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Opinions of Friday, 22 February 2008

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

This Character Assassination Must Be Stopped!

I read Mr. Kofi Amonu’s three-paragraph article on with great amusement. Amusement because the writer deviously pretends to be aiming for what might, implicitly, be termed as the truth, whereas in reality he decidedly is about the libelous business of character assassination. And this is precisely why even though the writer acknowledges the fact that Mr. Kofi Wayo’s alleged drug-popping accusation against the Presidential Candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Election 2008 has not been substantiated (and, in fact, cannot be substantiated), still Mr. Amonu is able to vehemently and shamelessly register the following observation:

“While the fact has not been substantiated, I must say that I heard the gossip many years ago but paid little attention to it[,] because I thought it might be a long ago Secondary School [sic] days[’] ‘madrax-apio-wee’ type of thing[,] but as the years went by the rumors came out that it is much more serious than I expected” ( 2/12/08).

The problem with the foregoing remark is that it does not read like an intelligent and well-informed observation worthy of publication. For starters, exactly how many Ghanaians find the smoke-pipe-puffing Mr. Kofi Wayo, a veritable hustler been-to, to be a credible spokesman, and/or authority, on the personal and private life of Nana Akufo-Addo?

Furthermore, Mr. Amonu vacuously asserts, interrogatively: “Why would Wayo, himself a presidential candidate, make such libelous statement[,] knowing that if found to be untrue can cost him serious money and all his political hopes?”

The relevant question here to ask is: “Exactly what kind, and level, of hope does Mr. Wayo and his so-called United Renaissance Party (URP) have on the mainstream Ghanaian political scene?”

For instance, how many votes did the URP garner during the last general elections? And just how many seats does Mr. Wayo’s party have in Ghana’s National Assembly?

In sum, we are talking about the absolutely baseless accusation of a political charlatan who has no chance, whatsoever, of clinching the presidency, not even in a million years! And yet, here we are with Mr. Kofi Amonu pretending as if the URP leader stands to lose something substantial by viciously, and baselessly, libeling Nana Akufo-Addo.

And by his arrogant display of a smoking pipe in full public glare, doesn’t Mr. Wayo come off to the likes of Mr. Amonu as one who is more likely to be toking weed and snorting cocaine and, perhaps, even brazenly pushing such illegal drugs onto our youth? Or maybe the writer prefers to go by the tired maxim that: “It takes one to know one”? And if so, then wouldn’t Mr. Wayo’s “political hopes” have already evaporated in such sophomoric self-exposure?

In other words, doesn’t common sense inform Mr. Amonu that being a perennial and sour political loser, Mr. Wayo has everything to gain by attempting, however woefully ineffectually, to bring Nana Akufo-Addo’s hard-earned reputation down to the URP leader’s own, abject, level? Then again, exactly what am I trying to suggest here? That common sense may, after all, not be common to the most vitriolic critics and detractors of the NPP presidential candidate? And if so, could yours truly be objectively and reasonably faulted for inferring as such?

As for the writer’s nonsense about Nana Akufo-Addo having supported the Transfer of Convicted Persons’ Act 2007, or the so-called Amoateng Bill, Mr. Amonu ought to be reminded that this Act is in no way peculiar to Ghana; that almost every civilized nation in the world, including Britain and the United States, that values its citizenry has one form of the Transfer of Convicted Persons’ Act or another. And, by the way, has Mr. Amonu forgotten the infamous Benneh Case, in which a P/NDC “diplomatic” operative caught in an illegal drug dealership was transferred from a German cell to freedom in Ghana?

And exactly what does the writer mean by saying that when “I heard this gossip [regarding alleged drug usage by Nana Akufo-Addo]… I thought it might be a long ago Secondary School [sic] days[’] ‘madrax-apio-wee’ type of thing…?

Does the preceding mean that, indeed, Mr. Kofi Amonu was an ardent drug addict, or even a peddler, while in high school? And does the writer think that it was quite normal for Mr. Amonu to have done drugs in high school?

Well, Mr. Amonu, what do you think about the fact of Nana Akufo-Addo having personally crafted the Repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, which officially paved the way for Press Freedom in Ghana? That it was crafted precisely because Nana Akufo-Addo felt imminently threatened with drowning, or inundation, by Mr. Rawlings’ Shit-Bombing blitzkrieg?

Come on, Mr. Amonu, couldn’t you be smarter than this?!!!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. E-mail:

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