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Opinions of Monday, 18 July 2011

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

K. T. Hammond is Right to a Point…on Obed Asamoah, But!

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

Perhaps the most insightful observations regarding the raging wrangling in the ruling National Democratic Congress, particularly in the wake of the party’s Sunyani delegates’ convention, has come from Mr. Kobina Tahir Hammond, the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Adansi-Asokwa (See “Obed Asamoah Is Ungrateful – K. T. Hammond” Ghanaweb.com 7/14/11).
Reacting to Dr. Obed Yao Asamoah’s quite predictable return into the membership fold of the NDC, under the specious guise of the ruling party’s having supposedly matured in the practical application of democratic principles, Mr. Hammond aptly points out that it clearly looks as if Dr. Asamoah’s move is shamelessly predicated on abject hypocrisy, in that the former NDC chairman’s overriding motive for parting ways with the NDC was the unilateral decision by former President Rawlings in naming the now-President John Evans Atta-Mills as the uncontestable presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress in 2006. Reliable party sources claim that Dr. Asamoah had expected Mr. Rawlings to have named him to the party’s flagbearership.
Mr. Hammond is also absolutely right in observing that of all Ghanaian politicians who have had extensive dealings with Mr. Rawlings, Dr. Obed Asamoah is the least qualified to cavalierly impugn the integrity of the retired strongman, since any substantive impact that the Likpe-Kukurantumi native may be aptly envisaged to have registered on the national political landscape occurred while Dr. Asamoah studiously served as a cardinal lieutenant to the retired Sogakope dictator. And, indeed, not much that is academically seminal or historic of the tenure of Dr. Asamoah at the University of Ghana Law School is known.
On the other hand, even as he has continued to slyly and snidely impugn the political integrity and democratic credentials of Mr. Rawlings, Dr. Asamoah has, himself, been widely known to have been more intolerant and ideologically inflexible where the forging of democratic principles are concerned, such as his infamous declaration that the now-proscribed colonialist Criminal Libel Law, a coercive instrument used in stultifying the liberal practice of journalism in Ghana, could only be repealed “over my dead body!”
Mr. Hammond is also right in observing that his tacit condoning of Dr. Asamoah’s snide, albeit oblique, attacks on former President Rawlings does little to endear President John Evans Atta-Mills to levelheaded and well-meaning Ghanaians. In essence, for the former Deputy Energy Minister under the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party, Dr. Obed Asamoah exemplifies the scurrilous image of a classical opportunist voraciously and unconscionably feasting off the personal destruction of his most benevolent benefactors, in order to convince himself of his own worth and dignity.
Significantly and interestingly, in all his sanctimonious rants about the supposedly remarkable growth and maturity of the NDC in the practice of democratic cultural principles, Dr. Obed Asamoah has yet to inform Ghanaians precisely why such a noisomely self-assured former NDC key operative could not get his so-called Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) off the proverbial ground, after furiously walking out of the NDC’s delegates’ congress at the Hotel EREDEC, in Koforidua, in 2006, on the quite curious grounds that his longtime patron and prime benefactor had turned the party into his personal luggage?
Maybe if he could provide a well-thought-out answer to the foregoing question, Ghanaians would be in a more objective position to decide whether, indeed, it is the NDC or Dr. Obed Asamoah and his so-called Freedom Democratic Party that have undergone a phenomenal process of growth and maturity over the last half-decade.
In a manner of speaking, I would rather have Mr. Hammond focus more poignantly on the crafting and marketing of the NPP’s campaign policy agenda for Election 2012. Still, one cannot but heartily laugh at Mr. Ato Forson, the former NDC coordinator of Get Atta Mills Endorsed (GAME) campaign team for the Central Region, when the latter counsels Mr. Hammond to “Mind your own NPP business!” Maybe somebody ought to have reminded the key NDC operatives to do the same during the last two presidential primaries of the New Patriotic Party, particularly over whether Nana Akufo-Addo had secured the legitimate mandate of the rank-and-file membership of his own party.

*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 a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author of “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.
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