Feature Article of Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

The Road to Kigali - Part 19

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

I don’t know that Dr. Tony Aidoo throws any legitimate challenge at the estranged founding-father of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), when the Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency accuses his former boss of having a “bad conscience,” because former President Jerry John Rawlings has dared to demand that President John Dramani Mahama set up an independent commission of investigators to enquire into widespread allegations of a rigged Election 2012 (See “Rawlings Must Examine His Conscience” Ghanaweb.com 12/17/12).

I personally do not find Mr. Rawlings’ call to be any particularly productive or even useful, short of the obvious political opportunity that it offers both Mr. Mahama and the National Democratic Congress by way of deviously enabling the government and the ruling party to stage-manage the outcome of such investigation.

In other words, NDC hacks like Dr. Tony Aidoo are too busy being paranoid and unnecessarily resentful of Ghana’s longest-ruling dictator to appreciate the face-saving assistance that the latter is attempting to offer them. One does not need a college degree to realize the stark fact that the Mahama posse has a far better chance in attempting to stage-manage their flagrant rigging of Election 2012 through the deft and expedient use of an Executive Instrument than any protestations before the Supreme Court, the destination that the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party intends to take their case.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Mr. Rawlings waited for the NPP stalwarts to make their intentions of seeking judicial redress public before making his otherwise strategically preemptive and expedient suggestion, by which time the NDC clearly appears to have been outmaneuvered. In short, had Mr. Mahama promptly established a commission of enquiry to probe allegedly widespread irregularities attending Election 2012, the Supreme Court may well have ordered the plaintiffs to wait out the findings of the Commission of Inquiry before proceeding with their suit. That, of course, would have enabled the Mahama-Arthur government to buy enough strategic time to facilitate the vitiation or steaming down of the NPP grievance.

To be certain, the problem would not have gone away, but the possibility of the NPP’s having the results of Election 2012 either overturned or reversed would have been remarkably reduced. Nana Akomea’s recent pronouncement to the effect of the NPP’s seeking a runoff did not cast the fortunes of the main opposition party in good light, although the joining of the fray by such minority parties as the Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings-led National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Nduom-led Progressive People’s Party (PPP) strengthens the hand of the NPP.

Needless to say, Dr. Aidoo boxes himself into a corner when he cynically accuses Mr. Rawlings of creating the impression, by the use of the verbal-noun of “investigation,” that “the elections were deliberately mismanaged for the purpose of facilitating the victory of the NDC.” You see, the question that a jittery and paranoid Dr. Aidoo fails to address here is the inescapable fact of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and his staff of the Electoral Commission having grossly and shamefully mismanaged Election 2012. Now, whether such mismanagement was willfully fraudulent, or deliberate, remains to be determined by the Supreme Court. At any rate, it squarely falls outside the purview of his policy-monitoring portfolio for Dr. Aidoo to presume to decide for Ghanaian citizens and voters whether, indeed, such managerial deficiency, or incompetence, on the part of the EC was a veritable act of human error – a normative occurrence – or a clearly inexcusable case of sheer incompetence. The preceding squarely falls under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Well, calling Mr. Rawlings’ conscience into question and at the same time implying that the man who largely made Dr. Aidoo the remarkable political force that he is today has something heinous to hide from Ghanaians, equally calls into question the conscience and integrity of Mr. Rawlings’ accuser. The fact of the matter is that if the man who dominated the country’s politics and culture for two protracted decades were such an incorrigible and pathological reprobate, as the presidential-policy monitor claims, why would Dr. Aidoo consent to work for Mr. Rawlings for terms as a devout second-bananas to at least two cabinet appointees?

In other words, does Dr. Aidoo know about the age-old maxim which runs as follows: “Show me your friend, and I will show you the type of person and character that you are”? I also don’t know that any man who blindly and fanatically follows and champions the political agenda of a “soulless” boss, or mentor, has any soul of his own that is worthy of our recognition, respectability and/or appreciation.

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

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

Dec. 27, 2012