Ouattara government of the Ivory Coast.
And just what is Akufo-Addo’s fault here, in the cynical opinion of Messrs. Mahama and Okuzdeto-Ablakwa? Well, that unlike the members of the judge-killing NDC, the former General-Secretary of the Movement for Freedom and Justice (MFJ) adamantly refuses to sell his conscience in the dubious name of nationalism. Needless to say, during the second IEA-sponsored presidential debate, Caretaker-President John Dramani Mahama merely denied the UN Security Council report, rather than providing any forensically verifiable evidence in refutation of the same.
At any rate, why are ideological subscribers to the Rawlings death-squads so morbidly afraid of any possibility of engaging the war-toughened Ivorians in a hand-to-hand combat? I think I know the answer to this fitful exhibition of craven cowardliness: You see, Makola women, and wife, beaters are often innate cowards who prefer to show off their nonexistent manliness to chickens and the proverbial weaker sex.
*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: [email protected] ###