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Opinions of Monday, 4 August 2014

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Danquah Died for Free Speech and Choice, Mr. Ohene-Ntow

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
July 29, 2014

He used to be General-Secretary of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). Now he is freely and shamelessly shilling for Mr. Alan John Kwadwo "Quitman" Kyerematen as the latter's spokesman. I don't know how much he is being paid for his comical efforts, but Nana Ohene-Ntow may be screaming too loudly and hoarsely for both his own health and the fortunes, or the glaring lack thereof, of his prized steed in the 2016 electoral derby. It definitely is not good for his credibility and reputation, whatever may be left of the same.

Anyway, in his latest tantrum against open and vocal supporters of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the former NPP scribe would have party stalwarts and Ghanaians at large believe that, somehow, Mr. Ohene-Ntow has an inalienable right to bat for Alan Cash, as Mr Kyerematen is popularly called, but somehow individual parliamentarians have absolutely no right to openly and publicly demonstrate their support for the man who twice trounced Alan Cash in the party's presidential primaries (See "NPP Is Becoming Lawless - Ohene-Ntow" 7/30/14).

It is not surprising that Messrs. Ohene-Ntow and Kyerematen should be, reportedly, crying their lungs out over the massive support registered by NPP legislators for Nana Akufo-Addo. The former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under President John Agyekum-Kufuor is himself a seasoned legislator; and so it is only natural and logical for the NPP parliamentarians to be staunchly supporting Nana Akufo-Addo so massively. After all, the former NPP-MP for Akyem-Abuakwa South is one of their own. These "legal" supporters have worked with him and know the man in ways that Alan Cash can only dream about and/or salivate over.

In other words, Mr. Cash is an unknown quantity when it comes to such critical behavioral issues as team-playing and rapport, two of the indispensable ingredients of progressive politics. Indeed, I advised the man some six years ago, in several of my columns, that the best way for Mr. Cash to ensure his irreproachable electability, was to first get himself elected to parliament so as to intimately acquaint himself with the sort of deliberate back-and-forth democratic culture that is the engine of Fourth-Republican Ghanaian politics.

It well appears, in retrospect, that Mr. Cash had, somehow, intransigently decided that gunning for the presidency was like doing rote learning in order to ace the Common Entrance Exam, just as the Cash Man is widely reported to have done at 9 years old. Unfortunately, the job of President of Ghana, even as Little Dramani, Mr. Cash's ideological twin brother, rudely learned to his horror recently, is no job for toddlers. Better qualified legislators like Mr. Dominic Nitiwul, the Deputy Parliamentary Minority Leader, have already more than amply provided the Kyerematen shill with the sort of response that Nana Ohene-Ntow well deserves, so I shall not waste precious space and the time of the dear reader to rehash the same.

Suffice it to observe, however, that the guidelines of the NPP vis-a-vis the conduct of presidential primaries, like the NPP's Constitution itself, permits individuals, regardless of their standing within the party, to openly express their support for any of the candidates vying for the privilege, and opportunity, to represent the party and the state at the Flagstaff House. What these individuals are not allowed to do is form groups to openly canvass for candidates of their choice. And, indeed, as KNUST political scientist Dr. Richard Amoako-Baah has had occasion to point out, it is only personnel directly involved in organizing and conducting the NPP presidential primary who have absolutely no right, whatsoever, to prejudice the electoral process with their biases or preferences for particular candidates.

Nana Ohene-Ntow clearly appears to be the only prominent former executive operative of the NPP who may be properly culpable of the very crimes and misdemeanors that he so smugly accuses others of being guilty of. And so maybe he had better be reminded of that age-old Akan Three-Finger Maxim: "Whenever you point an accusing forefinger at another, better make sure the other three fingers are not pointing squarely at you, the accuser."