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Opinions of Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Samuel Abu-Jinapor’s appointment must stand!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

For some reason, when I first came across the news report regarding Mr. Samuel Abu-Jinapor’s selection by President-Elect Akufo-Addo as his Deputy Chief-of-Staff Designate, I had the strong feeling that some party hangers-on and even some stalwarts would come swinging against this otherwise bold and progressive decision.

My only suspicion in the past had had to do with the fact that Mr. Jinapor’s elder brother, John, was a prominent or major player in the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

I thought that it was quite savvy for these two brothers to be playing significant roles in the country’s two major parties.

But of even greater strategic concern to me was the fact of whether these two Jinapor Brothers were in the habit of exchanging insider information from their respective vantage positions.

Well, to his doubters and detractors, my terse response is that unless anybody has any concrete evidence pointing to the possibility of the younger Mr. Jinapor’s being a suspicious and/or an untrustworthy character, I see absolutely no reason why his appointment as Deputy Chief-of-Staff Designate at the President ought to attract any impugnation.

And if the younger Mr. Jinapor appears to have been smart enough to have used much of the period during which the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) languished on the gray margins of opposition to remarkably improve himself both intellectually and professionally, this also means that Mr. Samuel Abu-Jinapor was also clairvoyant enough to have been able to anticipate what the near-future had in store for him and be able to wisely prepare for the same.

Needless to say, there are others who have been named to the Akufo-Addo cabinet that I would personally not even bother to touch with a 10-foot pole, as many a New Yorker is wont to say, let alone fancy shaking hands with.

If there is no hard evidence pointing to the fact of Mr. Jinapor’s having worked assiduously, hand-in-glove, with the rabidly anti-Akufo-Addo faction within the New Patriotic Party to scuttle the chances of our now-President-Elect at gunning for the Flagstaff House, then I sincerely and heartily say, all the more power to Mr. Jinapor!

But what even enthuses me more about the appointment of Mr. Jinapor as Nana Akufo-Addo’s Deputy Chief-of-Staff Designate than anything else, is the unmistakable fact that it brings about the sort of regional and ethnic balance the likes of which has been direly anticipated for quite some time now but has, nevertheless, been sorely lacking for reasons that are not too difficult to explain, but one that I would rather not get into.

The alleged flurry of media impugnation and negative scrutiny of Mr. Jinapor may well be tinged with envy and jealousy, in glaring view of the fact of the Deputy Chief-of-Staff Designate’s brother, John, having served as Deputy Energy Minister in the Mahama government.

Ultimately, however, the judgment call belongs to President-Elect Akufo-Addo, and his closest and most trusted advisers.

Akufo-Addo is the one who wears the proverbial shoes and therefore knows where it pinches.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
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