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Opinions of Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Akufo-Addo deserves lion’s share of Ghana’s praise on Gambia

President Akufo-Addo President Akufo-Addo

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

It is characteristic of the leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to reap and smugly pat themselves on the back where they never sowed or diligently watered any plants. We saw the likes of then-Candidates John Evans Atta-Mills, late, and John Dramani Mahama pooh-pooh the Kufuor and New Patriotic Party-designed and implemented National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), only to literally tuck their tails in-between their legs and take personal advantage of the same. President Mahama would even later claim to have enrolled more Ghanaian citizens into the scheme than the man who created what was initially deemed to be crazily impossible by these most ardent of his detractors.

Now, the NDC apparatchiks are up to their rancid game of impossibilities again. This time, they have hedged their bets around the certain failure of the Akufo-Addo-promulgated tuition-free Senior High School policy initiative which is scheduled for full-scale implementation next academic year, which begins in September this year. On the latter score, it goes without saying that they will fall on their prats one again. But this would not be the real story to chuckle over and keep stepping onto other equally great and progressive ventures. It would be the shameless insistence of these NDC apparatchiks, once again, that the successes and achievements of the tuition-free SHS project must be shared by the leaders of both major parties, because it takes two to tango.

Already, the mischief-maker cum scofflaw National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for the Tongu-North Constituency, in the Volta Region, has been irritably grandstanding and quixotically pontificating over his former boss, and former President Mahama’s having prepared a fertile ground to facilitate the successful implementation of the tuition-free SHS project. It would also be interesting to hear these political scam-artists tell the rest of the nation why they have been wrestling the titanic likes of Monsieur Yaw Osafo-Maafo over the means by which to fund the tuition-free SHS project. The former Deputy Education Minister in-charge of Tertiary Education was the other day reported to have hopped onto the august floor of Parliament, bragging about how the synergistic collaboration of Messrs. Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dramani Mahama had culminated in the “democratic” ousting of the Madman of Banjul, to wit, President Yahya Jammeh.

What Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa conveniently failed to equally point out was the damnable fact that in the wake of President Akufo-Addo’s decision to dispatch some diddly 205 combat troops from the Ghana Armed Forces to The Gambia, at least one NDC-MP from the Volta Region, the same region as Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa, was threatening to launch a lawsuit to ensure the immediate reversal of such a morally righteous and foresighted decision. We also had a lily-livered Marxist ideologue like Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso, currently on staff at the Ghana Military Academy, virulently railing against any attempt by Nana Akufo-Addo to join hands with the pro-military intervention West African leaders. He would later turn around to shamelessly commend Ghana’s former Justice and Foreign Minister for making such a politically savvy decision.

Of course, former President Mahama played quite a remarkable role in the swift and salutary removal of President Jammeh, both at the dialogical level as well as, as an emissary of his perspicuous and astute successor. But, of course, one does a lot of mischief to forget the national embarrassment brought upon the pates of Ghanaian citizens, both at home and abroad, on the eve of the popular overthrow of Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Campaore, when the former Ghanaian leader threatened and lamely attempted to dissuade the suffering Burkinabe masses from vehemently demanding the democratic rule of law and liberty. Back then, as ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahama would also fly to Banjul to heartily congratulate the horn-growing political monster for having successfully put down a yeomanly effort aimed at healthily cauterizing the carcinogenic blight on the destiny of the Gambian people, a conscience-stumping embarrassment to postcolonial West African political culture.

Of course, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa is right to celebrate the apparently successful devising of a West African solution to a West African problem. But it also goes without saying that President Akufo-Addo deserves a little bit more of the credit for the morally and politically refreshing removal of Mr. Jammeh, although, ultimately, it was the Presidents of Nigeria and Senegal, most especially Senegal, who shouldered the bulk of the risk and burden involved in the Jammeh pushout.

By: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs