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Opinions of Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

Is Gabby O.A-Darko an “Asantrofie Anoma”?

For those of you who don’t know, the “Asantrofie Anoma” is a bird in Asante Mythology. According to the myth, when one catches the bird, misfortune follows but when it is let go, immeasurable treasure is let go indeed. This mythical bird symbolizes a person, a thing, a situation or a condition that helps and at the same time, hurts. It is sort of a “Catch 22”.

Now, a few days ago, Gabby posted this on his Facebook status,
“After 18yrs of focusing on Rawlings without much impact when will NPP learn that those who love him love and those who don't don't? The Rawlings Factor can only be fractured by internal combustion. NPP should spare time and energy off JJ.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, imagine the glee with which the P-ndc fanatics responded with positive comments. After all, it was to their advantage that an NPP “high profiler” was recommending that instead of two evils, the Party should forget about the most potent of the evils and concentrate on the lesser one.
Truthfully, I was shocked by the above statement. When I read it, it occurred to me that, if any NPP high profiler could make such a statement, it would be Gabby. The statement sent my mind racing back to the Statesman’s editorials and the damage it did to Kuffour’s administration in particular and the party in general. (More on this later)
Frankly, I do not know what to make of or what his statement really means, aside from the obvious connotations. As a result, various interpretations, multiple meanings and most important, many questions have flooded my mind: is Gabby trying to say that the NPP’s only reason for persistently and consistently rehashing the killings of Generals Afrifa, Acheampong, Akuffo, the judges; the stripping of market women; the devious collapse of the businesses; the fake revolutions; his unguarded speech and recently, the setting up of factories with State loot, is all due to electoral win and nothing else?
To put it in another way, is Gabby trying to say that our children and children’s children should be deprived of historical lessons because they don’t win elections? Is Gabby implying that the purpose of NPP’s efforts to educate the young, the yet to be born and to continuously remind citizens of the deviousness of the Chairman of the P-ndc have no moral and rational backing except to win elections? And that the NPP does so for its own selfish and cynical reasons vis a vis electoral victory? Is Gabby trying to insinuate that because of political expediency, the NPP should stop teaching History and that History has no relevance if it doesn’t contribute to gaining power? Is Gabby trying to say that the NPP should forgo its moral obligations and historical responsibilities of keeping alive the darkest chapter in our history? No, Master Gabby, History, its ramifications and its lessons are more important than just wining “temporal power”. And anytime the Chairman’s name is brought up, whether on TV, radio, on campaign trails or in the newspapers, a history lesson is being taught and for free.
Your above call, remind me of the strategies and tactics that Nana’s ’08 campaign abandoned in favor of” novelties”. Many strategies and tactics that the NPP had used since ’92 were discarded in ‘08, probably due to your recommendations since you were part of the campaign and very close to the Candidate. One would have thought that you had learnt a thing or two about sticking to tried and tested…. And now you calling for yet another……
In your effort to seem fair and legitimize the Danquah Institute, you have, on a number of occasions, taken cheap shots at the NPP, the hand that feeds you; just as you did when you managed the Statesman Newspaper. A thorough scan through the Statesman’s editorials makes one forget that the paper was once owned by a future flag bearer. While you were busy deriding Kuffour’s administration in order to boost and “enhance” your journalistic credentials, by trying to be “fair”, you did not realize that you were signing “the death warrant” of your “Cousin” as well; that the same negativity you spewed against Kuffour’s administration would also be used against your Cousin.
Now that we are in opposition is when we need the Statesman’s most, as we did during the fight for independence and Democracy. But you managed to alienate your core readers so much so that, the paper is now defunct- according to popular belief- due to lack of patronage.
Remember Master Gabby, there was a time that the country could not teach or talk about the Chairman. But God being so good, we now have a democracy. And with this opportunity, we are not going to stop wasting “our energies” on trumpeting the misdeeds of the Chairman’s shady history. Whether it wins elections or not is not the goal.
Master Gabby, there is no doubt that you have done “some” for the party. Even in this vein, there are many people that maintain that, you do so not because of the party in general but because of your “Cousin” in particular. This school of thought firmly believes that when Nana is done with his political career, your energies would be turned against the party. They say that “woe betides the one who come after Nana” – unless whoever is also a cousin- because the mighty pen of Gabby would rip him into pieces, citing your days and actions at the Statesman as proof. Whether this thought will pan out or not, time will tell. But truth be told, you are hurting the party more than you are helping.
And as for your statement and its call, it is rather unfortunate but I know all historically conscious people would reject it. We are praying that you do not use “your influence” over the Candidate to…….. Believe it or not, many are praying that you do not become part of the coming campaign. Many are of the hope that you drop out of sight for a while.
With the Chairman and his misdeeds, we shall continue to “shout” them out, not because it will win elections. Nor shall we stop shouting because some love him. We shall continue to “shout” them out not because it is a means of winning elections, NO! But as a means of teaching our children and forewarning posterity; as a means of teaching our children the right and the wrong way of doing things; as a means of teaching our children the honest and the dishonest way of achieving one’s goals. Once a society loses sight of this fact, between right and wrong, between honesty and dishonesty, - all in the name of winning elections- doom appears at the door.
The wise and the elderly say that the misfortune of the “Asantrofie Anoma” the mythical bird outweighs its treasures. As such, they counsel that when one is fortunate or unfortunate to trap the bird, one should let go, no matter the temptation- which only a few mortal men can resist. You, Master Gabby, are an Asantrofie Anoma in our midst. And if you are not aware, then “now ya’ know”. The question is “whether we should keep you or we should let go.” Nonetheless, we shall leave this question to Time to answer.
So, what say you, Master Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko?

Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto.