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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Mu-Awia Zakaria’s propaganda piece does not cut it

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
October 22, 2016

I prefer not to get involved in the fraught controversy of whether, indeed, the administrative performance of President John Dramani Mahama adequately reflects the much-touted claim by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it is the “natural home” of the ordinary Ghanaian citizen of northern descent. But, fortunately or unfortunately, my chance reading of a quite interesting article posted on the website by a Dr. Mawia (Mu-Awia) Zakaria, who describes himself as the Executive Director of the Institute of Social Research and Development (SRAD), piqued my attention in no small measure, particularly the author’s rather cavalier assertion that, somehow, Ghanaians of northern ethnicity or ethnic descent who are members, supporters and sympathizers of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia ideological camp are subscribers of a “political grouping which historically has done nothing for the North” (See “Rebuttal: You Love Northerners, But What’s There to Show?” 10/22/16). I must promptly bring it to the attention and understanding of the abjectly cynical and cavalier Dr. Zakaria that even when the erstwhile Northern Territories were separately governed from the rest of the Gold Coast Colony and the Asante Federation, Dr. J. B. Danquah was an outspoken statesman-legislator for the fundamental civil and human rights of Ghanaians of northern descent.

This is not related, but recently I was greatly amused to come across an article characteristically incoherently patched together by one of those noetic fanatical Nkrumaists, in which the clearly confused and grossly misinformed writer claimed that the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian Politics did absolutely nothing for the people of Akyem-Abuakwa who sponsored the great thinker’s education at the University of London, almost as if Dr. Danquah was some tribal warlord than the veritable statesman, scholar, poet-playwright, lawyer and erudite philosopher and theorist that he was. The writer also thought that he was doing the immortalized Doyen a great favor by acknowledging that, indeed, Danquah had attended the University of London. Maybe this congenital ignoramus may do himself and his ilk great good by finding out why Ghanaian cocoa farmers “knighted” Danquah as “Akuafo Kanea” or the guiding light and spirit of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer.

The poor soul also went on to claim that “Journalist Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr” had written and published an article in the New York Times in March 1999 titled “When Human Dignity is Besieged: An Afrocentric Critique of the Diary of Anne Frank.” I hereby challenge the Boko Haram Pseudo-Scholar to promptly reproduce the said article or presentation. You see, I have made it a matter of principle not waste my time, your time, my dear reader, and undue media space correcting and revising the patent guff that some of these barely literate Boko Haram faux-scholars cut-and-paste on the web about me. Decidedly, every one of these “remediation-level” articles reflects the scabrous mindset of the writers and their sponsors than yours truly.

For the most part, the article to which Dr. Zakaria has his name appended, almost as if it were the veritable product of his own research, reads pretty much like one that was hurriedly cut and pasted, perhaps in a bid to swiftly responding to Mr. Manasseh Awuni Azure, the JoyNews’s senior broadcast journalist and columnist’s caustic assertion that the overall performance of the Mahama-led regime of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) leaves much to be desired. I have not read the Manasseh article to which Dr. Zakaria claimed to be responding to, but there are several aspects of the SRAD director’s article which struck me as decidedly disingenuous, if also because the author conveniently and impudently attempts to cannibalize the achievements of some of the leaders of the very same “ideological grouping” he so smugly claims to have done absolutely nothing for Ghanaians of northern descent by attributing them to the Mahama government.

For instance, Dr. Zakaria, under the bolded subheading of “President Mahama And Leap 1000,” disingenuously attributes to the self-styled Northern Redeemer this poverty alleviation program that was originally designed and fairly successfully executed by the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and not the National Democratic Congress, as the author would have his readers believe.

My terse response to Dr. Zakaria on this count is that there is absolutely no evidence of the establishment of the sort of social intervention program being mischievously attributed to President Mahama on the record-of-achievements list of the National Democratic Congress prior to the advent of the Kufuor government. Among the Akan majority populace of Ghana, there is a maxim that runs as follows: “You may not like the duiker (or antelope), but you must except its graceful gait.”

Simply put, his evidently pet aversion for the leaders of the New Patriotic Party notwithstanding, Dr. Zakaria ought to be honest enough not to scandalously blind himself to the fact of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia camp’s having done far more to improve the quality-of-life of northern Ghanaians than any other ideological grouping, most especially the Rawlings-founded ruling National Democratic Congress.

Then also, it is rather pathetic for the director of SRAD to deviously credit the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to the National Democratic Congress, the immitigably unconscionable and cynical creators of the globally notorious Cash-and-Carry healthcare regime instead of the rightful creators of the scheme, to wit, the Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party.

But, of course, it is quite understandable that any propaganda shill or front-man for the NDC should be forced to conveniently concoct a practically nonexistent list of achievements for his paymasters, by deliberately and cavalierly denuding his ideological opponents of the same. And since he has decided to make both geographical location and, by extension, ethnicity a major factor in the equation of the distribution of development projects, we are forced to remind Dr. Zakaria that it was Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, an ethnic Akan and a bona fide Asante, who built the Tamale Government Hospital, presently renamed the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), and not even the supposedly all-inclusive Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP) regime. I am quite certain that a careful examination of the remarkable contribution of the short-lived Busia-led Progress Party (PP) government to the rural development of the so-called Three Northern Regions is apt to put the likes of Dr. Zakaria to shame.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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