You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2013 09 07Article 284778

Opinions of Saturday, 7 September 2013

Columnist: Anum, Tony

The Okoampa-Ahoofe articles

Being a regular visitor to ghanaweb, I am surprised at the frequency with which one Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D posts articles on the website. He posts an article almost every day; one wonders if he probably owns or works for the website. I am not jealous of his writing abilities in anyway. I am also not jealous of the flamboyance with which he writes his articles. Never!
However, my worry lies in the content of his articles. This is a writer who has earned quite an unenviable reputation for himself; someone I consider to be a very controversial writer. I thought he is one of those young people who love to display their youthful exuberance but I was shocked to find out he is actually a 49-year old professor of English and Journalism!
Most often than not, like myself, many commentators express displeasure about most of his articles with some calling him very grave and unpalatable names; for example, to quote one commentator to his September 4th, 2013 article, he is “suffering from intellectual bankruptcy” (I do not necessarily share this view though); and yet any day you visit ghanaweb, you would most likely come across a new article from this man. It is amazing such articles are being written by a “professor of journalism”.
I wonder if he takes the trouble to read the comments people write under his articles. Much as he has the right to express his opinions, I assume a person of his supposed educational standing should be interested in feedback: other people’s opinions about his opinions. Even at my stage, I yearn for feedback.
His articles, which are mostly political in nature, tend to involve tribal assault (especially directed at Ewes and Northerners), and name-calling directed at politicians save those from the NPP: practices that could lead to increased tribal and political intolerance in Ghana. I am not trying to suggest that he has no right to support the NPP. However, his articles portray him as someone who is politically intolerant. Ghana is a democracy, not an autocracy.
What I find funny and ironic is the fact that he is not resident in Ghana. He left the country, according to himself, in the 1980s (I stand to be corrected anyway). I am sure he has just been following happenings in Ghana on the web, as he characteristically provides the URLs of the sources of his information. This man would be affected very minimally if his inciting articles lead to a civil war in Ghana.
If he regularly visits Ghana, he would have realized Ghanaians are not doing that bad, either materially or cognitively as he thinks they are. The average Ghanaian today is quite discerning and is able to separate the wheat from the chaff. What is even more important, he would have realized that Ghana, now, needs constructive criticism and development oriented thinking, not trivial tribal attacks and political dogmatism. Ghana does not need his “fake-Ghanaians, actual-Ghanaians” ideology. Again, to quote a commentator to one of his articles, he should “bring himself into the 2010s and stop trying to force his 1980s beliefs on the modern Ghanaian”.
It is my hope that everybody who believes in responsible journalism would support this call for decency in the expression of thought devoid of sensationalism, tribal attack, political intolerance and name –calling as our good professor seems to be doing here on ghanaweb. It is a recipe for chaos and must not be tolerated, whether it is coming from a truck pusher on the streets of Kumasi or some cowardly Ghanaian professor who is hiding in New York.

Tony Anum
Communication Design II
KNUST, Kumasi