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Opinions of Monday, 13 February 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

These NDC apologists make me wince


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

If the real intention of Dr. Valerie Sawyer, the former Deputy Chief-of-Staff and Policy Adviser to former President John Dramani Mahama, was to insult the intelligence of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with her rather rambling and desultory and substantively vacuous article captioned “Fast as Lightning” (MyJoyOnline.com 2/8/17), the author could have achieved just that in less than half the space it took her to pointlessly rant about the constitutionality of promptly issuing termination letters to tens of CEOs of publicly owned companies and corporations. Then also, splitting hairs over precisely which categories of CEOs warranted being classified as “government appointees” and which could best be characterized as “public servants,” did little to advance her cause and/or objective.

Ultimately, Dr. Sawyer could have more creditably acquitted herself with her subject of disquisition if she had systematically recounted and meticulously documented the process by which Messrs. John Evans Atta-Mills, deceased, and John Mahama had terminated CEOs appointed by the Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) by the close of the 2008 presidential election. To cut to the chase, what the sometime Mahama Chief-of-Staff second-bananas and policy wonk ought to have focused her attention on, ought to have been what President Akufo-Addo is presently doing vis-à-vis the termination of CEOs of state-owned companies and corporations that is strikingly different from the way and manner in which the same process was executed by his predecessors. Her gaping failure to do so leaves the critically-thinking reader wondering whether any National Democratic Congress’ apologist of her caliber and stature could be more disingenuous and hypocritical.

It goes without saying that the issue at stake here is not whether President Akufo-Addo and his appointees and legal advisers are accurately interpreting Act 845 of the Presidential Transition Act, or which sections of this Act pertain to which categories of CEOs, but rather the protocol that has been followed by successive Fourth-Republican administrations. Attempting to make Nana Akufo-Addo an exception to the rule, either because the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice appears to be lenient or even-minded, could not be more absurd. But what is even more significant to observe here is the imperious sense of entitlement which makes these NDC-appointed CEOs believe that they can flout established protocol with impunity.

This boorish attitude towards the rule of law, of course, began with the flat refusal by the then-Interim President John Dramani Mahama to vacate his official vice-presidential residence and relocate to the Flagstaff House, in the wake of the passing of the man he would ungratefully and virulently criticize for having contemptuously selected him as his running-mate, a rather kindly and magnanimous political gesture which the former Rawlings Communications Minister disdainfully characterized as “a presidential spare tire.” One senses the same tone of arrogance and amused contempt in Dr. Sawyer’s poor excuse of a constitutionally analytical article.

Well, she asked for this without any personal act of provocation against her, so let me give it to her in plain language. The fact of the matter is that whatever the shortcomings of President Akufo-Addo vis-à-vis the behemoth expanse of the law may be, the man has an erudite bevy of legal and economic advisers whose collective epistemic breadth and depth can scarcely be imagined by Dr. Sawyer, let alone for her to cavalierly presume to assay or evaluate. We can also readily gauge the extent of her legal expertise by where the Mahama Posse finds itself presently. A classical proverbial case of Queenmother Naked’s promise to her subjects of a bolt of cloth.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

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