Feature Article of Sunday, 3 February 2013
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I really couldn’t care less about the ongoing heavily blighted and outright scandalous vetting exercise in Ghana’s parliament for reasons well known to avid readers of my articles and columns. Personally, I believe that it is a fundamentally otiose exercise in futility and economic wastefulness, as the illegitimate Mahama government will sooner than most National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters and sympathizers can fathom be chucked into the proverbial dustbin of history, never to be recalled again for a long time to come.
The foregoing notwithstanding, I still feel compelled to put those petty-minded people speciously parading under the guise of refined religious and civic leadership in their place, particularly those hell-bent on savagely scapegoating the Minister-Designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection for their own personal inadequacies and moral insecurities (See “I Have Never Said That Homosexuality Should Be Promoted – Nana Oye Lithur” Peacefmonline.com 1/30/13). Other than her funny last name, for I am unabashedly an African traditional nomenclaturist, Nana Oye Lithur clearly appears to be the best qualified NDC woman for the job.
And on a good day, and in a good mood, I could even make bold to unflappably assert that she is simply the best human rights advocate for the job presently in the country. I have fairly studiously followed her fiery activism from the safe and civilized distance of my “comfortable” perch in New York City, as one of my legion critics recently snapped, for some time now and can only express my unreserved respect and admiration for my sister. I may not like the fleering bastard with whom she showers and sleeps at night, but that, of course, is my own personal bowl of “Oblayo.”
Now I don’t know about the “Social Protection” aspect of her portfolio –I thought it belonged to the Interior Minister – but if it means protecting the human and civil rights of those legally designated as LGBT, then I am all the more for her being named to the job. In other words, I would rather have Nana Oye Lithur “protect” our pretty young women from the lecherous and adulterous self-righteous pulpit pontiffs than have the latter shamelessly and hypocritically paper over their bloody crimes with the veritable red-herring that is homosexual scapegoating. And, by the way, have we finished talking about the number of clergy-induced abortion this youthful year alone?
I also happen to believe that the re-designation of the former Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Affairs by the rag-tag Mahama government is quite in good taste. Pronouncing the name of the same ministry under the Kufuor administration was rather too much of a mouthful for me – I mean, Ministry for Women’s or even Women and Children’s Affairs? That sounded a bit un-poetic and amateurish. Then again, whoever accused Ghanaian politics and Ghanaian politicians of being critical and creative thinkers when it comes to the palatable packaging of ministerial portfolios for public consumption?
In other words, the constant relabeling of ministerial sectors and portfolios almost quadrennially, or after every general election, ought to be disciplined. And on the latter score, I call on Ghana’s parliament to lay down a systematic protocol for designating and re-designating cardinal government ministries and agencies.
About the only aspect of her human rights advocacy with which I am virulently in disagreement, is Nana Oye Lithur’s rather amazingly contradictory assertion that while, indeed, as a human rights activist lawyer she believes in the right of homosexuals to be socially and/or civically protected, nevertheless, she had never publicly advocated for the legalization of homosexuality. That makes her sound quizzically schizophrenic, like most of the key NDC operatives. The fact of the matter is that here we have President Mahama promoting homosexuality – you may choose to call it “bisexuality” – by naming Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur as his running-mate and now Vice-President, and then having Nana Oye Lithur, his vanguard “protector” of the most vulnerable and marginalized in Ghanaian society, tell the world that she does not, after all, believe in the “Legal Existence of Homosexuals.” Come on, Nana Oye, get off such cheap and tawdry rhetoric of political expediency!
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of the State University of New York
Garden City, New York Jan. 30, 2013 ###