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Opinions of Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

NDC thrives on tribalism

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

If anybody is poised to discussing the patently unsavory politics of tribalism or ethnocentrism among the leadership ranks of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), that person is definitely not Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur. It has to be somebody else. And so far, I don’t see that somebody as being among the vanguard ranks of the NDC leadership.

To be certain, I couldn’t stop myself from sneering with amused contempt when the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana declared to some members, supporters and sympathizers of the party during an electioneering campaign rally in the historic township of Winneba, in his home base of the Central Region, that the politics of ethnic chauvinism had absolutely no place in the ruling party (See “Tribal Politics Has No Place in NDC – Amissah-Arthur” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 11/16/16).

Well, I would not be the least bit surprised if Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, amidst the hectic welter of utter desperation of electioneering campaigning, has so soon forgotten that scarcely a month ago, he stood in the Okwawuman heartland of Mpraeso and mischievously questioned why the people of that sub-ethnic polity of the Eastern Region, the home turf of Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2016 presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), had made an unsavory and routine habit of voting for the New Patriotic Party, in spite of the fact that the National Democratic Congress had provided that part of the Eastern Region with good roads and potable drinking water.

Of course, what President Mahama’s second-bananas was not saying was that the NDC had deliberately ignored the rest of the Eastern Region from the government’s development agenda, particularly the huge Akyem-populated parts of the region.

Mr. Amissah-Arthur also highlighted the fact that as a largely business community of people, it would be all too savvy if the Okwawuman people made a reciprocal gesture of gratitude by massively voting for the National Democratic Congress. I had to rudely awaken the Fante native to the glaring and indelible fact that it was the Rawlings-led erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) that had singularly undertaken the near-total destruction of Okwawu-owned businesses in the invidious name of the Trokosi-orchestrated anti-Akan “house-cleaning” revolutionary exercise, so-called.

As well, Mr. Amissah-Arthur had either conveniently or ignorantly overlooked the fact that fundamentally speaking, the Okwawu people and their Akyem neighbors were geo-cultural and virtual political twins, as clearly evinced by the fact that such major Okwawu towns and cities as Mpraeso, the Okwawuman administrative capital, and Nkwatia, one of the traditional capitals where yours truly also attended the world-famous St. Peter’s Secondary School (PERSCO), and the great commercial capital of Nkawkaw, all had their origins in Akyem settlement.

I had to also draw to his attention and enlightenment that a sizeable portion of the residents of the Saltpond-Anomabu littoral of Mr. Amissah-Arthur’s own home base of the Central Region were equally of Akyem provenance. You see, having falsely branded themselves as an all-inclusive party of ethnic minorities, the leaders of the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress are having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that both the NDC and the New Patriotic Party are heavily Akan dominated.

But because the leaders of the National Democratic Congress clearly lack any constructive or visionary agenda for the development of our beloved country, they have shamelessly resorted to the politics of divide-and-conquer in order to hang on to power and be able to line their wallets and pocket books with the hard-earned monetary resources of the overworked and scandalously underpaid Ghanaian worker.

It would also make far better sense and even shore up his extravagant claims, if the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana could present his electioneering audiences with hard facts and figures about his government’s development projects in all the ten regions of the country, rather than insolently pretending as if Ghanaians were all too pathologically gullible to critically think for themselves, and would thus lap up any rhetorical cant cunningly concocted by these megalomaniacal NDC apparatchiks, and put into the public domain as an objective picture of the purportedly impressive development achievements of the Mahama regime.

Somebody also needs to remind Vice-President Amissah-Arthur that he and his boss, President John Dramani Mahama, cannot facilely trot out phrases like “national unity,” “multiethnic and multicultural cohesion,” while Mr. Mahama tells his fellow northerners that their only hope for development lies in their willingness and ability to blindly vote for only northern-born presidential candidates. Come on, gentlemen, wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. It is the dawn of a new post-ethnic and/or post-tribal dispensation.