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Opinions of Sunday, 10 May 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Like Our Mother's Property, You Mean?

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
April 26, 2015

At somebody's last count, close to 80-percent of President John Mahama's deputy cabinet appointees were graduate students still learning the proverbial ropes of their professions. And so maybe the most logical question to ask is as follows: Were the government your father's property, Mr. Little Dramani, would you operate it in much the same manner that you are presently doing with the staffing of your cabinet, with predominantly under-qualified, inexperienced and mediocre intellectuals and professionals?

Having studiously observed the abjectly dismal performance of your National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for this considerable while, I can only conclude that you definitely would likely run this country the same way that you presently are doing because, for starters, your father, the late Mr. Adama Mahama, has been dead for quite awhile now; and besides, I don't see his ghost popping up anytime soon to chastize you the way he used to do while you were growing up. And so your situation has become as cozy as the proverbial mouse in the absence of the tom-cat (See "Manage Public Service Like Your Father's Property - Mahama" Ghana News Agency / 4/26/15).

At any rate, for the Akan-majority Ghanaian populace, we prefer to dedicate most of our time and energy guarding and protecting the properties of our mothers and maternal uncles, as the age-old habit of our culture has been for their nephews, by their sisters, to inherit our fathers' properties. Of course, all this is tongue-in-cheek. Still, I am afraid you probably do not remarkably appreciate the full import and implications of what you are talking about, since you also style yourself as a bona fide "social democrat," with emphasis on the adjective of "social," and you are also an ardent Nkrumaist.

You see, with your kind of ideological mindset, it is the party and the State that own our public property, not any particular person's father or mother or individual relative. Which also explains why your political icon, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, far preferred the building and development of more state- and government-owned enterprises than encouraging private-sector development. It is also rather ironic to know that you have a younger brother, Ibrahim, who is storied to be worth billions of dollars and has caused quite a humongous mess with the hurting Ghanaian taxpayer's money but who, in spite of all your pontifical talk about civic and social responsibility, you have indiscreetly used your great power and influence, as President of our Republic, to enable take undue advantage of the lumpen proletariat and abjectly destitute of the land.

Indeed, the country's public service belongs to all Ghanaians. But that is only the theoretical aspect of things. In practice, it is you, Mr. Mahama, who appoints all the ministers and their deputies as well as many of the directors and chairpersons with supervisory powers over the legion civil servants or civil-service employees scattered across the country. And so your self-righteous contention that the one great bottleneck regressing the efficiency of our civil-service culture is just that - a pathetic expression of self-righteousness. For it inescapably reflects your own gross and abject administrative incompetence, while you are unwilling to admit and accept this in good faith; for that would only mean one thing - your immediate resignation. The word "resignation" is, of course, the most execrable noun to have entered the English vocabulary and language, ever since you were old enough to speak the same idiom as Queen Elizabeth II, the symbolic proprietor-custodian of the same.

"Resignation," for you, is the Biblical equivalent of "suicide," religiously unacceptable. Which may also explain why in spite of your having literally run the economy of the country aground, you still insist on running for reelection so you could further worsen the plight of the average Ghanaian citizen for the next four years. Now we have some members of the International Morticians Federation (IMF) waiting by the door of your Flagstaff House office, but I know you would rather be boxed up alive, or casketed, and "abongoed" to the globally infamous Geese Park, home of the expediently liquidated Asomdwoehene, the Peaceful King of the NDC terror machine.

And now we also have your Head of the Public Services Commission (PSC), Ms. Bridget Kastriku, topping it all off, that is your gross administrative incompetence, by grimly informing us that your six years at the presidency have yet to adequately tutor you on how to clearly define the roles and functions of the various boards, councils and ministries which constitute the lifeblood and pulse of your government. Little Dramani, clearly the jig is up; it is time to vamoose. But if you still insist on compounding our misery with your endless dumsornomics then, of course, we have absolutely no other choice than to give you the pointy ends of our boots.