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Feature Article of Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Columnist: Adjei-Brenyah, Dennis

From Woyome/Ndc Missing Millions To Ken Agyapong And Back

: The Nexus Of Shame : BY Dennis Adjei-Brenyah

In recent times, our country has seen a measure of political tremors. The political shakes got heightened with the pre-election biometric registration of eligible voters. From a distance, this should have been a healthy, nurturing, growing democracy in motion. Happy times are here? Not really. We are experiencing frenetic high fever fits. What ought to be healthy process of growth in our political maturity level is colored—and sickened—with a truly perverse disregard of our national interest by functionaries of the main political parties. It may well be a function of party politics, without the balming interposition of necessary civility.

There is a spectacular nexus of shame linking Hon Kennedy Agyapong with the WOYOME/NDC millions-for-nothing saga that is still convulsing our country. The factual forensic revelations of the WOYOME/NDC missing millions from our national treasury, was apparently wholly captured by the Auditor’s Report (2010) but, it stayed there all quiet and frozen. It was all normal until this politician drew the nation’s attention to it. Ken Agyapong scored national visibility and credibility by exposing this now infamous gargantuan fraud euphemistically described as “judgment debt” { Please, see my other articles on this matter} He galvanized our country to resist this evil. In the process, our President was exposed as, at best, dilatory, uncertain, confused by this assault on our nation’s limited resources. At worst, our President appeared to be a clueless puppet manipulated by some unseen but, identifiable hands, with the ability and facility to dole out our country’s money-- in the millions, to the reputed NDC financier, a man who had done absolutely nothing to merit such obscene unjust enrichment at the expense of our nation. Corruption of the most bizarre and gargantuan type in our history! This was the run of the play. This was and is the national catharsis. This was our national pre occupation. The President himself described the WOYOME “thing” as “criminal”. And so it is. Criminality on his watch……and he wants to be elected again!

It is against this background that the biometric voter registration commenced. We heard echoes of violence and threats of violence. Gunshots somewhere in Kumasi by an NDC activist wounding a 12 year old boy. Then, the “official” violence in Accra. A woman politician was viciously assaulted at Ododiodiodoo. One Nii Lante Vanderpuije, an aide in the Office of the President, is believed to have orchestrated this; making statements advocating violence designed to protect his turf---a “no go” area for anybody his establishment considered an “outsider.” Here was a calling opportunity for the President to demonstrate leadership and calm the waters and win admirers in the process. No, just as in WOYOME, our President knew nothing, saw nothing, and heard nothing. And nothing upon nothing is nothing indeed!

We do have a leadership crisis. It is hurting our country……. And then, out of the blue, the individual who initially provided us all with direct-pointers to the colossal fraud inflicted upon our country by the NDC/WOYOME facilitators, said some unprintable stuff directed against sections of our people. For some unknown reason, this same Ken Agyapong has totally, unnecessarily, and harmfully----yes, detrimentally, exposed himself and our country to deleterious tribalist sentimentalism: just at the time we needed our national cohesion most, to show ourselves and the world that we are indeed one people with a common destiny.

The words attributed to him are not, repeat, NOT, “intemperate” as described by the NPP; those words are just despicable, and, “intemperate” does not do justice to the revulsion we must all have towards this kind of behavior. We must reject, unequivocally, those agents of violence who hide under the banner of divisive politics.

What I see from the likes of Agyapong is that they are unable to summon the calming imperatives of humility in leadership. Arrogance overcomes them. Thoughtfulness and civility in national discourse are jettisoned. They bring damage to themselves and all of us. They stultify the growth of our democracy. My preference would have been for the party not only to totally reject and disassociate itself from Agyapong, as the NPP has done, but to suspend him indefinitely, and make him reapply to membership, at such time as he is able to demonstrate a sense of political maturity with due regard to all Ghanaians and their rights.

The shame is that this same man: Kennedy Agyapong who gave us the direction to the WOYOME/NDC fraud, has, also, by his infantile disregard of our national goals, now provided the NDC and its hired Press, with fodder to feed on, and redirect attention away from the putrid fraud/corruption in which they are wallowing in the WOYOME matter. Just imagine this. A couple of days ago, our Vice-President had the opportunity to address chiefs from the Volta Region. Instead of addressing their many needs, he “thanked” them for not reacting to Ken Agyapong; thus, tactically nurturing and expressly promoting and fanning the ambers of tribalist sentimentalism. This extremely shameful, naked exploitation of the peoples sense of wrong done to them by Agyapong knowingly enlarges the darker perimeters of our nation. They will feed on that in order to solidify their vote-hold in that region. It may be politics handed to them by Agyapong; but it really betrays rather pitiful failure of leadership yet again. What do you really expect from desperate politicians swallowed up in the most massive incomprehensible fraud in the history of our nation. This is what Agyapong has done. That is a palpable harm to his party. There is no redeeming feature in his unworthy enterprise. Just when the people of our country of all political hues were beginning to see and understand the damage corruption at the highest levels was doing to our country, Mr Agyapong provided the NDC an access of escape, by rather violently redirecting the attention of our country to himself and his infantile and deleterious nonsense. Let it be as clear as can be: Nobody is going to harm anybody because a self-absorbed politician with his own sense of importance will seek this kind of attention for himself. And in the process provide an escape route to a thoroughly disgraced regime seeking reelection. The irony of it all. The nexus of shame.

Be that as it may, the government’s present charge of treason against the legislator is horribly misconceived. It would be laughable were it not so serious. It is my submission that it is precisely this kind of odious, perverse and idiotic---nonsensical expression (as long as it is not backed by any meaningful, purposeful action) that is and must be protected under our Constitution. There is absolutely no more fundamental human right in a democracy than the right of “free speech”. We are guaranteed that under Article 12(1) and (2) of our Constitution. Vituperative, intemperate, arrogant, tribalism-induced “ethnocentric” perversity, may be and are in fact unsavory and ill-advised, but they may not be prohibited as political expression. And, most certainly, NOT punishable as TREASON. Where the people are able to discern the hubris and idiocy as against the “wise”, we are enriched. Our present crop of politicians have many cantankerous loud-mouthed self important elements among them. They may be exposed for that; but treason? You must be kidding me. I am willing, able and ready to help to defend Ken Agyapong –for free- in order to preserve the sinews of our democracy

Yes, this politician has allowed himself to become the “poster boy” for deleterious tribalism. In a spectacular distortion of the political calculus, Agyapong has unwittingly provided attention away from the putrid affair he boldly pointed to----to his credit---and woeful discredit. We owe it to our country to redirect attention to where it truly belongs: the recovery of the stolen loot from the now known “greedy bastards” and all associated with them. The only meaningful accountability a corrupt politician understands is this: VOTED OUT and then be subjected to the CRIMINAL process and the appropriate penalties that come with it.

May be, I am too much of an “optimistic nationalistic”. I was educated in the North—Navrongo. I have eaten my share of TZ with the ANDANIS and ABUDUS at the same table ( when they exhibited no animosity to each other) at St JOHN BOSCO and then at NAVASCO. I have had my fill of pito with all and sundry at Navrongo. My best friends were from ADIDOME and PAGA and NANDOM. My first real job was as teacher at DAMONGO. By the Grace of God, I am LEGON educated/trained lawyer. At LEGON, I counted on EWES and GAS and AKANS as friends and allies. When I taught law in NIGERIA, I added YURUBAS and EFIKS/CALABAR and HAUSAS to the mix. That has been enriching Lucky me. I subscribe to civility and deliberate moderation. It is not too much to ask for civilized political discourse. We may differ in our political and ideological orientation and direction; that is expected. But, civility must be required. Allegiance to tribalist sentimentalism must be overcome. Ghanaian nationalist orientation must be sharply defined and advanced. Our future depends on it.

DENNIS ADJEI-BRENYAH is a lawyer in NEW YORK

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