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Opinions of Sunday, 1 August 2010

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe,

Quashigah Requires Immediate Psychiatric Examination!

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

There is an Akan dictum which counsels against unproductive engagement of arrant fools in dialogical debates of moment. It roughly and tersely translates as follows: “The gratuitous insult of his/her intellectual superiors by a certified fool is insufferably painful.”
Listening to the propaganda secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) recently, I couldn’t help but recognize the uncannily striking relevance of the afore-quoted dictum, particularly vis-à-vis Mr. Richard Quashigah’s rather obtuse attempt to justify the soundly rejected NDC-STX racket, in which the Atta-Mills government slavishly tried to mortgage Ghana’s economic future to a no-name and reputable-profile lacking and desperately struggling South Korean construction firm (See “Quashigah: NPP Are Enemies of Progress” 7/29/10).
There are two issues at stake here that need to be promptly addressed, or at least brought to satisfactory closure, before Ghana’s parliament could be aptly said to have creditably acquitted itself in attempting, for the second time around, to approve the NDC-STX deal.
First is the widely alleged acceptance of payolas, or bribes deftly disguised as gifts, in the form of hi-tech toys by some 12 members of a government negotiating team, including Vice-President John Dramani Mahama, from the STX contractor in Seoul, South Korea. The so-called gifts, we are told, amounted to nearly $ 3,000 per head. In sum, it direly appears that having quixotically committed themselves to a deal that indisputably makes an epic laughing stock of our collective national intelligence to the rest of the proverbial international community, the cynical NDC operatives feel compelled to stick to the amorphous terms of the flagrantly exploitative Korean game plan.
Needless to say, what we rather ought to be discussing right now, is the imperative establishment of an independent investigative panel to look into this bribery scandal. And for swifter and more credible outcome, perhaps, the case had best be referred to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). And should any unbecoming act of ethical breach be uncovered then, of course, one would expect the players involved to be promptly and harshly dealt with.
Indeed, it clearly appears as if the NDC parliamentary posse is vigorously and shamelessly attempting to deviously finesse the rule of law and accountability by distractively and disruptively “re-presenting” the same slavocratic NDC-STX racket for ratification by the people’s representatives. We find this arrogant and stubborn assay at treachery by the “Cash-and-Carry Socialists” to be indescribably offensive, and that is being painstakingly diplomatic.
The second aspect of the NDC-STX deal that needs to be fore-grounded is the characteristically criminal attempt by the Rawlings Gang to use strong-arm tactics of intimidation and outright cynicism to ram a project that is far more likely to aggravate the country’s acute housing deficit than remarkably meliorate it down the throat of the diligent but woefully underpaid Ghanaian worker.
Indeed, it would have come off as rather funny to hear Mr. Quashigah pontifically accuse the Danquah-Busia camp of unpatriotically stalling Ghana’s material progress under the ineffably venal and extortionate regime of the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP), were such accusation not based on unpardonable ignorance of the stark facts of history, particularly regarding the veritable white elephant that was the profligate construction of the (Albert) Kitson-conceived Akosombo Dam and the Tema pseudo-industrial township, to name just two of the most obvious examples (See Apter’s Ghana in Transition and a comprehensive analysis of the foregoing in my series of articles titled “When Dancers Play Historians And Thinkers,” shortly to be compiled and edited into a book-length treatise with a different title).
But, perhaps, the most obvious and immediate instance of unpardonable regression to offer Mr. Quashigah is the massive and criminally corrupt liquidation of the entirety of the CPP-minted Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC) by the Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress. What needs to be emphasized here is the unconscionable sale of seminal public ventures at well below market prices to self-righteous and stentorian “social democrats,” including Mr. Rawlings and his wife, deviously parading under the guise of the so-called 31st December Women’s Movement and other aliases, we learn.
By the way, the best method by which to test the validity or abject invalidity of Mr. Quashigah’s thesis of NPP’s supposed negative stance against progress, is to draw a balance sheet of palpable national development projects under 21-plus years of P/NDC rule and 10-and-half years of N/PP governance. I bet if he is possessed of any modicum of gumption, Mr. Quashigah would promptly apologize for having made such an epic fool of himself and the party of heartless journeymen and women that he represents; and then, for good measure, honorably resign. On the latter score, however, I am not holding my breath.

*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 a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author of 21 books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (, 2005). E-mail: