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Opinions of Saturday, 5 November 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe,

Ohene-Djan Redux

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The caption of this column is not what you may be thinking about. It is not a tribute to the legendary Nkrumah ministerial appointee. No! Rather, in classical Shakespearean parlance, it is about how the one or two evil things that otherwise great and good men, and women too, of course, do continue to survive them long after such good and great souls have departed the world and our national political scene.

Well, for those of our readers who may not remember the man after whom the Accra Sports Stadium was renamed, Mr. Ohene-Djan has been recognized as perhaps the most dynamic Sports Minister in contemporary Ghanaian soccer history.

Alas, like all fallible humans, including President Kwame Nkrumah, to whom the Akuapem-Aburi native devoutly served, Mr. Ohene-Djan had a downside to his otherwise yeomanly and brilliant political career. He would spend some time in prison for conspiring to keep a remarkable amount of some old currency notes whose destruction he had been charged to oversee or supervise.

Maybe it was this scandalous aspect of the political career of the man which the apparently hallucinating National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament, Mr. Adams Nuhu, was wistfully recalling at an electioneering campaign rally recently, when the Awutu-Senya East parliamentary representative had the impudence to suggest that the New Patriotic Party leaders had deliberately kept some of the old cedi notes in the aftermath of the redenomination of our national legal tender, which the abjectly poor performance of the Rawlings-led regime of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had effectively reduced to what post-depression America economics experts call “Shinplaster.”

And so, really, what we ought to be talking about presently is the extent to which the post-Kufuor NDC governments of Presidents John Evans Atta-Mills, late, and John Dramani Mahama have improved upon the value of the fairly strong cedi currency bequeathed these two leaders and Ghanaians, at large, upon the exit of Mr. Kufuor in January 2009.

Instead, we have Mr. Nuhu, staunchly backed by the Central Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Mr. Daniel Allotey-Jacobs, lying to his Awutu-Senya East constituents and the nation at large that, somehow, in the wake of the cedi’s redenomination exercise, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and his associates had hidden some of the old currency notes at Nsawam, in the Eastern Region, and used the aforesaid stolen money to fund the New Patriotic Party’s electioneering campaign (See “Tell Us Where You Burnt the Old Currency – Allotey-Jacobs to Bawumia” / 10/25/16).

There are several problems with this indubitably outrageous kind of political mendacity, also popularly known as propaganda spiel. One, if, indeed, Messrs. Allotey-Jacobs and Adams Nuhu really wanted to know the truth regarding where the officially withdrawn old cedi notes “were burnt,” the latter quote is their own exact words, by the way, these two NDC apparatchiks could readily have contacted Dr. Paul Acquah, who was the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and Dr. Bawumia’s immediate superior at the time.

What is more, like both Messrs. Allotey-Jacobs and Nuhu, Dr. Acquah hails from Winneba, in the Central Region. Dr. Acquah was likely the official who issued the instructions regarding what to do with the old proscribed and withdrawn currency notes, although the extant Finance Minister is more likely to have issued such an order.

The wonder here, though, regards why it has taken these two NDC operatives more than a decade to query where the old cedi notes had been discarded or “burnt.” What further complicates matters here regards why Mr. Nuhu, who is the incumbent NDC-MP for Awutu-Senya East, has never mustered the courage of his convictions, assuming that, indeed, he is endowed with an adequate modicum of the latter human faculty, to raise this critical issue on the august floor of the House.

Mr. Nuhu also claims that his “sources,” whoever they may be, provided him with such information. And so maybe, for the sake of truth and fairness, one or two of his main political opponents may need to summon Mr. Nuhu before the full-membership of the House to explain himself. And if he is unable to provide the requisite evidence to back up his patently seditious allegation, the Awutu-Senya East MP will have to be subjected to the most severely appropriate disciplinary sanctions.

Of course, anybody who has studiously followed the internal politics of the New Patriotic Party, especially the relationship between a lame-duck President Kufuor and the 17 NPP presidential aspirants, and subsequently Nana Akufo-Addo, fully knows that even if any of the old cedi notes had been stashed anywhere, the least likely candidate to have generously benefited from the same would have been the former Foreign Minister and New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Akyem-Abuakwa South, the proximity of the alleged location of the stolen currency notwithstanding. Another quite pertinent question here, though, is why Nsawam?

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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