Feature Article of Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

The Road to Kigali - Part 20

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

The abject desperation of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) knows no bounds, and the recent burglarizing of the law offices of Ms. Gloria Akuffo, the lead attorney representing the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in their lawsuit against the NDC is a striking instance of such desperation. In the latest break-in allegation, the unknown criminal suspects are reported to have made away with a laptop belonging to one of the junior lawyers on Ms. Akuffo’s NPP Legal Team (See “Criminals Won’t Succeed in Getting NPP Evidence – Gloria Akuffo” Ghanaweb.com 12/17/12).

And here also must be recalled the fact that two weeks ago, the National Democratic Congress government used the coercive apparatus of the State – in the form of an elite swat team of the Ghana Police Service – to ransack the official headquarters of the main opposition New Patriotic Party. In that swoop, also, the agents of “legitimate burglary,” about one-hundred of them, were reported to have carried away several laptop computers and some paper documents. That the raid followed closely on the heels of the NPP’s decision to contest the results of Election 2012 in the Supreme Court of Ghana, made the operation all the more suspicious. In reality, though, it bore the salient and characteristic markings of NDC intimidation tactics; for we are further informed that the storm troopers ordered the inhabitants of the NPP headquarters to prostrate themselves and stay still for the duration of the raid or suffer summary execution.

The Accra police have since denied any occurrence of the aforesaid incident, against the highly credible testimony of Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the founding-architect of Databank, Ghana’s equivalent of the New York Stock Exchange, who was present, or on site, when the legally unwarranted raid was carried out. I am also quite certain that the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress, both at the party’s headquarters and at the seat of government, do not need me to categorically inform them that the members, supporters and sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party have emotionally and psychologically matured far beyond the kind of crude and primitive harassment and intimidation tactics applied in the raid. And maybe it is about time that somebody apprised them of the unmistakable fact of the year 2012 being temporally far in advance of the reign-of-terror that gripped the country for some 15 years, between 1951 and 1966, when “proprietary governance” was the name of the game.

Gratuitous and vacuous intimidation tactics and all, what is, nevertheless, rather risible about the burglarizing of Ms. Akuffo’s Pyramid House offices regards the apparent Stone-Age mentality of the criminal suspects vis-à-vis the “globalized” culture of the Internet Information Era, or the global manner in which vital information is stored these days. What enthused me more than anything else, however, is the inimitable poise with which the NPP legal team maven handled the incident.

Speaking to Mr. Charles Addo-Darko, a reporter, this is what Ms. Akuffo had to tell the well-meaning Ghanaian public: “At this stage, you can’t rule out anything, but I can be categorical [in saying that] if anybody is looking for something on me because I am chairing the legal committee [of the NPP], they won’t find anything, because I don’t have anything either here or at home. If [evidence pertaining to our judicial contest] is what [those burglars] were looking for, then they have found nothing of that nature.”

I, personally, am of the quite quizzical opinion that having perhaps run out of anymore laptops with which to bribe Ghanaian voters, even as they did in the heated lead-up to Election 2012, and eerily faced with the certain and imminent possibility of being judicially and practically vanquished, the key operatives of the NDC have brazenly embarked on the nitwit project of robbing Peter to pay Paul. And, by the way, the name of my attorney is Peter. And I can unreservedly vouch for the fact that Peter is no pushover at all.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Dec. 28, 2012