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Opinions of Sunday, 21 April 2019

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

Raise up more billboards!

Every bona fide Ghanaian citizen is entitled to his/her own opinion. But, of course, even as the jaded adage goes: “Facts are sacred and incontrovertible.” Ghanaians prefer to render the latter quote in the following manner: “There is only one truth.” And that truth, even as Ya-Naa Abukari or Ndan Yaan Naa, himself, categorically noted during his recent enskinment or coronation in Yendi, the ancient capital of the Dagomba Kingdom, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the one elected Ghanaian leader who conclusively resolved the long-running nightmarish feud that had been raging between the Andani and Abudu Gates of the Dagbon Royal Family for some two decades. In reality, feuds have punctuated the two Dagbon royal gates since time immemorial. The author of the opinion piece captioned “Bring Down This Billboard” could not claim to be more knowledgeable about the true mastermind behind the recent resolution of the Dagbon or Yendi Chieftaincy Crisis, or could he? And there I rest my case (See “Bring Down This Billboard” Ghanaweb.com 4/15/19).

You see, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has notched so many enviable leadership achievements in the just over two years since he assumed democratic and constitutional reins of governance in ways that cannot be said of the much younger and more ambitious but far less talented former President John Dramani Mahama, the sometime political benefactor and paymaster of the author of the article under discussion. So, I find this shabby pretense to a patently nonexistent controversy to be nothing short of scandalously pathetic. The fact of the matter is that while it is true that at the time of the brutal, barbaric and primitive decapitation of Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani, II, in 2002, Nana Akufo-Addo was President John Agyekum-Kufuor’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, nevertheless, it was the extant Minister of the Interior under whose direct jurisdiction the protection and security of the Dagbon Overlord and his courtiers fell.

Nana Akufo-Addo only factored into the political equation where the arrest and prosecution of the criminal suspects was concerned. So, it is nothing short of flagrantly disingenuous for the apparently hate-filled critic to deviously attempt to pin down or functionally connect Nana Akufo-Addo’s portfolio as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice with the unfortunate and tragic events that precipitated the Yakubu Andani Regicide. Indeed, any such disingenuous attempt to associate the now-President Akufo-Addo with the savage slaughtering of the Ya-Naa will not wash. Not by even the most poetic and “apoplectic” imagination – my profound and sincere apologies to the virulent critic.

At any rate, we ought not to forget that as the substantive Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana and President Kufuor’s second-in-command, Alhaji Aliu Mahama had far greater responsibility for the safety of Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani, II, than Nana Akufo-Addo. And what is more, a fact that ought to be made pointedly clear to all interested parties to this landmark case, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, late, was a well-known partisan and a bona fide member of the Dagbon royal family. Consequently, any dastardly attempt to scapegoat Nana Akufo-Addo is inexcusably preposterous, to speak much less about the downright absurd.

Now, it is also the blisteringly ignorant who could so cavalierly presume to privilege the admittedly intimate bonds between The Ya-Naa and The Asantehene over and above the ancient blood ties between The Okyenhene and The Asantehene. The choleric critic ought to have conducted some decent research before presuming to make such a scandalously intra-ethnically divisive observation. It is also not clear to me where the alleged billboard is located – not that it would really make any great difference to the indelibly heroic achievements of President Akufo-Addo – but if it happens to be in Accra, then about all that I can say is that Akyemfuo and Akwamufuo, in particular, but Akans in general are absolutely no strangers to the geographical bounds of our national capital.

The critic may also want to check the historical relationship between the Akyem and the Ga. Ultimately, it is a great disservice for the critic to so facilely presume to project his own apparent insecurities and ethnocentric hang-ups on Nana Akufo-Addo, or liken his prejudices to any other groups of Ghanaians, least of all the great and ingenious people of Akyem-Mansa. We have come too far, in terms of both cultural enlightenment and education to be so cheaply, recklessly and rudely brought down to the pathetic level of those who seem to perpetually and shamelessly thrive on sowing seeds of interethnic animus and strife.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York