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Opinions of Sunday, 16 March 2008

Columnist: Afreh, Manu Bernard

Re: Seditious Rawlings

"He never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, a classless vermin who never sees a noble game".

I was pounding hard on the keyboard to finish up some important projects when a friend presented me a hard copy of Okoampa Ahoofe’s ramblings posted on the web dated 9th of March 2008. I should not have joined issues with an unrepentant ingrate but the apparent dripping hypocrisy from the diatribe calls for detailed response.

In his article that palpitates with egoistic sound and fury, he sang and croaked: ‘………Mr. Rawlings merely, albeit ineffectually, attempted to rehabilitate himself and his deeply tarnished image as a clinical troglodyte, by accepting Mr. Kufuor’s dinner invitation. Still, it was predictably the dumbest thing for Mr. Rawlings to do, having childishly refused to attend and participate in festivities marking the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Ghana’s re-attainment of sovereignty from Britain.’

Such blistering, venomous and utterly acidic canards, common sense confirms, deserve vigorous repudiation- to deny them the fertilizer they need to garner some appeal. So the Okoampas of this world actually believe in divisions along political lines rather than placing down measures to follow the path of peace? I cannot believe anyone would ignore all precepts of decency and engage in some garrulous commentary at a time when the two great men (Kufour and JJ) are mending torn strings. I must admit I never like to remember the moment ex-president turned down the invitation of gracing the Golden Jubilee celebrations but I think it is his constitutional right to accept or reject an invitation.

Without saying, it is a letdown for the associate professor to think that the numerous burning issues on the landscape are less mean enough to necessitate a commentary but finds tirades majored on Rawlings as more tragic. Pray, where has humility gone in our writers? The truth is that, I had always regarded Okoampa as a mentor for young writers but his annoying chest thumping surely starts making one do a rethink. I pray juveniles do not catch this bug of exaggerated self-importance and viral vagabond. With some PhD to massage his fast waning ego, it is hard to believe that, this old fruitcake with the shambling gait of a menopausal yeti could swallow his pride and call for a stop to mud slinging. Interesting! What Irony! I believe my piece titled ‘Much Ado about Rawlings’ must have socked him in the mouth and now that he shamelessly begs of intellectuals to help wipe his bleeding lips, he needs my sympathy.

A geriatric debauchee, Kwame Okoampa, who prides his inglorious self as the ''King of Literature'' is an eminent knave, whose genius is to throw slingshots at naysayers. That this master hauler of invectives continues to advertise his ignorance on the cyberspace without query is no thanks to the fact that he has defied all methods of subjection to the standards of proper reasoning.

Despite his posturing as a literary writer of finesse, Okoampa chose to advance his polemic by pulling needless punches and brandishing verbal rifles. It is no wonder his claim to super-human status is a facade, and has been rudely brought down to earth by his unwholesome actions. Taken together, his jaundiced pieces especially those on Rawlings can boast of the worst manifestation of envy and amnesia. In a nutshell, great writers like Armah and (late) Awoonor will endure no greater humiliation than for anyone to rake this barely readable political jobber into their rank.

Horrible to say, he is a lecturer and imparts some knowledge into innocent heads. It is the first time I am witnessing a scene, where a PhD holder tries to rationalize his duplicity. Still struggling to overcome the lassitude that has plagued him for some years now, I refuse to be annoyed by his reckless puerile swipes and indeed; it goes to underscore the fact that he needs my sympathy. I have also stopped imagining anyone outside a mental home, could labour so hard to sell the lame point about the need to continue hate the ex-president for some past mistakes. It is worthy to note that, peace and unity, which is emboldened on our coat of arms, faced perhaps its most scorching direct assault when he chose to rubbish the integrity of no mean personalities as Jeremiah Rawlings and Evans Atta Mills.

It hurts me badly to state that after being boxed from one institution to another, providence handed this armchair critic a leaf of mercy to lecture at Nassau Community College, where to save face now lives as a recluse; a rebuke to decency and men of honour. So when next the intelligent people of Ghana see this hoary headed writer exposing his arrogance in ignorance, and feeling that the best way to express opinion is to haul guttersnipes at others, we should not loose any sleep but must understand that such is borne out of the frustration of his groping for relevance.

Okoampa and his cheerleaders can in their warped imaginations get those delusions of grandeur. They can continue with sordid display of hypocrisy and jealous darts throwing. One thing they must remember; darkness would not triumph over light for too long. History has proven this fact over and over again. In the battle between evil and good, God does not reside with heaviest battalion, but on the side of innocence.

Regrettably, so that mudslinger actually believes those empty phrases he posts in the name of submissions? Think, Okoampa, think, before you come over into this intelligent arena to vomit such putrid bile. I advise you remove the blinkers of mischief and opportunism, stretch your vision a few meters ahead, and do some serious thinking on the urgent need to locate your own place in history. The destiny is in your hands!

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