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Opinions of Friday, 16 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Electoral Machete

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

I like to believe that the people of Akyem-Asiakwa, where I was mostly raised by my maternal grandparents, are morally and culturally far above such human bestiality. I am, of course, referring to the mauling of 25-year-old Samuel Addo at Akuapem-Abiriw by a 30-year-old unemployed man by the name of Kenneth Kwatia, who had reportedly lost a District Assembly election to the brother-in-law of the victim. As tragic as it is, I couldn’t help thinking about the Akan conjugal concept of “Akonta Sekan,” the traditional in-law fee that is customarily offered the male kin of one’s bride as a testament to the marital pact.

Mr. Addo’s brother-in-law’s name is not given; at least not in the news article before me. But it clearly appears that his delightful triumph only reaped a near-death experience for the brother of the most significant woman in his life. Whatever his name is may do well to consider naming at least one of his children after Mr. Addo. I must, however, quickly point out that the in-law who won the District Assembly election at Akuapem-Abiriw had absolutely nothing to do with the alleged scuffle which broke out, I presume, at the polling station, between the loser and the victim’s friend in which Mr. Addo had allegedly intervened to the utter displeasure of Mr. Kwatia, whose first name is given by the news reporter as “Kennet” and not “Kenneth.” He is also said to be popularly called “Kwame K.” You see, I tend to believe that most Kwames are astute and staid in personal conduct and demeanor. But, of course, like everything else, all Kwames are not the same.

One angle to the story that piqued my interest and attention, however, was the fact that the assailant was reported to be unemployed, which means that he badly needed the job of a District Assemblyman, just about any assemblyman, or even an assemblywoman, in order to be assured of a decent and regular paycheck for the next four years. And then Mr. Addo made the “stupid mistake” of intervening in a fight between the loser and the victim’s friend. We don’t know exactly how Mr. Addo had attempted to break up the fight between the two men, but it well appears that Kwame K., the assailant, strongly believed that Mr. Addo had unfairly aided his friend to dish Kwame K. a dirty blow or two. Which is why Kwame K. is reported to have ambushed Mr. Addo with a brand-new machete – perhaps a crocodile machete – and nearly ended up carving up his victim for dinner.

Now, what I don’t understand is why the Akropong police are reported to have issued a bail bond to the alleged criminal suspect (See “25-Year-Old Man Butchered Over D/A Election Row” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/6/15). I thought it was the district court that had the right or jurisdiction to do so. Anyway, here is how I came to this story. I attended Akropong SALEM from 1973 to 1976, and was the School/Senior Prefect during my final year. My Pass-No-Way application to GSTS, Takoradi, had enabled juniors like Samuel Atta-Akyea and Michael or Emmanuel Bondzi (I understand the name is actually “Bonti,” my paternal great-grandfather’s name), the guy who scored the highest on the Common Entrance Examination in 1975. Emmanuel Kofi Opare-Addo, my classmate, had also left to become my senior at the Okuapeman Secondary School (OKUASS). Those were the heydays of the legendary marathoner called Agbodo. I was the saddest pupil returning to SALEM for the 1975-76 academic year. It would be my third and last year at SALEM. Talk of academic; I was as dumb as a day-old fufu (foofoo). Only a few of my relatives gave me any chance for success in life. Well, but here I am, by the grace of Divine Providence.

My future wife was five years old and living at Abiriw with her mother and two elder brothers. Her third and younger brother must have been a year or two old. There was this Demonstration School brown-sugar bombshell gal with whom I was twitter-pated. Except that I never mustered the courage to confront her with the same.