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Opinions of Friday, 6 July 2018

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

Dear Valerie, It may be from your undies…

It is only in Ghana that the leaders of the political party with the poorest track-record on human rights and democratic governance can pontifically presume to lecture the rest of us on how increasingly tyrannical the most liberal and democratic President of our Fourth-Republican dispensation, to wit, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is in danger of becoming a tyrant the likes of whose breed or species have never been known in 61 years of Ghana’s postcolonial reassertion of her sovereignty from British political domination (See “EC Dismissals: I Smell ‘Koobi,’ ‘Momoni’; Fuuun! – Valerie” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/3/18).

The “Valerie” of the preceding parenthetical reference, of course, is none other than the infamous Dr. Valerie Sawyerr, the perennially poormouthing former Deputy Chief-of-Staff of former President John Dramani Mahama. A critical reading of her anti-Akufo-Addo screed gives one the cringing impression that Dr. Sawyerr has rather unwisely and unconscionably permitted the generous and sumptuous perks of executive office to blight her judgment. Which is why she is able to glibly recount the apocalyptically excruciating pains and the veritable culture of abject tyranny and silence perpetrated by Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, the founding-father of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), without registering a single comment on how Mr. Rawlings’ unprecedented and protracted Reign-of-Terror got Ghanaians into the Stygian socioeconomic abyss in which they despondently found themselves, until the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), literally, saved the day by quadrupling the volume of our national economy, as well as exponentially raising the hitherto abjectly poor standard of living of the proverbial average Ghanaian citizen through the introduction of several social intervention programs.

Not surprisingly, the former Mahama Chief-of-Staff’s second-bananas makes absolutely no mention of the NDC’s “oppressive” and Social Darwinian Cash-and-Carry healthcare policy, a decidedly benighted and morally and socioeconomically regressive policy, that was healthily and progressively humanized by President Kufuor via the civilized and socio-culturally enlightened introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which Dr. Sawyerr’s former boss, former President Mahama, almost irreparably bankrupted. Yes, there was, indeed, a period in Ghana’s postcolonial history when we were, almost each and every one of us, the veritable hostages and virtual slaves of the populist self-serving leaders of the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), when Ghanaians had to queue in order to buy uncooked kenkey made of American-imported fattened yellow corn meant for pigs and other species of livestock. But, of course, Dr. Sawyerr would have the rest of us believe that this was the Golden Age of postcolonial Ghanaian politics. “Amandla, Ngawethu,” indeed! You see, as a former Honorary Member of the African National Congress (ANC), I have actually had the privilege of participating in anti-Apartheid protest demonstrations. For me, this rallying cry of Zulus and Xhosas is the very rhythm of my pulse, not cynical and empty rhetoric.

The vitriolic critic also does not, predictably, make any mention of the fact that as Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), a constitutionally protected job with the legal status of an Appeals Court Judge, Mrs. Charlotte Amma Kesson-Smith Osei ought not to have been laterally transferred to the Electoral Commission (EC), unless then-President Mahama had an ulterior motive, including but not necessarily restricted to, having to do with Mrs. Osei’s criminally calling the results of the 2016 Presidential Election in his favor. Which is precisely what the recently dismissed EC Chair is reliably alleged to have attempted to do, at least according to a leaked audio recording of the voice of an EC Director. There have also been widespread allegations about acts of bribery in the form of liquid cash and an automobile proffered by President “Ford Expedition Payola” Mahama to Mrs. Osei and some of her EC associates. You see, merely drily listing the official functions of the EC, not the EC’s Chair, mind you, Dear Reader, as stipulated in Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, without also taking into account the terms of reference given the committee established by Chief Justice Sophia AB Akuffo, constitutes the height of disingenuity.

To be certain, Dr. Sawyerr inexcusably insults the intelligence of Ghanaians by cavalierly and narcissistically presuming to play fast-and-loose with the practical administrative and professional issues upon which both the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee and the deliberately considered decision by President Akufo-Addo to relieve Mrs. Osei and her two Deputy Commissioners, namely, Mr. Amadu Sulley and Mrs. Georgina Opoku-Amankwaa of their posts were based. Indeed, if any aspect of the entire EC saga exudes a fetid stench, at least in the flighty or neurotic imagination of the former Mahama Chief-of-Staff second-bananas, Dr. Sawyerr would herself and the rest of us great good by peeling off her undies – I hope it is not that period of the month – and conducting a smell-test in one of our national labs. I bet she would be stunned by the test results returned to her.

In simple English, I guess what I am asking here is as follows: “Sister Valerie, when was the last time that you cleaned your undies?” I bet my bottom-dollar that this is where your entire beef with Charlotte Osei’s dismissal by Nana Akufo-Addo originates from. Too bad, sore loser!