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Opinions of Saturday, 5 April 2014

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Are Ayariga Brothers Enemies of Truth?

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

During the Election 2012 Presidential Debates, his elder brother, Hassan Ayariga, made every effort to muff up the presentations of the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, by deliberately feigning the contraction of a very bad case of the whooping cough. And for the most part, the elder Ayariga was quite successful in his rhetorical harassment of Akufo-Addo by proxy, it appeared.

In the end, the NPP nominee barely managed to put across only about half of his campaign platform agenda to both the audience gathered at the forum and his supporters and sympathizers at home and abroad. What perturbed men then, though, was both the rather lame decision of a clearly sanguine and even over-confident Nana Akufo-Addo not to vehemently protest to the debate moderators, as well as the latter's egregious failure to either disqualify Mr. Hassan Ayariga or at least force him to comport himself with dignified maturity.

The presidential candidate of the Limann-founded People's National Convention (PNC), widely pooh-poohed for flubbing his lines at the 2012 Presidential Debates, hosted by the Accra-based Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), would riposte robustly that he had not participated in the debates in order to showcase his verbal skills or flair for English grammar, but rather to lay out his political agenda in the highly unlikely event of him being elected to lead the country for the next four years.

Mr. Hassan Ayariga was also quick to add that had the debates been conducted in the German language, none of his other three political opponents would have been able to utter a word beyond plain babble or gibberish. He would also beam proudly over the fact of his having spent twenty years as a resident of Germany.

Now, we have Hassan's younger brother, Mahama, the substantive Minister of Information and Media Relations, bitterly complaining to eligible Ghanaian voters and the citizenry at large, that Mr. Seth Terkper's "frankness and openness" vis-a-vis the dire state of the country's economy, as the substantive Finance Minister, has unduly provided a lot of ammunition for leaders and members of the political opposition to caustically carp the seemingly interminably tottering Mahama government (See "Seth Terkper's Openness About the Economy Gives Us Headache - Information Minister" 3/30/14).

Even more disturbing is the self-righteous and proprietary implication, on the part of Mr. Mahama Ayariga that, somehow, each and every one of the Mahama cabinet appointees had been sworn to deliberately "economize" with the truth where the supreme and collective interests of Ghanaian citizens are concerned. And so the hardworking Ghanaian taxpayer whose sweat and toil pay the salaries of cabinet appointees like Mr. Ayariga can just fathom the level of truth and credibility with which their affairs are being chaperoned by the Legon- and Harvard-educated Bawku-born lawyer.

It is also rather annoying to hear the younger Mr. Ayariga insist, against truth and common sense, that he is protectively in the corner of Mr. Terkper; and that all that the Information Minister demands of the Finance Minister is for the latter to privilege the interests of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress over and above the collective, trans-partisan interests of the Ghanaian people and/or the nation at large.

It is also rather laughably pathetic to hear Mahama Ayariga accuse his political opponents, notable among them Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, of taking undue advantage of the "frankness and openness" of the Finance Minister to unleash a destructive tide of vile propaganda rhetoric against the Mahama government. By now, it ought to have become clear to Mr. Terkper and all truth-seeking and truth-loving Ghanaians that Mr. Ayariga may very well be one of those influential party apparatchiks that President Mahama recently had occasion to obliquely expose for cynically seeking the summary ouster of the Finance Minister.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
March 31, 2014

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