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Opinions of Monday, 12 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

No Political Prostitutes for Akyem-Abuakwa South

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
August 18, 2015

Desecrating the memory of Dr. Joseph (Kwame Kyeretwie) Boakye-Danquah is the last thing that ought to be on anybody’s mind, especially when it comes to the critical subject of parliamentary representation for Akyem-Abuakwa South. I, however, began to have second-thoughts late last year, when Mr. Samuel Atta-Akyea decided to go to bat for former President Jerry John Rawlings against Professor Danso-Boafo, regarding the release of a book on the bloody politics of Mr. Rawlings. I have since the publication of my article backing the release of the former diplomat’s book, learned about the latter’s bad blood with Nana Akufo-Addo, the former New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Akyem-Abuakwa South. But as far as I can see it, it is a purely familial matter that ought to have been decently kept out of the political arena.

What I am getting at here is that I have been mulling the fact of whether it is not about time that the meddlesome Mr. Atta-Akyea gave his fullest attention to his legal practice and allowed a more serious politician in the statesman’s mold of Dr. Danquah to occupy the seat. I am also thinking that the next occupant of the Akyem-Abuakwa South seat ought to come from outside Kyebi, and thus take away the increasingly unbearable monarchical stench that has virtually stifled authentic democratic political culture in Akyem-Abuakwa South. I had hoped that a more formidable challenger would emerge in the camp of the New Patriotic Party to give Cousin Atta-Akyea a good run for his money. Alas, that was not to be. Well, our sages of old have said that even longevity is not without its own temporal bounds. The preceding notwithstanding, the last person that I was expecting to give Mr. Atta-Akyea the requisite hiccups, come December 2016, was Mr. Owuraku Amofa, the former Deputy Tourism Minister under the tenure of Mr. Rawlings.

From the few bits and pieces of media accounts that I have garnered, Owuraku Amofa appears to have been quite effective in bringing to the Akyem-Abuakwa South Constituency a development project or two, though for the most part this appears to have primarily centered around Kyebi township, which does not necessarily make Mr. Amofa any good alternative to Mr. Atta-Akyea. Besides, his running on the ticket of the faux-populist National Democratic Congress (NDC) gives me the creeps. In 1992, when Owuraku Amofa ran for parliament on the ticket of the NDC and won hands down, it was largely because of the ill-advised and, in retrospect, the inexcusably selfish decision of Prof. Adu-Boahen, late, who, having predictably lost the presidential contest to Chairman Rawlings, called for an all-out boycott of the parliamentary elections by New Patriotic Party candidates. Except for the very strategically shrewd decision by the late Ms. Hawa Yakubu to hold onto the Pusiga seat, as well as a handful of minority MPs from the marginal Left-leaning parties and a couple of independents, the first term of Ghana’s Fourth Republic was a virtual one-party state. The Danquah-Busia-Dombo scions did not seem to have learned any meaningful lessons from the past.

For me, though, if Owuraku Amofa is able to deliver Mr. Atta-Akyea the sound thrashing that my younger cousin certainly deserves – the man seems to have become too comfortable on the Akyem-Abuakwa South seat – it would be all worth the effort. One part of me, however, cringes at the possibility of Akyem-Abuakwa South’s falling into the bloody fold of the NDC Abongo Boys. Mr. Amofa also does not come off to me as a trustworthy candidate to represent Akyem-Abuakwa South. In 2008, when it appeared to a politically famished and sidelined Owuraku Amofa that Nana Akufo-Addo would likely succeed then-President John Agyekum-Kufuor to the Flagstaff House, he quickly defected to the New Patriotic Party camp and publicly declared, all-too-fatuously, that he had decided to throw his full heft and support behind Nana Akufo-Addo, not on the basis of principles, but rather nepotism. Owuraku Amofa would smirkingly declare: “I have decided to throw my weight behind Nana Akufo-Addo because he is my uncle.”

How stupid! But his apparent support among the NDC Abongo Boys goes to show you how desperate and deathly scared President Mahama and his hangers-on may be.