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Opinions of Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

John Kuma is a Very Funny Man!

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

In the wake of a mammoth welcoming rally organized by some members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in honor of the party’s presidential candidate for Election 2008, at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), a Mr. John Kuma, also reported to be a registered member of the NPP, was quoted to be suggesting that such rally was in gross contravention of party regulations (See “ ‘Call Nana Akufo-Addo to Order’ – John Kuma” 3/17/09).

And here, we briefly recall the fact that in the wake of his grueling and hard-fought presidential campaign, the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South, in consonance with good and salutary practice, decided to take a brief vacation in Ghana’s erstwhile imperial metropolis of London where, incidentally, the former Justice Minister and Attorney-General also schooled in the art of legal practice and partly grew up.

Anyway, Mr. Kuma’s source of apparent irritation is that in being welcomed by such a humongous crowd of party faithful and activists, Nana Akufo-Addo had created the impression that the latter still remained the unopposed flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party.

Needless to say, the problem that the evidently bitter critic has here is that Mr. Kuma is not, in any way, accusing Nana Akufo-Addo, at least not publicly and as far as this writer had been able to ascertain at press time, of having personally caused the mammoth assembly of party members, supporters and sympathizers to welcome the former Foreign Minister at the Kotoka International Airport.

If, indeed, the foregoing observation has validity, then, not only does the critic stolidly appear to be misdirecting his grievance, a palpably gratuitous grievance, to be certain, but even more flagrantly, Mr. Kuma also appears to be presumptuously attempting to impugn the democratic right of those members of the NPP who still envisage Nana Akufo-Addo as their pre-anointed presidential candidate for Election 2012.

And here must also be quickly added that just as his resounding defeat at the polls in 1996, by Mr. Rawlings, did not prevent the now-former President John Agyekum-Kufuor from re-gunning for the presidency, the second time around in 2000, absolutely nothing ought to prevent a hale and hearty Nana Akufo-Addo from re-gunning for the presidency come Election 2012.

We also vehemently disagree with Mr. Kuma that rallying around and behind the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo, as a large section of stalwart NPP members, supporters and sympathizers did recently, is apt to “breed” party disunity. Rather, massively rallying around the NPP presidential candidate for Election 2008 healthily indicates two things – one, the fact that the party remains too strong and cohesive to be easily fazed or readily buckled by a single defeat at the polls and, of all defeats, such a “photo-finish” defeat as that which was recently sustained by a longsuffering NPP.

Secondly, in massively rallying around Nana Akufo-Addo, the rank-and-file membership of the NPP appears to be sending a clear and unmistakable signal to the ruling, hardnosed National Democratic Congress (NDC) and, in fact, to President John Evans “Prayer Camp” Atta-Mills, himself, that if he is frivolously entertaining any bizarre notion of having it jolly for the next four years, then Oguaa Kofi had better return to his old job at the law faculty of the university college that Dr. Danquah founded and Oguaa Kofi attended!

Indeed, President Atta-Mills’ most recent innuendo, to the largely superfluous effect that there was only “one elected president of Ghana” – I bet he was quoting Mr. Kufuor’s lame warning to Togbui Rawlings – could only have been lost on a first-time and/or recent arrival to the country. His remark, needless to say, was louder more for what the president deliberately omitted than that which he clearly enunciated, which is that Oguaa Kofi continues to be morbidly afraid of his closest political rival in the 2008 general election.

Maybe in Cape Coast, big-time power-brokers like Mr. Rawlings’ second-bananas are more comfortable spouting the vapidly effeminate speeches of innuendoes and aspersions. At Kyebi, though, real men routinely wade the Birem in order to valiantly rip apart the diamond-laden snouts of crocodiles.

To the wise, of course, proverbs must be spoken. But if that is not enough, then, by all means, perhaps, Oguaa Kofi ought to be shown the road to Antananarivo.

*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 the author of twenty books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (, 2005). E-mail: ###