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Opinions of Thursday, 13 June 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

From "Bottom-Power" To "Trokosi Power"

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

I am writing this rejoinder to Chairman Jerry John Rawlings' obnoxiously self-righteous effusions four days after the fact, that is June 4. And I have decided not to re-read the news report captioned "Kufuor, Mills Only Reversed Ghana's Achievements - Rawlings" ( 6/4/13).

I don't know what of "Ghana's Achievements" Chairman Rawlings is talking about; but it is also clear that he was mainly addressing Ghanaians who were too young to remember his largely ethnocentric atrocities cynically, callously and unconscionably branded as a revolutionary house-cleaning exercise. And this, of course, was why he was able to cavalierly allude to the slain Gen. I. K. Acheampong's government as "Bottom-Power," mischievously and conveniently omitting the flagrant fact of his own regimes having squarely been about Anlo-Ewe supremacy.

Today, for instance, our country is more ethnically and ideologically divided than it has ever been since March 6, 1957; and we have Mr. Rawlings and the predatory colonial system that produced this clinical sociopath and psychopath to thank for our abject misery. A locally renowned journalist and newspaper publisher whom I had occasion to spar with not very long ago, recently questioned the sanity of Chairman Rawlings. I wonder why it took so long for this otherwise fine and well-meaning gentleman to arrive at his all-too-sound and logical conclusion.

With the slain Gen. Acheampong, needless to say, public access to the nation's wealth was relatively non-discriminatory - for it did not matter whose "Big Butts" the center of presidential political cynosure was; in other words, the "Big Butts" could have belonged to a woman of Ewe, Ga, Dagomba, Gonja, Mamprusi, Konkomba, Nanumba, Frafra, Sissala, Dagarti and, of course, Akan descent. All that mattered was that the fetching subject of cynosure had something precious to offer in exchange for whatever it was that the Big Kahuna and his associates had to give.

This, of course, is in no way to heartily endorse the the kind of decadence spawned by this rank culture of promiscuous corruption. Still, with the Rawlings-minted "Trokosi" riposte to "Bottom-Power," one had to belong to a specific culture and language group to access national wealth - and the farther away in hostility and/or enmity that a particular culture and/or language group was from Ghana's Akan-ethnic majority, the greater were one's chances of landing the plum job or privileged opportunity for socioeconomic advancement. And if the occasionally lucky Akan got coopted into the inner circle of this "Trokosi Alliance" - and here, of course, I am thinking of Monsieur P. V. Obeng and the Ahwois, among a handful of others - what that meant for that "Naturalized Neo-Trokosi" operative was a total denial and/or alienation from one's cultural and ethnic radix.

And this is why it comes as quite quizzical but hardly surprising that Chairman Rawlings would castigate the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, his own veritable political and ideological handicraft, for being criminally guilty of reversing the supposedly sterling achievements of the Sogakope Mafia capo.

At any rate, I have yet to encounter any comparative national development analysis between the governments of Messrs. Acheampong and Rawlings that puts the latter ahead of the former. Talk of the development of hydroelectricity, real-estate housing projects, sports and sporting facilities and food production, and the general development of agriculture, and Chairman Rawlings is completely AWOL. Except, of course, if the wanton liquidation of the Nkrumah-initiated Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC), and the latter's criminal quartering among the faux-socialist kinsfolk, friends and associates of Chairman Rawlings can be laudably equated with the other sterling and genuine achievements of postcolonial Ghana.

Maybe the half-Scottish waif means to imply that by radically democratizing Ghana and making the country's media and marketplace investor-friendly, President John Agyekum-Kufuor can be aptly accused of having criminally reversed the "Trokosi Madness" of Mr. Probity and Accountability, and thus deserves to be damned for having made himself an inveterate Enemy of the Revolution.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
June 8, 2013