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Opinions of Saturday, 2 July 2011

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

A Bold-Faced Lie!!!

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

When Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa asserts that the Atta-Mills government has absolutely no vested interest in who gets enstooled Paramount King of the Gas, he grossly misstates the reality surrounding the raging Ga chieftaincy crisis (See “We Don’t Care Who Is Ga-Mantse – Ablakwa” 6/18/11).
Mr. Ablakwa woefully understates the reality, because the recent destoolment of Nii Tackie Tawiah III was publicly joined by at least one prominent member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. Josiah Aryeh (See “Destooling Nii Tackie Tawiah Was Legitimate” 6/18/11). The latter, who is a lawyer for the newly installed Ga-Mantse, Nii Tackie Adama Latse II, and a former General-Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, has gone on public record as personally accusing the erstwhile Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of having engineered the allegedly questionable enstoolment of Nii Tackie Tawiah III.
Interestingly, in his latest comment on the issue, Mr. Ablakwa exonerates the former president completely from any accusations regarding his alleged involvement in the enstoolment of Nii Tackie Tawiah III, and actually lauds Mr. Kufuor for taking the high road of executive non-involvement in the Ga chieftaincy affair. On the latter commendation, this is what had to report: “Mr. Ablakwa said that it was extremely important for [the] government and Gas in particular to be guided by the wise counsel of former President Kufuor on the matter of a Ga-Mantse in 2007.”
And further: “According to the Deputy Minister, Mr. Kufuor told a delegation from the Ga state which had gone to the Osu Castle to invite him to the coronation of King Tackie Tawiah III, that ‘all impediments must be removed before he could join the Ga Traditional Council with the authority of the State to share in the joy of the enstoolment.”
Interestingly, also, Mr. Ablakwa notes that despite the wise counsel of then-President Kufuor, who had not attended the coronation of King Tackie Tawiah III, almost all the major political parties in the country “had some leading members who are Gas playing key roles in the Ga-Mantse issue,” with the unsavory result that even some high ranking members in the Kufuor government had defied their boss’ advisory.
The preceding notwithstanding, what we know for a fact is that at the time of his unorthodox destoolment, Nii Tackie Tawiah and his rivals had a hearing pending before the Greater-Accra Regional House of Chiefs. Significantly, in endorsing the forcible destoolment of the sitting Ga chieftain, Dr. Aryeh, the former NDC General-Secretary, had contemptuously condemned the allegedly snail-paced manner in which the statutorily mandated Greater-Accra Regional House of Chiefs was going about its deliberations on the matter.
In other words, for Dr. Aryeh, it was perfectly legitimate for the partisans of Nii Tackie Adama Latse to have forced their way into the Ga-Mantse’s palace at Kaneshie and illegitimately and illegally asserted their occupancy. Needless to say, it was to the foregoing effect that Mr. Ablakwa ought to have addressed the government’s riposte. In essence, whether the Mills-Mahama administration, indeed, has absolutely no vested interest in whoever is enstooled Ga-Mantse could have been more credibly asserted by counseling the partisans of the newly installed Ga-Mantse, including Dr. Josiah Aryeh, to abide by the constitutional rules mandating solely the Greater-Accra Regional House of Chiefs to reserve the final judgment over who qualifies to be enstooled King of the Gas, no matter how snail-paced critics may deem the operational manner or mode by which the Greater-Accra Regional House of Chiefs went about its deliberations.
But that the Mills government may not be telling Ghanaians the whole truth about its involvement, or non-involvement, in the Ga chieftaincy crisis was best captured by former Attorney-General Ayikoi Otoo who served under the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP). For Mr. Otoo, the government’s glaring failure to play a neutral observer’s role, through the tendentious application of the coercive powers of the Ghana Police Service, pretty much gave the game away (See “Former A-G Suspects Gov’t Hand in Ga-Mantse Crisis” 6/16/11).
According to Mr. Otoo, the police looked on idly by while partisans of the newly installed Ga-Mantse broke into Nii Tackie Tawiah’s palace, but quickly rallied to prevent the supporters of the besieged Ga-Mantse who seemed poised to flushing out the intruders from gaining access into the palace. If the foregoing account of events leading to the illegal ouster of Nii Tackie Tawiah has validity, then Mr. Ablakwa and his paymasters have more explaining to do, as it were.

*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 “The Obama Serenades” (, 2011). E-mail: