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Opinions of Friday, 19 October 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Alhaji Bature Is Cracking

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

“Cracking,” of course, is another term for a mentally fatigued man whose presence of mind appears to be rapidly spiraling out of control. This is inescapably the sense that one gets when one reads the report carried by Ghanaweb.com and sourced to Adomonlinefm.com, in which the managing-editor of the Al-Hajj newspaper, Alhaji Bature Idrissu, weirdly claims to have “saved” former President Jerry John Rawlings “from a lengthy jail time” some six years ago (See “I Saved Rawlings from Going to Jail – Bature” 10/15/12).

The obverse side of the question, actually a rapid-fire retort, becomes: Didn’t Rawlings also make it possible for otherwise sociopolitical nobodies like Messrs. Bature, Asiedu-Nketia, Ade Sawyer, Inusah Fuseini and their cynical robber-baron ilk undeservedly assume Ghana’s reins of governance, in the specious name of “probity, equity, justice and accountability,” in order for these obstreperously pathological kleptocrats to logically plunge our beloved nation into the economic abyss in which we presently find ourselves, in spite of our recently fabulous petro-chemical endowment?

At any rate, six years ago puts the implicitly capital crime for which the founding-father of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) could have served “a lengthy jail term,” but for the timely salvation and/or cover-up by Mr. Bature, squarely under the tenure and watch of former President John Agyekum-Kufuor. And so the pertinent question to ask at this juncture is: precisely why is Mr. Rawlings’ prime and lone accuser only now coming public with his yet to be revealed crime against Ghana’s longest-reigning strongman? It also ought to be clear to the accuser, by now, that his apparently criminal cover-up makes Alhaji Bature just as guilty as the man he is now accusatorily fingering.

Still, what makes such revelation rather quaintly intriguing regards the primary context in which the Al-Hajj newspaper publisher is making his claim, as well as his evidently cynical motive for the same. In other words, had the Rawlingses, whose party and ideological loyalty has been almost fanatically courted by Mr. Bature for at least some two years now, scuttled their decision to found their breakaway National Democratic Party (NDP) and field Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings as the latter’s presidential candidate, would the Bolgatanga-born newspaper publisher and radio talk-show co-host have publicly emerged with his yet-to-be-proven capital criminal allegation against Mr. Rawlings? If not, and this clearly appears to be the case, then Mr. Bature has merely succeeded in portraying himself as the most dangerous, unpatriotic, criminally-minded and untrustworthy Ghanaian media operative alive!

While it is not clear precisely what Mr. Bature is alluding to, at least on one or two occasions, some corpses have been reportedly discovered on properties belonging to the SATANIC COUPLE somewhere in the Volta Region. Then again, the burning down of the couple’s Ridge residence some two, or so, years ago remains suspicious in the minds of most Ghanaians, a cloud of suspicion which was further complicated by the woeful inability of a poorly trained and a poorly equipped Ghana Fire Service personnel. Nevertheless, whether a politically marginal figure like Mr. Bature can credibly lay his kind of rather bizarre allegation at the massive feet of Mr. Rawlings and be forensically vindicated for the same, remains to be seen.

The fact of the matter is that the stature and clout of Mr. Rawlings on the Ghanaian political landscape over the past three decades are virtually without equal, such that even if Mr. Bature had not allegedly covered up the purportedly bloody and criminal tracks of the NDC pontiff, it is indisputably certain that any number of voluntary human shields would have promptly stepped up to the proverbial plate, in American baseball parlance, to rescue their hero and demigod.

At any rate, the key operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), as well as all the other relevant national security agencies, ought to train their radars on the tail of the managing-editor of the Al-Hajj newspaper, by immediately declaring Alhaji Bature “a person of great interest” to the Ghanaian State and briskly proceed to draw the subject out on his criminal allegation against, perhaps, the most prominent postcolonial Ghanaian strongman and president. The fact that almost no Ghanaian citizen of age remembers any period in the postcolonial era during which a retired or former premier was indicted and prosecuted and sentenced to “a lengthy jail term,” for the sort of implied criminal conduct alleged by Mr. Bature, makes the present allegation all the more intriguing.

What is rather comical here, though, is the fact that while Alhaji Bature has been loudly and incessantly accusing the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) of being too desperate and power-hungry, it is increasingly and embarrassingly becoming clear that the preceding accolade more properly fits the description of Transitional-President John Dramani “Paradigm-Shift” Mahama far more than it ever could fit the statesmanship ambition of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

You see, nothing could be more desperate than having a party adamantly nominate a visibly ailing personality three times as its presidential candidate, and then having the latter flatly and stubbornly refuse to stand down and make way for his deputy, even when the best of medical prognoses clearly indicate and counsel the imperative need for prompt and salutary abdication with dignity.

In the case of President Mahama, of course, such desperation has assumed the cheap and tawdry form of the selection of his vice-president and electioneering campaign running-mate primarily on the basis of ethnic (or tribal) expediency, rather than demonstrable merit and administrative competence. Then also, his apparently gratuitous indulgence in ad-hoc (or potshot) development strategy – such as recklessly throwing publicly funded school buses at expediently selected senior high schools, instead of textbooks and other teaching materials – has only served to heighten the glaring fact of Mr. Mahama’s woefully lacking any elaborate and/or definitive vision for moving Ghana higher up from being a primary-commodity producer and exporter, or what Nana Akufo-Addo fairly accurately terms as “The Guggisberg Economy.” His rather grave and pathologically incorrigible resistance to Nana Akufo-Addo’s fee-free Pre-K through 12 education policy proposal, practically makes Mr. Mahama’s transitional regime patently anachronistic to our country’s Fourth Republican political culture.

At any rate, what the latest allegation by Alhaji Bature points to is the imminent and logical implosion of the political juggernaut that has widely become known as the National Democratic Congress, and the latter’s necessary replacement by one of the currently marginalized political pretenders to the Nkrumaist mantle of populist leadership. Exactly which among the latter group eventually emerges as a formidable force to reckon with in the offing, remains to be seen.

*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” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net. ###