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Opinions of Monday, 28 November 2016

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis

Mahama’s 'Northern brothers,' Akufo-Addo’s “Yen Akanfuo” 2

“Be careful, think about the effect of what you say. Your words should be constructive, bring people together, not pull them apart” (Miriam Makeba).

“There are two things over which you have complete dominion, authority, and control—your mind and your tongue” (Molefi Kete Asante).

It is high time we learned to celebrate our diversity by, among other things, doing away with the colonial corollaries of the so-called “Hamitic hypothesis.”

After all, there is more to gain from the teachable richness of diversity than from ethnicity and race and their connate offshoots—ethnocentrism and racism.

Diversity and inclusive politics deserve a noble place in development economics as engines of growth and development, a necessary paradigm for internal social cohesion and amity, as far as we can appreciate the notion that inclusive politics particularly dispenses with ghettoization and otherism.

Thus, our politicians should expand the scope of ethnic inclusiveness on the altar of political socialization.

Yet inclusive politics should not be sacrificed on the altar of incompetence, political patronage, political ethnocentrism, cronyism, ethnic nepotism, and public corruption.

What Mandela and Tutu called ubuntu and Nkrumah African Personality, are instructive, at least for our edification, so too is Appiah’s eliminativist views on “race” and racial fixation.

Historical and generational interethnic marriages, miscegenation, genetic drift, polymorphism and monomorphism further complicate this seemingly unending infatuation with race and ethnicity.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Unfortunately there is a heightened sense of unfairness and misplaced attributions of political equalization on either side of President Mahama’s appeal, which is that Akans in the NPP opposed Aliu Mahama’s candidacy while President Mahama and the leadership of the NDC also opposed the candidacy of George Boateng, presumably an Akan.

Where do we start? And where do we to end?

On the one hand, President Mahama’s and his colleagues’ underhanded opposition to Boateng’s candidature somehow exposes the underlying undemocratic character of their party’s internal structures and on the other, Anthony Karbo’s otherwise scandalous revelation to the effect that northerners are trooping to the NPP because of Bawumia offers a rather more nuanced endorsement of President Mahama’s.

All else aside, the expression Danquah-Busia-Dombo itself underscores the underlying assumptions of President Mahama’s referential endearment, one of which points to the NPP’s politics of exclusion—which the leadership of the NPP has generationally dissembled in broad daylight.

Dombo has been otherized to the point of political extinction

Of course, Dombo’s tail-end parenthetic presence in this elitist xenophobic clade of negrified political gangsters is the convenient result of an afterthought.

The questionable behavior of the ethnocentric leadership of the NPP over the years reinforces the idea of the appendage otherwise called Dombo as a human vestigiality.

Ostracism has been his divinely inspired comeuppance for his sublime demonstration of political generosity and loyalty toward the Akan-centric Aryanists.

Ideologically, he has been treated by the largely conservative Akan ideologues within the NPP as a helpless and hopeless political leper, a terminally diseased patient of a misplaced political geography whose prognostic manumission is not even deserving of the elitist sympathy of Akan-driven ethnocentric hegemony—call it Akan-centric Aryanism, if you like.

Granted, when it is a question of race and ethnicity, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder but rather in the soul of the beholder.

Further, the ultimate arbiter of the twists and turns of man’s destiny is certainly not the eye of the beholder but rather death and the graveyard.

The palpable cacophony of race and ethnicity has its redoubtable master in the ominous silence of death and the graveyard.

Death and the graveyard are verifiably concrete, and far removed from the conceit of emotional reification, with both death and the graveyard not being fictive originations in the sublime immanence of the human experience.

For, unlike death and the graveyard, race and ethnicity are merely human inventions. They do not exist on the basis of scientific facts. They are only perceptions to say the least.

Let us therefore do more to better the human condition while ignoring the sentiments of race and ethnicity, for, after all, if there is any one moment for us to come together and make serious attempts to direct our concerted efforts toward solving our myriad problems then that moment is now!

But our calculating politicians will always fan ethnic sentiments, will always provoke uproars with controversial remarks and so on—merely to keep popular questioning focus off their failures and visionless posturing.

Akufo-Addo’s rather characteristic dubious comment that he is “tribal blind” does not in any way do away with his indelible ethnocentric phrase, “Yen Akanfuo.”

He is merely making that ethnic-blind comment for the sake of securing votes from the same people President Mahama called “northern brothers,” evidently a self-driven entanglement caught up in a revolving-door of moral contradictions. He is throwing dust into the people’s eyes.

Now, listen to him:

“We want one united Ghana and we don’t want a situation where tribe is set against tribe and north is set against south; that is the politics of yesterday.”

Pointed.

“Yen Akanfuo,” Akufo-Addo’s unapologetic politics of yesterday, is still here with us here today.

President Mahama’s is a more polished reprise of Akufo-Addo’s. Then also if Yaw Osafo-Marfo reportedly says the north is not resource-rich, what is Akufo-Addo doing there begging for votes?

Are votes not a form of resource-rich reserves? The point is that one cannot believe in a unitary Ghana while still being ideologically and philosophically married to “Yen Akanfuo.”

Actually it does not happen unless one is a true definition of a concrete concatenation of contradictions, which Akufo-Addo and Yaw Osafo-Marfo no doubt are.

Egregious inconsistencies of this nature do not bespeak intelligent, pragmatic, and visionary leadership in the reclusive character of Akufo-Addo. Such indeed is the political characterology of our technocrats and ruling elites.

In the final analysis, emotional investment in race and ethnicity will only sap our creative energies and efforts.

“No more internal power struggle; we come together to overcome the little trouble…‘Cause I don’t want my people to be contrary…To divide and rule could only tear us apart,” sang Bob Marley on “Zimbabwe.”

Joseph Hill of Culture (“Tribal War”):

“We don’t need no tribal war inna this ya time

“Tribal war can't solve the problem

“Tribal war can't solve it at all…

“We should live in love

“War can't do a thing

“The arms of gun is helpless…

“Can't you hear what I say?

OUR CLERICS ON POLITICAL ETHNOCENTRISM

Our clerics should not deceive themselves into thinking that they can minimize or sweep political ethnocentrism under the rug. They cannot—certainly. It is a big problem even within the religious establishment as well. This nagging problem is as concrete as death and the graveyard.

Our clerics should not forget that politics is all about survival, survival of the fittest that is, and therefore President Mahama—like Akufo-Addo and the other presidential candidates—is doing what he has to do in order to neutralize the violent storm of opposition to his candidacy and to turn that storm of opposition in his favor.

No real man with a heart beating in his chest will absorb political pummeling lying down. It is not in the character of human nature.
“In every man chest, there beats a heart…,” sang Bob Marley (“Zimbabwe”).

In fine, the political process entails deploying the instruments of cunning ruthlessness and strategic maneuvers if it comes down to it, as Niccolo Machiavelli surgically described it, a stale formula political animals have consistently adhered to in order to sustain their political relevance, aspirations and tenure.

Our clerics must understand this basic principle of political socialization.

AN IMPORTANT LESSON FOR AFRICANS AND THEIR LEADERS

Nkrumahism remains the only hope for Ghana and Africa.

This is why in the entire history of the African continent there has never a single discursive, rational or pragmatic science of political philosophy and of ideology that stands taller than Nkrumahism when it comes to unraveling the interlocking complexities of Africa’s political, economic and moral humanity.

Nkrumahism exposes the contradictions of and tensions in this continental humanity and charts a rigorous scientific, philosophical and mathematical pathway for the continent’s human capital development, development economics and development sociology.

Africa’s scientific, technological, moral and intellectual development constitutes the underlying dialectical framology of Nkrumahism (see below).

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR OUR READERS

We shall certainly provide detailed summaries of the chapter contents of the first two highly technical scientific, mathematical and philosophical texts in the future (Reminder: Dr. Kofi Kissi Dompere, an eminent mathematician, philosopher, logician, historian, management scientist, statistician, financial and policy analyst, is the author of the following books listed below for your reading pleasure):

1) “The Theory of Philosophical Consciencism: Practice Foundations of Nkrumaism.”

2) “The Theory of Categorial Conversion: Rational Foundations of Nkrumaism.”

3) “Polyrhythmicity: Foundations of African Philosophy.”

4) “African Union: Analytical Foundations.”

5) “Africentricity and African Nationalism: Philosophy and Ideology for Africa’s Complete Emancipation.”

We shall return with Part 3, the concluding segment.