Feature Article of Sunday, 2 December 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Don’t Insult Our Intelligence, Mr. Afriyie Ankrah!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Maybe somebody ought to inform the Deputy Local Government Minister that it was his widely perceived impatience to improving the material lot of Ghanaians that caused the latter to massively vote for the then-Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP) in the heady and politically hectic period leading up to the country’s independence in 1957. Ironically, it was also the late President John Evans Atta-Mills’ own self-confessed impatience that led to the latter’s rather scandalous and profligate gifting of the whopping sum of $20 million of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money to an African-American welfare recipient resident in the State of Georgia called Mrs. Julia Cotton.

In other words, our contention here is that “impatience” is a politically relative term that can be either applied constructively – as was the case of President Nkrumah, for the most part – or nihilistically, or self-destructively, as was indisputably the case with the deceased National Democratic Congress leader and former Legon tax-law professor vis-à-vis what came to be infamously dubbed as COTTONGATE.

And so it is not clear precisely what he means, when Mr. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah imperiously asserts that Nana Akufo-Addo is too impatient to serve as President of Ghana (See “Akufo-Addo is Ill-Tempered – Afriyie-Ankrah” JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 11/29/12).

Afriyie-Ankrah’s accusation is also rather laughable, in view of the fact that his gut reaction to the tragic collapse of the Melcom Building, in which at least 18 law-abiding and hardworking Ghanaian citizens lost their lives, was to sneeringly compare it to his wish for the massive collapse of the indubitably progressive Akufo-Addo Education Initiative. But that this unconscionable character with the emotional maturity of a toddler would be appointed by President John “Little Dramani” Mahama as his national campaign coordinator, more than amply demonstrates the NDC leader’s abject lack of any remarkable and/or enviable leadership skills and/or meaningful agenda for our collective national development.

Needless to say, the very desperate pelting of students and high schools with computer laptops and buses whose budgetary sources have yet to be publicly disclosed or accounted for, ought to fully alert Ghanaian voters to the fact that like U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, other than feverishly bribing voters in his selfish and ravenously hungry bid to perennially hang on to power, Mr. Mahama cannot pinpoint any substantive and/or long-lasting projects that he has implemented for the benefit of Ghanaians.

I don’t know, for example, how one can intelligently explain the Mahama-led STX Scandal to the average Ghanaian high school student. And so, really, it is not at all surprising to hear our Caretaker-President roundly assail Nana Akufo-Addo’s proposed fee-free Senior High School policy. In essence, as the Franco-African philosopher and Nobel Literature Laureate Albert Camus once poignantly observed, what Mr. Mahama morbidly fears is a highly educated Ghanaian society that would make it absolutely impossible for bribery and corruption, of the sort that he has been dealing Ghanaian chiefs and our children and grandchildren, to thrive.

It is also rather preposterous to hear Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah carp Nana Akufo-Addo for logically and wisely calling for a systematic and thorough investigation into the Yaw Boateng-Gyan saga, in which the National Organizer of the ruling National Democratic Congress was vividly captured on audiotape conspiring with some highly positioned members of the Mahama government to cause a violent disruption of Election 2012, in order to guarantee the NDC victory at all costs.

Likewise, the Local Government second-bananas wants his audience to believe that Nana Akufo-Addo is, somehow, ill-tempered because like the vintage and veritable statesman that he is, the New Patriotic Party standard-bearer has rightly called for a prompt and thorough investigation into the alleged brutal assault of some NPP faithful by thugs and goons allegedly hired by Mr. Collins Dauda, the Asutifi-South NDC-MP who also doubles as the Transportation Minister.

In other words, for the Mahama campaign coordinator, NDC impunity is the kind of vintage harvest that Ghanaians ought to routinely and unreservedly accept as the political and cultural norm in the lead-up to Election 2012. In plain language, the only acceptable mode of behavior from members, supporters and sympathizers of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, is for the partisans of the latter to lie prostrate, or naked and face-down, while the unruly and uncouth likes of Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah rode roughshod and mightily over them. Fat chance, I dare say!

Needless to say, the preceding is one of the legion reasons why the Mahama-led Mafia Squad ought to be resoundingly booted out of the Osu Castle and Flagstaff/Jubilee House 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: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net. ###