Feature Article of Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
In the wake of the brouhaha over Mr. Kwame Pianim’s “Flag-holding Idiots” remark, some notable members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who have palpably contributed to the raging unsavory infighting therein have had the temerity to publicly lament the very situation which they, themselves, have helped to induce in no small measure. Interestingly, the man on whose campaign platform the reported snide remark was made does not seem to be honorable enough to come out and forcefully repudiate the same. Rather, what we have seen is the braggadocio former Korle-Bu cardiologist mischievously gloating over his new-found notoriety and smugly claiming that Mr. Pianim was quoted out of context. Intriguingly, the much-touted technology-savvy and “calm cardiologist” has yet to display any of his cardio-thoracic inventions to the Ghanaian electorate.
At any rate, on the question of rank hypocrisy among notable members of the NPP, the following two examples should suffice. One: there is this morally embarrassing case of that London-based NPP scribe – and, of course, I am using the latter terminology rather loosely – who recently launched a campaign to, supposedly, “De-Akanize” the NPP but now finds himself hopelessly in love with Dr. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a long-short presidential aspirant who has yet to convincingly prove his presidential-nomination caliber beyond his clearly modest personal achievements (for when was the last time that the Pretoria-trucking President John Mills sought treatment at the Cardio-Thoracic Ward of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital?) The glaring fact of the matter, though, is that the last time that I checked, the former Korle-Bu cardiologist was still sporting a bona fide Akan and Asante identity, rather than its Dagomba or Northern equivalent, as our genocidal media warlord would have had it. And so whatever happened to the “De-Akanization” project of Sir Dagomba Northern Nationalist? To be certain, the first time that the chap trotted out his “De-Akanization” twaddle, I snore that before anybody could pronounce “T-A-M-A-L-E,” the royal noggins of another Northerner would have been delivered on a silver platter. And here, I hasten to observe that I am not accusing anybody of regicide. I also readily own up to not possessing any vatic, or prophetic, powers whatsoever. Still, although rather regrettable to have to admit, this prediction, too, has come to pass.
But what is luridly funny about this anti-Akan warlord is his recent gratuitous assumption of the rather thankless role of “Akan Protector Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary.” Not quite awhile ago, for instance, the same Dagomba/Northern nationalist called on me to leave a stentorian political upstart who had presumed to impudently drag Mr. Kofi Annan into the Legon-Commonwealth mess alone, on the rather curious grounds that his apparently very parochial critical faculties had precluded him appreciating the trust of my article. My “un-vocalized” gut reaction had, indeed, been to call on the hip-shooting critic to go to the Butcher-of-Dzelukope for an educational refund. I was not about the masochistic business of feeling sorry for a man to whose acute intellectual density I hadn’t contributed a piddle.
Two: Then you also have this Johnny Just Come Lately on the Ghanaian political scene – actually, he is an exuberant returnee with a grossly mistaken sense of self-importance – who intemperately accused Kwame Okoampa-Agyeman of being so “disagreeable” that I tend to drunkenly envisage modern Ghanaian history from the at once “blighted” and clinically “astigmatisized” perspective of my illustrious forebears and relatives. Well, today even as I write (5/25/10), the same Quisling – or is he a Benedict Arnold – has written a vapid screed unctuously lamenting the supposedly ironic fact that while teeming throngs among the Ghanaian electorate appear poised to swinging the NPP back into the august seat of governance, the latter appears to be rather unwisely kicking and screaming against the same delectable process!
And by the way, the same purportedly conciliatory Johnny caustically damned my historically incontrovertible designation of the University of Ghana as “The Danquah Academy” as, perhaps, the most execrable anathema since the auspicious and landmark overthrow of His Pan-Africanist Majesty The Nkroful Prometheus! Interestingly, the Asebu-JFK would go on to deafeningly celebrate the renaming of the Kumasi College of Technology and Ghana’s sole mobile oil storage vessel after the African Show Boy by his ice-cutting silence. And now, even as we speak, $ 3 million (American Dollars) has been earmarked by the Mills-Mahama government for a daylong celebration of the life of the man who blindly and epically bled and bankrupted Ghana in the name of pan-African political self-aggrandizement.
At any rate, when Mr. Pianim mounts a platform and boorishly screams at the top of his voice to the risible effect that: “The NPP is not looking for a flagbearer because any idiot can hold the flag. You can find people with good analytical brains; there are those who can charm the delegates but you are not just looking for somebody who can chant slogans, we are not looking for a pretty face. [Rather] We are looking for somebody who can tackle life and death matters with calmness. Criminals would have the freedom to dictate to the security agencies and corruption would reign freely if any other aspirant is elected into office,” it is not quite clear precisely why the Asuanimpong native would have Dr. Frimpong-Boateng claim our national mantle of leadership among the reprehensible ranks of idiots who, in the opinion of Mr. Pianim, equate the mere ability to open an Electronic Mail (E-Mail) with Nuclear Physics.
And so far, it is interesting but hardly surprising to observe that about the only Ghanaians who appear to be having a ball with the Pianim “idiot” remark are either Ghanaians of Anlo-Ewe descent or diehard affiliates of the so-called National Democratic Congress. One only needs to glance at such sneeringly self-serving media captions as “Of ‘Idiots’ and a ‘Lazy’ President” and, also, “Pianim Was Right And The NPP Must Shut Up!” to draw the relevant and appropriate conclusions. Once again, here also, the “De-Akanization” warlord only saw unvarnished wisdom in the Pianim slander, as my brother Eric Bottah (Oyokoba) poignantly put it.
The tragic irony here, though, is that the Yale-educated Mr. Pianim once vied for “Chief Idiot” of the New Patriotic Party and miserably lost out to ex-President John Agyekum-Kufuor. And his sole crime for failing his idiocy test was merely that like the two-term President Dzelukope Avaklasu I, who would promptly incarcerate him for a harrowing decade, Mr. Pinaim had been charged and convicted for underwriting the attempted “legitimate” overthrow of the Anlo-Mafia capo. For the foregoing reason, some avid observers of Ghanaian politics have even suggested the possible lobotomizing of an otherwise fine development economist while Mr. Pianim was in prison. If plausible, and we have no cause believe otherwise, then this may clinically well explain the several curious public appearances that the Murdoch-in-law has reportedly made on the platform of the National Democratic Congress in recent months.
On one such occasion, Mr. Pianim is alleged to have vouched for the personal “incorruptibility” – as distinguished from “integrity” – of President John Mills. The unmistakable implication here, obviously, was that somehow, personal corruption was rank among the leadership stratum/class of the opposition New Patriotic Party, of which Mr. Pianim is supposed to be a foundation member.
*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 a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI), the pro-democracy policy think tank, and the author of 21 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: [email protected] ###