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Opinions of Thursday, 3 October 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Believe Me, God Is Not Stupid!

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

I don't know that the man served the country any more than he served his own particular and personal interests and those of his family and tribesmen and women. I could also count in tens and hundreds, the number of Ghanaians who could aptly be described as "statesmen" and "stateswomen," for that matter, and the name of the late Prof. Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor is definitely not among the list, let alone talk of his name heading the pack of the most responsible and astute leaders of the nation!

Anybody who knows my background in Ghana can boldly attest to the fact that I darn well know what I am talking about. When I talk of scholars, I talk of seminal personalities like Messrs. Joseph Ephraim Casely-Hayford, John Mensah-Sarbah, Kobina Sekyi, J. B. Danquah, Asafu-Adjei, Nanka-Bruce, Akiwumi, K. A. Busia, W. E. Abraham, J. H. Nketia...Kwame Gyekye; and the list goes on and on and on and on - and, oh yes, Ephraim Amu, one of my distinguished Peki relatives.

You see, it is one thing to have studiously worked to earn your keep; it is quite another to have joined a ragtag band of fellow tribesmen and women with the sinister and "revolutionary" agenda of upending the lives and destinies of your moral and cultural superiors. Don't get me wrong - no group of people or ethnic nationality has a monopoly over wisdom, talent, creativity and scholarship. And, needless to say, we, Akans, have our classical Ananse Fables to staunchly back up the sublime level and intellectual sophistication of our ethos. We defer to no other ethnic sub-polity in both our country and our continent on the preceding score.

And so when President John Dramani Mahama describes as " a sad twist of fate," the fateful presence of the late Prof. Kofi Awoonor "at the Nairobi Mall where terrorists killed shoppers, including Ghana's former Chair of the Council of State," I simply do not understand precisely what the controversial president of our country is talking about.

He is controversial because according to Justice Julius Ansah, Mr. Mahama only won 49.25-percent of the total number of ballots counted in Election 2012. Now, constitutionally speaking, that is not a mandate. It is tantamount to a flagrant usurpation of our mandate. And so like his literary hero, the slain poet from Wheta, in the Trokosi Republic of New Agorkorli, Mahama shall never know peace until the sovereign mandate of the Ghanaian people is restored (See "Mahama Weeps Over Prof. Awoonor's Death" Daily Graphic 9/23/13).

I do not, for even a split-second, pretend that any human personality lacks that inescapable behavioral element of fallibility which is what fundamentally makes us human. But any human being who single-mindedly elects to create hell and mayhem for another group of humans, either purely out of sheer envy and jealousy, or linguistic and cultural difference ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms. Such was the nature of the man who is presently the subject of the most hypocritical and fatuous of tributes in Ghana even as I write. And I wish that enough Ghanaians, even of Trokosi descent, could muster ample courage to be counted by history among those who stood up for justice and equanimity.

In view of the scandalous dishonesty with which his life and death are being drunkenly, or Bacchically, celebrated all over the country, I am not proud to be a Ghanaian. And I don't imagine that the soul of Prof. Awoonor, that is assuming that he actually had a soul, deserves any more peace than the victims of the Rawlings "revolution," whose brutal deaths and assassinations Prof. Awoonor heartily endorsed with reams of theses and propaganda pieces.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Sept. 27, 2013