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Opinions of Monday, 29 July 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe,

Examine Your Head, Sekou!


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

I find it rather amusing to hear Mr. Sekou Nkrumah assert that the direly embattled President John Dramani Mahama ought not to have been nominated as flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), let alone act as Ghana's substantive executive chief-of-state (See "Mahama Not Fit To Be President - Sekou" Ghanaweb.com 7/9/13).

Further, the third publicly acknowledged son of President Nkrumah observes that Mr. Mahama ought to have retired at the level of the Vice-Presidency, with the "mysterious" passing of President John Evans Atta-Mills, whom the younger Mr. Nkrumah also believes ought not to have been nominated as the three-time presidential candidate of the NDC.

The problem with this kind of desultory argumentation is that it exposes the critic as clearly lacking a logically sound perspective on the subject of his own disquisition. In American street language, Sekou Nkrumah simply does not know what he is talking about. This is the same man who not quite long ago publicly called on Nana Akufo-Addo to abandon his judicial petition in order to provide Mr. Mahama with the requisite peace and quiet for good governance. Now the same nine-day Akufo-Addo backer is telling Ghanaians that, after all, he hadn't known what he had been talking about all along.

There is also another sticky problem that the former head of the National Youth Council does not adequately address. Actually, he does not address this logical paradox at all. For one, he cannot sensibly claim that Mr. Jerry John Rawlings is Ghana's second-best ruler - after his own father, of course - and then glibly get away with the fact that were Mr. Rawlings the genius leader that Sekou Nkrumah claims, the former would not have literally handpicked a grossly incompetent politician like the former University of Ghana Law School professor.

You see, being able to select a competent right-hand man and/or administrative successor is a salient mark of genius leadership. And the fact that Mr. Rawlings stood by a bumbling character like the now-late President Mills through three consecutive elections, ought to clearly inform Mr. Sekou Nkrumah that yes, Chairman Rawlings may have had a "fire in his belly" (apologies to Gen. Colin Powell), nevertheless, he was not a competent leader and/or a consummate administrator. At best, Chairman Rawlings was a brawling, rambunctious schoolyard bully so pathologically obsessed with power that he could not envisage any good in anybody but himself.

The younger Mr. Nkrumah also firmly believes that Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur is a man who woefully lacks the formidable "qualities of a leader who could assume the presidency in future." The critic may clearly be on the money, as it were, for one cannot even be certain whether Mr. Amissah-Arthur creditably acquitted himself as Governor of the Bank of Ghana.

Still, the younger Mr. Nkrumah does not any remarkably boost his own father's stature as Ghana's first postcolonial leader. To begin with, so megalomaniacal was the elder Mr. Nkrumah that during the 15 years that he dominated the country's political culture, the tautologically named Convention People's Party (CPP) government had no Vice-President. You see, Nkrumah was too selfish and morbidly paranoid to entrust anybody with the strategically sound and imperative post of Vice-President. Indeed, legend has it that whenever the "Show Boy" traveled outside the country, he constituted a nuisance presidential council of three opportunistic back-biters to take care of business.

Legend also had it that he routinely set up the interim presidential councils with a rascally view and motive of getting rid of these apparently naive political puppets. Is this the kind of reprobate character that Sekou Nkrumah would have Ghanaians serenade as our greatest leader? On the latter score, one cannot but unreservedly concur with Kenya's Prof. Ali A. Mazrui that while, indeed, President Nkrumah was indisputably a great African leader, he was equally indisputably a very bad Ghanaian leader.

__________________________________________________________ *Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York July 11, 2013 E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net ###

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