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Feature Article of Friday, 7 December 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Reject the Candidacy of Dr Oteng-Agyei

; He is a Thug!
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

You would think that a highly educated person like Dr. Joe Oteng-Agyei, the NDC Energy Minister, would know better than to hog the material achievements of the Methodist congregation of the Bosomtwi district of the Asante Region and falsely claim the same to be among the landmark achievements of the Mills-Mahama (and now Mahama-Arthur) government of the National Democratic Congress (See “Remove Our Facility from Your Achievements; Brodekwano Health Center Tells Gov’t” Modernghana.com 11/29/12).

This thuggish characteristic of the key players of the Mahama government must be clearly borne in mind by voters, as they head for the polling booth on Friday, December 7, to exercise their franchise. In particular, it amounts to a vicious act of criminality for Dr. Oteng-Agyei and the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the Bosomtwi constituency to have, allegedly, secretly photographed the Brodekwano Methodist Health Center and included the latter in a campaign brochure touting the purportedly sterling achievements of the erstwhile Mills-Mahama and now Mahama-Arthur government.

According to Mr. Edward Nti Berko, the Bosomtwi DCE, about the only contribution from the central government brought to bear on the construction and operation of the Brodekwano Methodist Health Center was a miserly toilet facility, which came well after the center was already in full operation. It thus makes perfect sense for the center’s Head of Finance and Administration, Mr. Samuel Odame, to promptly demand the immediate removal of the photograph of the Brodekwano Health Center from the NDC propaganda brochure.

But that this parasitic habit of mischievously taking credit for the yeomanly achievements of civil society groups, on the part of the “do-nothing-or-little” so-called National Democratic Congress is rather disturbing, cannot be gainsaid. Recently, for instance, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the Deputy Information Minister, drew up a list of schools that were supposed to have been removed from operating “under trees” into state-of-the-art building facilities. Interestingly, as it turned out, nearly a whopping half of the institutions listed, running in the thousands, by the self-righteous Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa and his cohorts, including the seminal Osu Presbyterian Cluster of Schools, had never either been founded under trees or housed under trees.

Justifiably faced with epic humiliation and the threat of legal action, the Deputy Information Minister and his fellow political thugs quietly withdrew the serially projected list from circulation.

What we learn here, to our great annoyance and amusement, is the fact that the Mahama-Arthur-led National Democratic Congress prefers to play fast-and-loose with the facts; and unless ferreted out and promptly challenged and exposed by vigilant, responsible and patriotic Ghanaian citizens, sooner than later such niggardly stiffing of truth and factual reality are instantly and shamelessly converted into gospel truths.

In other words, the greatest and the most morbidly feared enemies of the National Democratic Congress are truth and honesty. The Brodekwano Health Center scandal and the Okudzeto-Ablakwa-concocted list of schools under trees supposedly eliminated by the NDC government have one thread in common; and the latter regards the expedient addition of cosmetic changes to already established and operational facilities owned and maintained by civil society and religious groups, which are then deviously logged up or listed as the complete achievements of the Mills-Mahama, and now Mahama-Arthur, government, under the latter’s so-called BETTER-GHANA AGENDA.

In the case of the Osu Presbyterian Cluster of Schools, all that the NDC government had done in a couple of instances was to provide roofing sheets for the repairing of, admittedly aging but by no means uninhabitable, educational facilities.

You would think that a government that is routinely and inordinately given to staking out extravagant claims of achievements would also assiduously work diligently to match such oversized claims with deeds. That, of course, is decidedly alien to the character and culture of the NDC operatives, except for the reckless and incessant fabrication of whole cloths of lies in hopes that only a few Ghanaian citizens are likely to be vigilant in a country with a disturbingly low literacy rate like Ghana.
And the latter, of course, inescapably explains the criminally anti-intellectual stance of the Mahama-Arthur government vis-à-vis the Akufo-Addo fee-free Pre-K through 12th Grade campaign policy proposal.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Dec. 5, 2012
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