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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Amidu’s First Loyalty Is To Our Collective National Interest

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

I have been following some of the authoritative writings of Mr. Martin A. B. K. Amidu, the ousted Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, and can only tersely conclude that not only is the man uncannily articulate and progressive for a longtime key operative of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC), but even more significantly, the former Upper-East Deputy Regional Minister is forthright in a manner that must be causing President John Evans Atta-Mills to wet his pants (or trousers) at least three or four times a day.

This miserable state of affairs, indeed, must have informed one Amidu critic and a fanatical NDC propagandist to angrily call for the former Minister of Justice to be promptly intimidated into silence with a judicial threat, on the rather risible grounds that in patriotically exposing criminal attempts by highly positioned members of the Mills-Mahama regime in the epic Woyome Scandal, the former Attorney-General may well have breached his sworn oath of secrecy at the time of his appointment as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
Well, in the wake of the “Jake Bungalow” overruling of the Supreme Court verdict by the Mills-Mahama government, it would be rather interesting to envisage just how the government attempts to use the very legitimately constituted courts of the land whose authority it has summarily and publicly indicated its abject contempt, to silence a man whose sole crime clearly appears to be that he wants Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome to immediately return the “gargantuan” sum of GH ? 52 million that the alleged NDC financier reportedly squirreled from the public till with the brazen complicity of the Mills-Mahama presidency.
In an article titled “Why Martin Amidu Is Not Using Government Or Party Channels For His Advocacy For Accountability And Transparency” (See 5/31/12), the author categorically observes that the Mills-Mahama administration is not one that is tolerant of even constructive criticism from within. On this score, President Mills may be aptly envisaged to strikingly answer to the moniker of an Nkrumah avatar. The critic also meticulously details how devious attempts were made to publicly humiliate an implacably disillusioned Mr. Amidu, who had practically tendered his resignation as Attorney-General four months before he was summarily and disrespectfully terminated by the president.
Indeed, in the opinion of Mr. Amidu, the man whom he “reluctantly” partnered on the vanquished NDC presidential ticket for Election 2000, appears to have been far more interested in exercising his peremptory powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, and thereby having the last word on matters of great interest to the nation, than being genuinely interested in stemming the tide of rank corruption at the highest levels of his own administration.
Needless to say, those of us who studiously followed the reams of Wikileaks spillage at the beginning of this year and/or late last year, can fully appreciate the credibility of Mr. Amidu’s observation. In one Wikileaks publication, for instance, an apparently cognitively addled President Mills is reported to be shamefully confiding to the United States’ Ambassador to Ghana that nearly each and every one of his own appointees at the Department of Customs and Excise is pathologically, or incurably, corrupt.
Indeed, it is this kind of cringing and servile treachery that ought to engage the sedulous attention of the president’s legion gofers and hirelings, and which his lackeys ought to be explaining to the nation at large. It would also be quite edifying if in one of his future publications, Mr. Amidu could also explain to his audience precisely why he “reluctantly” agreed to partner the now-President Mills for Election 2000, even though the former now claims to be in possession of a strategy that would enable the NDC to clinch Election 2012 hands down!
Curiously, the critic (he prefers to call himself an “advocate”) highlights the fact that even former President Jerry John Rawlings, as an incumbent, appears to have had a far deeper understanding and appreciation for the rule of law and democratic principles than his former arch-lieutenant. In the latter regard, Mr. Amidu fondly recalls a momentous occasion during which he took the unusually bold and quite dangerous initiative of reprimanding Mr. Rawlings, in a memo, on some questionable judicial appointments, as a junior government appointee, and was actually commended for his gesture.
As I studiously pored over the aforementioned article, I could only hope that Mr. Amidu had plans afoot to shortly publish his memoirs, spanning nearly three decades of conscientious service among the crocodiles, also known as the Ghana Taliban.

*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 Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (, 2008). E-mail: