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Opinions of Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Prof. Atta-Mills' "Tsika-Petro" Myth

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

On a whirlwind tour of the Western Region last Wednesday (June 25, 2008), the perennial flagbearer of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) exposed himself for what he has always been known to be, a brazen liar in the mask of a humble man. Facing the citizens of Elubo, the former University of Ghana Law School professor appeared to confuse the role of the Ghanaian judiciary with that of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Consequently, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills had the temerity to tell his audience that rather than sending him to prison, where his arrival is already 6 years behind schedule, the convicted scam-artist and ex-CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Tsatsu “People’s Court” Tsikata, ought to have been placed on the list of the nearly 250 Ghanaians and foreigners who (at the time of this writing 6/26/08) were due to be honored on July 3, 2008, by President John Agyekum-Kufuor.

And could anybody blame the man who unconscionably collaborated with Mr. Jeremiah “Every Lizard Can Be President of Ghana” John Rawlings in, literally, running the Ghanaian economy aground, for precisely the same reason that the former Ghana Air Force pilot ousted the democratically elected government of Dr. Hilla Limann’s People’s National Party (PNP), namely, Dr. Limann’s alleged intention of introducing the IMF/World Bank’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) into the country? For not only was Prof. Atta-Mills originally listed among the ranks of recipients scheduled to receive national honors from a lame-duck President Kufuor, the Rawlings lickspittle was also expected to receive the second highest honor to be doled out by the President.

On Wednesday (June 25, 2008) though, Prof. Atta-Mills decided to, once again, insult the intelligence of potential Nzemaland voters by preposterously suggesting that Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata was, indeed, singularly responsible for the work of the petroleum-prospecting companies that recently discovered huge reserves of “Black Gold” off the coast of Cape-Three-Points, as well as elsewhere in the region.

Perhaps somebody ought to enlighten Prof. Atta-Mills about the verifiable historical fact of petroleum prospecting far predating both governments of the so-called Provisional National Democratic Congress (P/NDC). And precisely what Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, a character with absolutely no prior managerial experience, whatsoever, did to make the discovery of petroleum possible in Ghana, while he was CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), was not expatiated upon by the P/NDC presidential candidate; and neither did anyone among his audience, to be certain, expected the nauseatingly politically docile Prof. Atta-Mills to corroborate his “Tsika-Petro” myth.

But that the P/NDC Presidential Candidate should show absolutely no respect for the rule of law and order, ought to give potential Ghanaian voters a moral pause in the run-up to Election 2008. In the wake of Justice Henrietta Abban’s professionally savvy and courageous sentencing of Mr. Tsikata to 10 years’ imprisonment, Prof. Atta-Mills, who ought to have known better was, predictably, seen diffidently tugging at the pants of the pistol-packing Flt.-Lt. Jeremiah “Any Lizard Can Be President of Ghana” John Rawlings, as the two led an unruly bunch of flunkies and hangers-on in besieging the hallowed and august premises of the Supreme Court of Ghana. And maybe we need not blame this bumbling Professor-Would-Be-President too much, since President Agyekum-Kufuor has, himself, done more than enough executive undermining to ensure that the country’s judiciary would not be any highly prized.

On Wednesday also, the former tax-law lecturer was busy hoodwinking Nzema voters about the purportedly unprecedented love that the Provisional National Democratic Congress leaders had for the unalloyed culture of democracy and good governance. But Prof. Atta-Mills also wasted no breath in hypocritically lamenting the fact that Ghana “has not fittingly honored its first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah[,] despite the sacrifices [that] he made to gain independence for the country” (Ghana News Agency June 26, 2008). Perhaps, a serious student of postcolonial Ghanaian politics ought to have asked Prof. Atta-Mills precisely why it took the resources of at least two foreign governments, namely, Libya and China, I believe, to erect the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. Which only makes it imperative for the people of the Western Region, particularly Nzemaland, to recognize the profuse promises of the P/NDC flagbearer for what they veritably are, sheer cant and chicanery!

On Wednesday also, the Axim-to-Paga-trotting Prince-of-Peace promised to “set up a plant to manufacture fertilizer in the Western Region[,] using [,of course,] oil and gas that have been found there, [and also] upgrade and modernize the Kikam Technical Institute [, as well as] resuscitate the Essiama Oil Mills.” Perhaps somebody ought to ask Prof. Atta-Mills exactly what prevented his P/NDC government from effectuating all these projects during the two decades that these scam-artists lorded it over Ghanaians like divine providence. And just what makes Prof. Atta-Mills conclude that the good and longsuffering people of the Western Region need his help with both the development of their oil wealth, as well as the uses to which incomes accruing form the latter ought to be put?

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author, most recently, of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/, 2008). E-mail:

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