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Opinions of Monday, 25 January 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Tawiah-Boateng, the Attorney-General is Fante, not Akyem

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Jan. 17, 2016

In principle, I am not really interested in the statistical distribution of the ethnic and cultural identities of the Mahama cabinet. They are, nearly to a person, as good as useless. Nevertheless, if anybody decides to take on this patently treacherous, albeit a not wholly insignificant, question, particularly one who also describes himself as the ruling party’s boss in one of the most economically significant and productive regions of the country, then, by all means, let that person get his facts and figures accurately. And here, of course, my unmistakable reference is to Mr. Bismark Tawiah-Boateng, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

By the way, this is not the very first time that I have been forced to cross swords with Mr. Tawiah-Boateng. In the latest instance, the man wants all Ghanaians and the rest of the world to believe that the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin, II, is being miserly with the truth when the Paramount King of Akyem-Abuakwa observes the incontestable fact that President John Dramani Mahama has not leveled up with Okyeman as he ought to, vis-à-vis his cabinet appointments (See “Appreciate Mahama’s Appointments of Akyems in Gov’t – E/R NDC Replies Okyehene [sic]” 1/18/16).

It is quite obvious that Mr. Tawiah-Boateng is not an Okyeni – not that it would matter anyhow – which is why he is able to so shamelessly lie through his teeth by claiming that Attorney-General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong is of Akyem descent. Well, I happen to be personally acquainted with somebody who attended both secondary school and the University of Ghana with Mrs. Appiah-Oppong (nee Marietta Brew). Take this from me, Mr. Tawiah-Boateng, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice is a bona fide Fante-descended woman. I am, however, reliably informed that Mrs. Appiah-Oppong’s husband comes from my community in Ghana. And so, I guess you can fairly describe her as a bona fide Fante woman who delightfully sleeps Akyem.

By Akan tradition and custom, her conjugal affiliation with Mr. Appiah-Oppong notwithstanding, the former Ms. Marietta Brew is still a bona fide Fante, not an Okyeni even by osmosis, if the virulent and calculatedly mendacious critic knows what I mean. Indeed, going by such weird logic, one could also aptly describe the Education Minister, Mrs. Naana Opoku-Agyeman, the former Vice-Chancellor of Cape Coast University, as an Okyeni because Naana was once married to Prof. Opoku-Agyeman, a native of Akyem-Tafo, whom I personally had the chance to meet in 1989 at the City College of the City University of New York, during the Langston Hughes Festival, I believe.

And by the way, a Deputy Regional Minister is not a cabinet appointee, as is also Nana Adusei-Peasah, the Akyem-Tafohene, who is described as the Regional Chairman of the Lands Commission, and who does not seem to have been very effective in that capacity, gauging by Mr. Mahama’s own description of Akyem-Abuakwa as the “Galamsey Capital of Ghana.” The two Messrs. Smith are, respectively, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States and the UK. They work directly under the emotionally jejune and grossly incompetent Ms. Hanna Tetteh, and so I find Mr. Tawiah-Boateng’s implicit description of these two gentlemen as cabinet appointees to be deeply offensive. And by the way, these two lost souls are also my relatives via Akyem-Asiakwa.

We also know that Mr. Julius Debrah, the Presidential Chief-of-Staff, was recently named to the position as a strategic token and a lurid means of courting the Akan vote. Whether this tacky strategy would work is also another question altogether. Suhum is, of course, traditionally the “commercial village” of the Chief of Akyem-Apedwa, as ironic as this may sound; however, the last time that I checked, it was classified as one of the Akuapem constituencies.

Now, I am not in the hair-splitting habit of differentiating Akuapems from Akyems. We are essentially the same people. Nonetheless, there are some geopolitical truths than cannot be lightly glossed over.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs