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Opinions of Sunday, 1 June 2014

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Even NDC Operatives Agree PV Was Corrupt To The Marrow

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

It is quite interesting to hear Chairman Jerry John Rawlings accusing the late Mr. Paul Victor Obeng of having colluded with the late President John Evans Atta-Mills to shield people whom Mr. Rawlings calls criminally culpable from prosecution. Of course, one does not have to be a rocket scientist, as the cliche goes, to readily surmise that these allegedly corrupt economic perps are, each and every one of them, cabinet appointees of the Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

And now, the editor-publisher of the so-called Insight newspaper, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jr., tells us that, indeed, PV, as Mr. Obeng was popularly - and even affectionately - called, was widely regarded among the rank-and-file membership of the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress as being corrupt to the marrow (See "PV Suffered In [sic] The Hands Of NDC... Some Of Those Hailing Him Now Hated Him With A Passion" 5/26/14).

Mr. Pratt recalls the period when some key NDC operatives brought corruption allegations against PV to the Short-presided Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). According to the impenitent Nkrumah partisan, even "after diligently investigating the allegations" and concluding that, in fact, PV had done nothing wrong, highly placed NDC apparatchiks roundly rejected the CHRAJ report and rudely referred the same allegations made against Mr. Obeng back to Mr. Emile Short. It was almost as if the CHRAJ presiding officer had gotten it thoroughly wrong the first time around. It was unpardonably an insult to the intelligence of Mr. Short, according to Mr. Pratt.

Well, I am not in a position, presently, to know what the precise reaction of Mr. Short and the other members of the CHRAJ had been. What is patently clear here, however, assuming Mr. Pratt's recollection of events to be accurate, is the fact that by the time the PNDC Reign-of-Terror came to an end, the key operatives of the Rawlings juggernaut had thoroughly convinced themselves that Mr. Obeng was a persona-non-grata. I am also assuming, with good reason, that the most passionate and ardent detractor of PV's, about this time, was inescapably none other than the Founding-Father of the National Democratic Congress.

I draw the foregoing conclusion squarely based on the fact that the rabidly anti-PV period in question clearly appears to have been under the tenure of Mr. Rawlings. If the preceding observation is valid, then Togbui Avaklasu II has absolutely no reason pretending as if Mr. Obeng was even half the diligent and forward-looking patriot that he has been telling the nation in the wake of PV's recent passing. But, of course, Mr. Rawlings cannot help being himself - an unabashed and thoroughgoing hypocrite. I suppose had PV been a bona fide member of the Trokosi National Congress (TNC) by birth, Mr. Rawlings' attitude towards the dead man would have been completely different. This is not, however, to say that Mr. Obeng did not deserve a modicum of the raw deal that the congenitally anti-Akan Trokosi Nationalist ingrates accorded him.

For me, personally, though, it would be interesting to see how the same rascals who virulently accused PV of being irredeemably corrupt come out of the proverbial woodwork celebrating his life and achievements, whatever these may be, in a State Funeral. Needless to say, State Funerals are what the key NDC operatives do best, even as we witnessed them do in the wake of the passing of President Atta-Mills, a man the exact circumstances of whose death continues to be shrouded in mystery.

If PV's family have any good sense of the deceased man's dignity, they would prevent Mr. Rawlings from reprising his inexcusably crude and shameless face-saving act at the graveside of President Mills at PV's site of final repose. My only regret here, though, is that just like my diligent and conscientious maternal grandfather, Mr. Obeng was a Biretuo by clan heritage or lineage. Thus when I describe PV as a nation-wrecker, this is precisely what I mean.

In the end, though, if, indeed, Mr. Pratt is convinced that the key operatives of the NDC are a bloody bunch of reprobates, then he may as well begin explaining to the nation why he, Mr. Pratt, has been ardently, vehemently, adamantly and religiously shilling for these same key operatives of the NDC these many years. Of course, we are all fully aware of the humongous gas-mileage that his systematic and consistent political cynicism has fetched him, and continues to fetch him. I am also amused that Mr. Pratt would call his fellow "commie" travelers hypoctites. The latter word sounds far more like the second definition of the Insight editor-publisher's surname.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Board Member, The Nassau Review
May 26, 2014