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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Afoko is not a good leader

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 16, 2016

He does not write the sort of readable English that one would expect of a person sporting such a common Anglo-Irish name as Charles McCarthy. And many of my countrymen and women may not want to hear this, but Ghanaians with such dislocated geocultural names as Charles McCarthy are a major part of the psychological problems we have as Africans struggling epically to come into our own, as it were. It was in recognition of this psychological handicap and the imperative need to assuming his proud African identity that inspired then Mr. Francis Kofi Nwia Nkrumah to change his name to Kwame Nkrumah.

In our own time, such traumas of our neocolonialist identity crisis and inferiority complex have prompted some among us to muff up their psychological inadequacies under the guise of Christian nomenclature. We shall make time to discuss this subject further in the near future. For now, we need to get one or two things clear, namely, the indisputable fact that in spite of its seismic internal political turmoil, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) remains the most democratic political organization in the country. It is the only major political party in which presidential nomination is not by cabalistic imposition, Mafia-style, the way it is done in the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

But then how can one blame a party whose legitimacy is squarely predicated on a functionally stultifying Indemnity Clause that was inserted into the country’s 1992 Republican Constitution? Then also must be recognized the fact that the NPP is a functional democratic organization where the mere fact of one’s congressional election does not afford one the carte-blanche to ride roughshod over the rights of one’s peers, associates and even subordinates. This is what significantly differentiates the New Patriotic Party from the National Democratic Congress, and which the well-meaning but clearly misguided likes of Mr. McCarthy may do themselves a lot of good to fully appreciate.

It goes without saying that if today Mr. Paul Awentami Afoko has been indefinitely suspended from his post as NPP National Chairman, it is not because the party leadership is autocratic or imperialistic, as Mr. McCarthy would have his readers believe. Rather, it is because Mr. Afoko and such close associates as Messrs. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong and Sammy Crabbe decided to flout the civilized and democratic rules of conduct by becoming a law unto themselves, with the cynical objective of railroading their internal political rivals and opponents.

The brutal acid-dousing assassination of Mr. Adams Mahama, the former Upper-East NPP Regional Chairman, did not positively demonstrate the skills of Mr. Afoko as a unifying party patriarch, as Mr. McCarthy insolently would have his readers believe. Mr. Afoko, it is significant to observe, had been directly and actively involved in the raucous and violent events that led to the brutal assassination of Mr. Mahama. Indeed, as I have had occasion to point out time and again, in a more civilized culture, calls would have promptly gone out in demand for the immediate resignation of the legitimately suspended NPP National Chairman.

And were he really the disciplined and impeccably professional administrator and leader that Mr. McCarthy would have the rest of us believe he is, Mr. Afoko would have promptly apologized for being complicit in the dastardly chain of events that led to the brutal assassination of Mr. Mahama. He would also have fully cooperated with law-enforcement agents to have his younger brother, Gregory, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, rather than so flagrantly and impudently attempting to concoct an alibi for his brother. If this vampiric and thuggish leadership style of Monsieur Afoko’s is what Mr. McCarthy would have Ghanaians believe is direly required to give the New Patriotic Party a fighting chance at Election 2016, then I would rather pray for the effective disintegration of the party for the sake of the spiritual and psychological redemption of our beloved country.

Even as I write, the family of Mr. Adams Mahama is in virtual suspended animation while their battle for justice and closure torturously drags on in court. If Mr. Adams Mahama were Mr. McCarthy’s blood relative, would he be screaming so loudly to have Mr. Afoko returned to the helm of NPP affairs, so that the latter could create more mischief and mayhem with glee? Does Mr. McCarthy have a conscience?

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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