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Opinions of Saturday, 28 February 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Osafo-Maafo Should Stand By His "Doctored" Statements

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 25, 2015
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

The allegedly leaked audiotape recording on which the voice of Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo is heard questioning the propriety of the brazen political minoritization of Ghana's Akan ethnic majority, may be a ploy by a treacherous New Patriotic Party (NPP) insider or a National Democratic Congress(NDC)-sponsored mole aimed at distracting frustrated Ghanaians from focusing on the gross administrative incompetence of the Mahama government (See "I Doubt If Leaked Osafo-Maafo Tape Was Doctored - Kweku Baako" MyJoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 2/25/15).

Whatever be the case, it is important for the former Kufuor Sports and Finance Minister to boldly own up to the contents of the aforesaid tape, if Mr. Osafo-Maafo is convinced that Akans whose lands and resourcefulness produce the bulk of our country's wealth have been deliberately and systematically sidelined and wantonly exploited by key operatives of the Anlo-Ewe-dominated so-called National Democratic Congress. Running away from this apparently serious problem of deliberate political marginalization of Ghana's ethnic majority is likely to create far greater problems of tragic and catastrophic proportions down the pike, as New Yorkers are wont to say.

And when that doomsday arrives, it would be too late to emplace any constructive measures in a bid to resolving the same. In mainstream American parlance, Mr. Osafo-Maafo did the country a yeomanly service by deciding to talk about the "proverbial elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about." In other words, refusing to frontally grab the proverbial bull by the horns would not facilely make the problem go away; not by any stretch of the imagination.

As for Mr. Kweku Baako's assertion that having given the alleged audiotape recording of the voice of Mr. Osafo-Maafo several listenings, he is fully convinced that the tape has not been doctored, the editor-publisher of the New Crusading Guide's observation is decidedly beside the point. The real question to ask is whether, indeed, the voice on the tape is making truthful pronouncements and observations or not. I also sincerely don't believe that the alleged contents of the tape are in any way indefensible, as Mr. Baako would have the rest of the world believe, if, indeed, the pronouncements made on the tape have validity within the context of political realities under the Mahama government.

As I observed in a previous column on this issue, what Mr. Osafo-Maafo is being accused of has long-standing precedence in postcolonial Ghanaian political culture, and in particular the political culture of Fourth-Repblican Ghana. The founding patriarch of the National Democratic Congress, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, has appropriated ethnic chauvinism as a political campaign strategy with marvelous effects; and so did the late President John Evans Atta-Mills use sub-ethnic chauvinism as a fairly effective political strategy. The former Legon tax-law professor called his brand of chauvinism "The Asante Project," under the Fante native intended to "cut the arrogant Asantes down to size."

And now, on his watch, President John Dramani Mahama has for the most part ensured that Ghanaians of northern birth and/or descent would thoroughly and effectively dominate the most significant portfolios in his cabinet. This clearly appears to be what Mr. Osafo-Maafo was alluding to, when the latter noted that Akans were being exploited by people whose regions of birth and/or origin produced a piffle of the country's natural and human resources. Mr. Osafo-Maafo would have stood on a better terrain, if he had also promptly added that the bulk of the non-Akan Mahama cabinet appointees were relatively far less qualified for their portfolios than, for example, most of the Akan cabinet appointees who ran the Kufuor government. In other words, merely making a defense out of the alleged "doctoring" of the Osafo-Maafo audiotape recording would simply not cut it, as Americans are wont to say.

On the foregoing score, this is what the former Kufuor cabinet appointee had to say: "The alleged tape purported to be my voice has been doctored, mischievously rearranged and pieced together, using modern technology, to create a false impression." What is relevant here is that the Akyem-Oda native is not in any way, whatsoever, denying that the voice on the audiotape belongs to him, just that the structure and flow of his rhetoric/speech have been distorted through mischievous misalignment. The real question, though, is whether observing a political truism and reality is, indeed, tantamount to the creation of a false impression. If I were the reputable banker and financial administrator and businessman, I would stand by my observations and let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

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