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Opinions of Sunday, 28 March 2010

Columnist: Williams, Johnathan

Tutu Blofo, Professor Doolittle

I have read the wordy and verbose article, *‘President Johnson-Sirleaf: another Mamadou Tandja on the Horizon?*’ Posted on by Kwame OkoampaAhoofe Jnr. PhD, Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City and Governing Board Member of Danquah Institute with some disquieted.

I am shell shocked at the crass disrespect shown to President Johnson-Sirleaf and wondering if we have a woman-hater on our hands or one who wants to show off his education. In paragraph 8, he gives the president the due respect and calls her President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The professor lapse into disrespect in paragraph ten. He dispenses with protocol and calls the president Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf. What boorishness? What a caliban? What an oaf?

This ‘opinion’ article is going to haunt the professor for a very long time to come. Nana Akuffo-Addo, the defeated NPP presidential candidate in the 2008 Ghana general elections is pushing 68 come 29th March. By the time the next election year comes around, he will be 70 years old. By the reckoning of Okoampa-Ahoofe, Nana Akuffo-Addo, who is desperately attempting to lead NPP again to the general elections in 2012, will be too old to be a president. Akuffo-Addo should pave the way for NPP ‘to be represented at the helm of affairs by one that is young”. Touché! Professor Doolittle Okoampa-Ahoofe, you will be skewed with your own kebab stick.

I wonder the agenda behind this article. I see a Danquah Institute agenda. In attacking the age of President Johnson-Sirleaf, a dig is being made at President Mills. *“In deciding to go for a second term of office, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf has likely decided to borrow a page or two from the Ghanaian political almanac, where two-term presidencies appear fast to becoming the order of national affairs’. *It seems to me that Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe has a selective short memory. Which leader of a democratically elected government wants to come in for a term only and then pack his bag and fade into the horizon when there is an unfinished business? John Major and the elder Bush are the only presidents in living memory that left office after one time. I will like to remind the Community College Professor that President Kufour served two terms in case his memory has failed him.

From the time of Plutarch, freedom of speech has been equated with licentious speech and disrespectful behavior. Professor Okoampa-Ahoofe’s licentious and disrespectful article in the name of promotion of democracy does not surprise me. In our time, opportunists and criminals cloak themselves in the mantle of pan-africanism, patriotism and democracy and ply their iniquities on nations.

I would like to remind the pompous professor that writing is not about showing off your knowledge of the English language. It is about communication. The best communicators use simple language and short sentences: Hemingway. Steinbeck. Scot Fitzgerald. Dos Passes. John Updike. Truman Capote. James Baldwin. Intact is intact. There is nothing like ‘fairly intact’ my dear professor. The last sentence in page five is gibberish. Paragraph seven is too long winded. I wonder where this woman-hating Bolshevik acquired his PhD.

Jonathan Williams

Patriot’s Club