Feature Article of Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

The Road to Kigali - Part 26

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

The decision by the youth wing of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Young Patriots, to pressure former President John Agyekum-Kufuor not to attend the January 7th scheduled inauguration of Mr. John Dramani Mahama ought to be unreservedly commended (See “Kufuor Under Pressure Not to Attend Mahama’s Inauguration” JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 1/3/13).

It ought to be applauded because, contrary to the press release attributed to the office of the former president, “statesmanship” requires that Mr. Kufuor, who is himself a distinguished lawyer and former parliamentary opposition whip of the ill-fated Third Republic, wait for the Supreme Court to hand down its verdict regarding the legitimacy of Mr. Mahama in holding himself up to the Ghanaian people as their democratically, and constitutionally, elected leader. We must also quickly point out that both Mr. Mahama and his former boss and predecessor, Dr. John Evans Atta-Mills, twice boycotted the inaugural ceremonies of President John Agyekum-Kufuor. In other words, the universal law of the boomerang dictates that Mr. Mahama, who is no better than Mr. Kufuor, or anybody else, for that matter, ought to be paid in kind.

What is more, the fact that the two-term former president of Ghana has publicly and categorically signed on to the NPP court challenge of the Electoral Commissioner’s fraudulent declaration of Messrs. Mahama and Amissah-Arthur as winners of the December 7-8 presidential election, makes it all the more imperative for Mr. Kufuor to stay the course by demonstrating principled and consistent leadership – that is what vintage statesmanship is veritably about. More so, when the decision of the New Patriotic Party to boycott Mr. Mahama’s inauguration was reportedly taken at the national executive level of Ghana’s main opposition party.

In other words, attending the presidential inauguration of a fraudulently crowned and legally embattled Mr. Mahama would send the wrong signal to the justices of the Supreme Court who are scheduled to hear and deliberate on the case. It would also unwisely encourage the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress to continue undermining the quality and transparency of Ghanaian democracy. And, of course, it would also clearly undermine the credibility of Mr. Kufuor who has been caustically vilified by the entire executive membership of the so-called National Democratic Congress and called names ranging from “ugly face,” courtesy of Mr. Koku Anyidoho, the notoriously supercilious communications director in the office of President Mahama, to “Kronfuo Kufuor Ataa Ayi,” courtesy of former President Jerry John Rawlings, the founding-father of the National Democratic Congress.

Curiously and interestingly, several days ago, an NDC propagandist who styles himself as “an African public intellectual” and who once accused Mr. Kufuor of having stolen public funds to renovate his private residence, was fatuously asking in a desultory article that he published on many Ghanaian-owned websites, whether Mr. Kufuor would attend the Mahama inauguration. And by the way, the same SOB has had occasion to question the sanity, intelligence and common sense of the former president.

You see, the key operatives of the NDC and their hangers-on know fully well that they have criminally breached the sacred trust and mandate of the Ghanaian electorate, and are therefore looking to ravenously grab at any lifeline that highly respected former opposition leaders like Mr. Kufuor could proffer them. Needless to say, were Mr. Kufuor to attend the clinically blighted inauguration of Mr. Mahama, this could well be used by the political opponents of Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP presidential candidate for Election 2012, as a circumstantial evidence indicative of the significant level of the lack of confidence that the former president has in the justiciability of the NPP legal challenge. And if that happens, the NPP would likely suffer a long-term vitiation of voter confidence, which could well put the main opposition party onto the primrose downward spiral of the rump-Convention People’s Party and its ilk.

It is almost certain that President Kufuor is so curiously acting as a result of external pressure from fellow African leaders like Benin’s Mr. Yayi Boni, who has already indicated that he has very little respect, if any at all, for the democratic and legitimate mandate of the Ghanaian people; and Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who appears to be more interested in the NPP’s going along just to get along with the NDC, rather than ensuring that elections conducted in the country reflect and truly represent the interests, aspirations and the will of the Ghanaian electorate.

The Young Patriots and the other factions among the ranks of the Youth Wing of the New Patriotic Party are absolutely right in attempting to forcibly prevent President Kufuor from hurting himself and his decent legacy, as well as both the short- and long-term fortunes of the New Patriotic Party. Long live a robust and functional Ghanaian democracy! Long live the house that Danquah, Dombo and Busia built! There must be justice before there can be peace!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York Jan. 3, 2013 ###