Feature Article of Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

Ochere-Darko Must Render Proper Apologies ....

... For "Stupid" Insults! Part I*

Feature Article,
By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

A point of clarification. I take Ochere-Darko's insults to be sufficiently
self-serving as to be anything but stupid. I have no intention of insulting
him and have refrained from that effectively. Thus "'Stupid' Insults" here
do not necessarily mean the insults were stupid. That is not what I meant in
the title. The "stupid" is there only as a representative of Ochere-Darko's
original insult. Personally, I think that, far from being stupid, the
insults helped Ochere-Darko to wriggle himself out of a difficult situation,
without needing to concede to the dreadful fact that Danquah was indeed an
imperialist agent. For him, it seemed important that any proper debate be
sabotaged. Bothering to comport himself in a civilized manner could have
been too dangerous. The truth could have come out so easily! So, for me, he
is probably congratulating himself and thinks he has been clever for
misbehaving in this way.

What is therefore necessary now is, for those of us who think otherwise, to
make sure that he does not get away with it! Ochere-Darko cannot decide for
Ghanaians which traitors we are allowed to name, expose, and shame, and
which ones we may not. Human rights, rule of law or other self-righteous
motivations for Democracy or for CIA stipends notwithstanding! We all have a
moral responsibility to denounce the agents of imperialist domination of the
people of Ghana because it has a direct impact on the quality of our very
lives. And the fact that one could have a personal relationship with any
traitor, does not accord anyone any right or special privilege to misbehave
publicly whenever those dry bones are mentioned in a proverb. So far as
there is evidence from a credible source that J. B. Danquah's wife received
stipends from the CIA to which he, Danquah completely felt entitled, to the
extent of going to complain about "payment arrears" to the US Ambassador,
instead of saying "thank you" to the CIA, the remarks by Dr. Omane Boamah
can not be considered "stupid".

On the contrary, some of us find it to be one of the wisest statements ever
uttered on radio or TV in Ghana. This is very important in the light of the
increasing lies and spin by the Danquah Institute which attempt to let
Danquah pass as a national hero. The Ghanaian media needs to satisfy itself
independently with the facts, determine for themselves on the basis of the
evidence, whether or not one can safely argue that Dr. J. B. Danquah was a
CIA asset. And if this is so, they should uphold the right to say so without
being insulted in this way by a fellow panellist! Having satisfied
themselves, our media practitioners will have to insist that Ochere-Darko
apologized or finds himself ostracised. It would be repugnant enough if,
after all this, without proper apologies, Ochere-Darko is to be invited once
more to portray such an uncouth and arrogant character in public again. The
media must take the bull by the horns and call a spade a spade, a hero a
hero, and a spy a spy! He must be made to retract his insults, most
especially because Dr. Omane Boamah was not just speaking an ordinary fact
but an important truth and therefore did not deserve to be insulted for

The insult to person of Dr. Omane Boamah over this issue, is an assault to
the persons of all the good people of Ghana. It is because of "stupid"
intimidations such as these that they have managed to cover their evil
tracks all these years. We need to fully expose them in order to be free. We
need to grab this particularly stubborn cat by the neck and dip its nose
into the offending material that is more than just familiar to it, until it
learns "to do it" somewhere else! It is a good sign of the re-awakening
spirit of Kwame Nkrumah surrounding the third anniversary celebrations of
his centenary, to see the final episodes to the ignominious end of traitors,
agents, and assets of the imperialists laid to rest. This is time to turn on
the heat. I invite every right thinking Ghanaian to join in this campaign in
their own creative ways, to put pressure on Ochere-Darko to do the right
thing. And it is important that the contentious issues that rose up be
settled dispassionately by our media practitioners. It has serious
implications on what the Danquah tradition actually represents. Little
wonder we see Ochere-Darko, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute,
at the end of his wits.

It will be an important service our media practitioners will be doing to the
good people of Ghana, to help them see the light and steer themselves away
from their miserable hand-to-mouth existence. For Ghana to go forward, we
need to begin from the beginning and find out what went wrong. It is often
not easy to draw the line where one must begin. That is why I personally
find this revelation as a key to understanding the modern history of Ghana,
and in particular, the kind of forces represented by the Danquah Institute
and their Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo. What is going on therefore can only be
seen as a part of the very rare and precious historic "moment of truth" that
periodically open the eyes of the people. It heralds the beginning of a new
era, and a shift of political direction for the country of Teutonic
proportions, it is not just a simple shift from the politics of lies and
insults, to the politics of integrity and intelligently accounting for one's
position instead of escaping debates through the use of lies and insults,
but an irreversible shift independent of arrogant politicians because the
public insists on it. This is why the Ghanaian media needs to take on Asare

An important fact that publicly emerged in this year's celebrations is
recent publications that have thrown further light on some of the darker
pages of our history. As the new light focuses on their dastardly
anti-people activities against the sovereignty and independence of Ghana, we
see in the line-up to the entirely orchestrated attempt to reverse all the
gains of our independence and to set the clock backwards into
neo-colonialism, credible stories that help to figure out the heroes and
traitors of this country. On the bloc is J.B. Danquah. As it turns out, a
book published by Professor Richard Mahoney, a son of former US Ambassador
to Ghana Mr. William Mahoney, 1962-1965. claims that Dr. J.B. Danquah went
to the US Embassy, after Nkrumah had pardoned Danquah and other detainees on
June 2, 1962, to ask "why the funds his family had been receiving during his
imprisonment had been cut after his release." It is strange that
Ochere-Darko claims to have read the book and yet got the nerve to deny the
accusations and call it "stupid". Whatever the motivations of J. B. Danquah
must have been is one thing, his closeness to the CIA is quite another
thing, and Ghanaians must be able to let Ochere-Darko know clearly that
talking about that is not stupid. And that he was wrong in the way he
comported himself.

The book at the centre of the controversy, which came out at the debate has
the title "JFK: Ordeal in Africa". In this book, for those who care to add
one to two and arrive at the sum of three, it comes out clearly that J.B.
Danquah was a CIA asset. Published in 1983, the book confirms what Nkrumah
must have known all along and thus explaining not only why Danquah went to
prison, but also gaining a deep understanding of the political orientation
and the dark possibilities behind the Danquah Institute itself. It is
therefore a fitting tribute to the memory of the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame
Nkrumah, that one of his detractors gets exposed in no uncertain terms as a
CIA asset. I am still waiting for a response from the Danquah Institute as
regards the claims I made in a previous article: "J. B. Danquah Was A CIA
Asset!" In that article, I argued that there is incontrovertible evidence to
that effect that he knew and liked the stipends the CIA was paying to his
wife, as to go ahead and to complain to US Ambassador William Mahoney, when
Danquah was pardoned by Nkrumah on 02 June 1962, when this was cut. What was
Danquah's state of mind, if he did not consider himself as an agent
deserving of the stipend? You don't often see people complaining after such
"generosity", without even saying "thank you!"!

I am not going to go into all that again. So far as I am concerned, the
issue has been settled that J. B. Danquah was a CIA asset. I have given
myself enough room to respond to any challenges to this demand for proper
apologies in the name of decency. It is not for nothing that this article is
labelled "Part One". I promise that the "temperature" in these series of
articles is bound to rise with each subsequent article, until Ochere-Darko
swallows his pride and apologizes for those insults. I know what this can do
to the Akufo-Addo campaign, so it is fine with me if Gabby remains adamant!
We are not going to succumb to insults and intimidations to keep our
traitors under the carpet! If one feels very uncomfortable with the emerging
facts, for any other reasons such as family ties, or personal estimation,
etc., that is no reason enough to transform oneself into a maniac in a fit
of temper tantrums during a live TV and Radio public debate. Mr.
Ochere-Darko lost total control over his senses, including his sense of
personal comportment, courtesy, Parliamentary language, public debate
protocols, civil manners, and ordinary decency.

What makes this even more unacceptable is the fact that the allegations put
forward have been proven to be accurate, and dead right on the mark! Why
should Ochere-Darko get away with this? My focus now is on the uncivilized
and extremely uncouth behaviour by Gabriel Asare Ochere-Darko, and the
challenges that this represents in our public discourses, and particularly
the role of the media. The fact of the Danquah family receiving stipends
from the CIA is public knowledge, thanks to Richard Mahoney. Ochere-Darko
should fly to the US and scream "stupid" to Richard Mahoney, and not those
of us who believe he has no reason to lie. The fact that Dr. J.B. Danquah
was a CIA asset comes out clearly enough in the book. That he was most
probably abandoned later on by the CIA is not our business. What right has
Ochere-Darko to impose limitations on free speech over issues of serious
public interest? This is a matter of public interest, and you do not pursue
such a national discourse with insults. Now that we know that what Dr Omane
Boamah said was not that stupid, but on the contrary, a statement of fact of
immense importance to the discussion on the theme of the Founder's Day. Is
it not about time for Mr. Ochere-Darko be asked to render unqualified
apologies for comporting himself in a manner that qualified him as a public

The media should be invited to put this rude individual's credibility to
comport himself in a civilized manner on the line until he does the right
thing. This must be done before they bring him again to comment on issues of
national importance being debated live on radio and television. We are not
asking him to be silenced. We are asking that Ochere-Darko be compelled to
do what is proper. We are asking him to render unqualified apologies for his
unjustifiable behaviour. Otherwise, it is the media, and not Ochere-Darko
who must justify the inclusion of such a character in their programmes. It
is no one's fault if someone happens to be a grandson of a CIA spy, and it
should not warrant the barrage of insults in what Ochere-Darko himself
called an "an intellectual programme". It is precisely because it is an
intellectual programme that Ochere-Darko needs to justify his future
inclusion, in the light of such awful performance.

The main issue that is at stake is not just whether or not Ghanaians have a
right to be allowed to discuss a matter as important as that without being
insulted by Asare Ochere-Darko, but whether or not we need to draw the line
as we enter in an electoral year, to ensure that irresponsible and uncouth
individuals do not get the chance to inflame the already highly inflammable
situation with unguarded statements. If he is not even sorry about this,
what is the guarantee that he can not do something worse next time? Our
media houses need to stand up to their responsibilities and challenge the
use of intemperate language, insults, and encourage the appropriate decorum
in our civil discourses particularly on live radio and TV discussions. This
is fundamental to the peace and security of this country. Ochere-Darko must
be made to apologize or face a media boycott. If he is unfit to meet
acceptable standards and expectations of decent human behaviour, he must be
barred from decent circles where decent humans congregate.

Let's see how long it takes to get the arrogant Gabby to come to his senses
and apologize for his "stupid" insults! I wish to assure Gabby however, that
it is in his own interest to do the right thing as quickly as possible, and
as loud and as clear! We cannot afford to give up and we will not! Part II
follows... And on and on it will go until we see an appropriate apology! I
hope that from my own Facebook chat with Gabby in which he arrogantly asked
me "Why are you so obsessed with the Danquah Institute?", he shall not
under-estimate the political energy behind such a simple request, in order
to cut a long story short. The only way out I saw for Gabby in this
predicament was to have honestly admitted the fact that the CIA paid
stipends to J.B. Danquah's wife whilst in prison, explained why this was so,
and to have left the public in peace to go and find out for themselves! He
could then have added, as he seems to explain so eloquently with his "friend
of America" excuses, that even if Danquah was a CIA agent, he did it for the
good of the nation but not for stipends. And he could have allowed the
public to judge for themselves who is really stupid!

At least, some of us could have understood where he was coming from. As
matters stand, he does not only have to acknowledge the fact that there is
nothing personal in raising an issue of such immense public interest and did
not need to be silenced. The Human Rights that Ochere-Darko claims were
championed by Danquah includes free speech. And this includes the fact that
whether or not a particular spy happens to be anyone's grand-father, people
must be free to talk about it in public without being insulted by the
grandchildren of these spies. One can hold Danquah in high esteem and allow
people to read the book and talk about it without the world coming to an
end. So far as Dr. Omane Boamah did not err in calling J.B. Danquah a CIA
agent, so far should Ochere-Darko retract. He owes us an apology for trying
to suppress vital information by unorthodox means. He must be made to say "I
am sorry" to Dr. Omane Boamah, in order to purge himself from the political
pariah status he has automatically assumed with these insults!

Help move Ghana forward! Please join us in putting pressure on this stubborn
individual to do the right thing!

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro,
Member, Pan-Africanist International
-a grammar of Pan-Africanism and its manners of articulation!