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Opinions of Monday, 28 January 2019

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Was former president Mills Spio-Garbrah’s favorite president?

Ekwow Spio-Garbrah Ekwow Spio-Garbrah

He may, indeed, have been the favorite presidential running-mate choice of then-Candidate John Evans Atta-Mills, at the time a former Vice-President, but it cannot be gainsaid that the man that Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah claims to have been his ministerial favorite, as a result of his exceptional hard work or diligence, may very well have deeply regretted such an egregious faux-pas. For, of course, as we all know, the former Education and Communications Minister, under the Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress’ government, would shortly and publicly and persistently call then-President Atta-Mills “damaged goods” who deserved to be shoved out of the way to make space for “Team-A” players like the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO).

In the other words, Mr. Spio-Garbrah is an unconscionable narcissist and a pathological opportunist who would fabricate any feel-good mythology to enable him to put himself over and above the NDC’s hoodlum pack of presidential-candidacy aspirants. Then again, who cares about the confidence or the alleged favor of a “damaged good”? It clearly appears that Mr. Spio-Garbrah is in dire need of a shrink or a psychiatrist; at the very least, the former Clinton-sacked Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States requires the immediate services of a clinical psychologist. I would gladly recommend my own niece, a Columbia University graduate who is finishing up her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at New York City’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, and once was an assistant editor of the American Journal of Clinical Psychology, Ms. Nana Yaa Agyeiwaa Amoh.

On other occasions, Mr. Spio-Garbrah has presumptuously, perhaps with some good reasons, sought to make himself seem better and even superior to former President John Dramani Mahama, by letting it be known to those who care, that it was he, Spio-Garbrah, who had been named by then-President Jerry John Rawlings as the substantive Communications Minister, and not the former Gonja-West’s NDC-Member of Parliament, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, who was only Mr. Spio-Garbrah’s “admirably humble” ministerial understudy or deputy. The problem with this quixotically ambitious man is that he has absolutely no remarkable ministerial or executive legacy to convincingly prove why he, more than any of his other six rivals for his party’s presidential candidacy, deserves to be the nominee for the 2020 Presidential Election.

Well, it may be absolutely and equally true that his northern-descendant status may very well have enabled Mr. Mahama to trump the running-mate’s eligibility of Mr. Spio-Garbrah for the 2008 Presidential Election, but there is equally absolutely no remarkable evidence indicating that Mr. Spio-Garbrah would have performed any better than the self-styled “Northern Star” and the Atta-Mills’ “Presidential Spare-Tire.”

It is also significant to note the fact that his much-touted workaholism and all, still, Mr. Spio-Garbrah was ignoble or self-disrespectful enough to have readily consented to serve as Trade Minister – I suppose for the second time – under former President John Mahama, the man he is presently fiercely contesting and whose bona fides he appears to be seriously impugning.

You see, for Mr. Spio-Garbrah, who claims to hail from both the Central and Western regions, it is all about zealously padding his résumé or vitae in order to spoil for the presidency for which he is clearly a long shot.

At any rate, being the favorite candidate for a running-mate of the then-Candidate Atta-Mills is nothing really worth bragging about, because the man who publicly backed Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome’s inalienable constitutional right to fleece the Ghanaian taxpayer, to the whopping tune of GH? 51.2 Million, did not create or leave any lasting legacy on Ghana’s political terrain. To be certain, as President, Prof. Atta-Mills proved himself to be an ignoble scofflaw who instigated two of his wet-eared minions, namely, Messrs. Edward Omane-Boamah and Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, to rudely and criminally defy the Wood-presided Supreme Court of Ghana, in the landmark matter of the Obetsebi-Lamptey landed and real-estate property-purchase deal.

But that Mr. Spio-Garbrah’s claim of having been the favorite vice-presidential choice of the late President Atta-Mills is fabricated out of a whole cloth, as it were, is clearly borne out by the fact that the first Fourth-Republican President to die in office had already had the chance, twice before, to pick a running-mate.

And on both occasions, it is interesting to note that Mr. Spio-Garbrah’s name is not known to have come up. Instead, on those two previous occasions, it was the names of Mr. Joshua ABK Amidu, Ghana’s present Independent Special Public Prosecutor, and Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, the former Foreign Minister, who made the cut. And it wasn’t necessarily because these two gentlemen were northerners and, by his cleverly, albeit mischievously, stated implication, far less experienced or qualified than Mr. Spio-Garbrah.