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Opinions of Monday, 14 November 2011

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Gays And Lesbians Are No Less Human Than Baba Jamal

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

It was quite predictable for President John Evans Atta-Mills and the rest of the other key players of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), those that I affectionately call “the horde of hoodlums,” to so childishly throw tantrums in reaction to Britain’s threat to withhold financial and other capital assistance to African countries exhibiting abject and flagrant disrespect for the fundamental human and civil rights of gays and lesbians (See “Jamal Dares Nana Addo to Reply Cameron” 11/2/11).

At any rate, Mr. David Cameron, the Conservative Party prime minister of Britain and nephew to Queen Elizabeth II, had just been reported to have further clarified his stance on gay, lesbian and transgender rights at the time of this writing (11/5/11). We shall have the opportunity in the near future to address the preceding clarification. For now, however, the discursive spotlight ought to be focused on the fundamental human rights of the “Kwadwo Basias” and the “Abena Kwabenas” in any civilized society. For this appears to have been the main focus of Mr. Cameron’s alleged foreign-aid threat.
In reality, the British Prime Minister was simply asking his African counterparts to join hands with the comity of other sovereign and civilized nations around the globe in protecting the rights of all humans, regardless of sexual orientation, ideological suasion and creed. And on the latter count, President Mills and his so-called National Democratic Congress have, once more, and all-too-predictably, miserably failed Ghanaians.
But that Ghana ranked smack-dab among the enviable category of “civilized nations” was not moot, or in question, until President Mills rather unwisely presumed to virulently contradict his British opposite number on the immutable right of homosexuals to a life of dignity and justice in every society. You see, contrary to what the visibly ailing and bumbling Ghanaian leader would have the people who elected him by the skin of his teeth in the 2008 presidential run-off believe, the relevant and pertinent question here is not whether Prime Minister Cameron has a right to dictate human rights policies to any sovereign nation but, rather, whether African countries that loudly boast about their historic attainment of sovereignty and the imperative need to jealously guard against any mischievous attempt to compromise the same, equally appreciate the commonsensical fact that all humans reserve an inalienable right to living a life of dignity, peace and justice. And it is on the preceding score that the epic failure of the Ghanaian leader to step up to the proverbial plate is unforgivably disturbing.
Couple the foregoing with the fact that President Mills was for more than two decades an associate professor of law at Ghana’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, and the future development of both the country’s legal system and governance begins to look very bleak unless, of course, the Ghanaian electorate decide to effect a salutary change of government and leadership come Election 2012.
Needless to say, President Mills’ rather abjectly incoherent response to Mr. Cameron’s simple plea for fairness and civility makes his immediate electoral and democratic removal from power, and office, all the more imperative. Thankfully, the President’s most formidable political opponent and New Patriotic Party presidential candidate for Election 2012, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was savvy enough not to fall facilely for such cheap NDC claptrap, propaganda gimmickry and flagrant distortion of the policy stance of Prime Minister Cameron, vis-à-vis the fundamental and inalienable human rights of non-heterosexual citizens.
But that the Mills-Mahama government clearly appears to prefer the cheap and tawdry policy of gay and lesbian persecution, to the far more progressive and dogged pursuit of a comprehensive national development agenda, ought to open the eyes of the Ghanaian electorate to the fact that the current NDC government is largely composed of fast-talking rascals whose sole expertise lies in the callous and criminal game of political diversion and vacuous moral grandstanding. And it is precisely for the foregoing reasons that junior government operatives like Mr. Baba Jamal, one of the two deputy information ministers, would never either see or hear Nana Akufo-Addo forge a luridly unholy common cause with the likes of Messrs. Mills and Mahama against the indisputably savvy policy stance of Prime Minister Cameron.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “The Obama Serenades” (, 2011). E-mail: