Feature Article of Saturday, 14 July 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

The Failed Propaganda of an ESL Student-Editor

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

You know darn well that a desperado is lying not only because of his/her description as such, but also because so desperate is s/he to validate a lie that s/he is woefully incapable of readily spotting and rectifying a glaring contradiction in grammar and/or facts and figures.
The foregoing was exactly what happened on the morning of July 9, 2012, when the Bature-published Al-Hajj tabloid, posted a highly sensationalized article captioned “JJ, Konadu Rescind Decision” on Ghanaweb.com with the following howler as part of a long-winded sentence: “some members of the clergy (of both Moslems and Christians [sic]), traditional leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, and some former and sitting presidents of foreign friendly countries [sic] have touched the heart [sic] of former president [sic] Rawlings and his wife to rescind their decision not to back the formation of any new party.”
I bet my bottom-dollar that none of my community college students, especially those enrolled in my English 101, or College Composition, classes would write such a fundamentally illogical and cognitively and grammatically embarrassing sentence and earn a final grade of any higher than a “D” or “D+,” my most affectionate way of saying, “Thank you for enrolling into my class and actually showing up to hear what I have to say about the rules of good communication in the English language, without making any remarkable effort to better the quality of your writing.”
In other words, what the above-quoted portion of the second paragraph of the aforesaid article posted by Alhaji Bature Iddrisu on Ghanaweb.com appears to be clearly saying is that: Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings have been successfully prevailed upon by some reputable members of the global/international community not to change their decision not to back the Mills-led National Democratic Congress in the lead-up to Election 2012. Actually, what the editor-publisher of the so-called Al-Hajj tabloid meant to say and imply is that: Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings have been successfully prevailed upon to change their decision not to back the presidential candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress in the lead-up to Election 2012.
Anyway, just the other day, a commentator in the Ghanaweb.com chat-room admonished me not to fret over the largely meaningless postings of Mr. Iddrisu Bature or Bature Iddrisu on any of the various websites on which such postings appear, because it was all-too-obvious that the editor-publisher of the Al-Hajj rag was in dire need of training, both as a writer of the English language and a journalist. It is now beginning to make more practical sense to me.
At any rate, which professionally savvy member, or members, of the diplomatic corps, wherever they may be, would stoop so low as to presume to interfere in the largely petty squabbles raging among the key operatives of the so-called National Democratic Congress? And just what sort of “traditional leaders” is Mr. Bature Iddrisu so flagrantly attempting to implicate and/or accuse of unduly interfering in partisan politics? No wonder the Al-Hajj newspaper editor-publisher is unable to name a single figure or personality to back up his claim.
The man also appears to write largely out of the figment of his clinically addled imagination. The question thus arises, as to whether the Bolgatanga mischief-maker does not have a remarkably large readership for his rag, thus his unrelenting publishing of reams of political malarkey day in and out. Then again, it just may well be that the pelf-loaded Mills-Mahama regime has contracted with the former small-time poultry farmer to spew slime and swill for generously drawn checks by the word and week. You see, my dear reader, it takes one with a serious mental deficiency to publicly and intemperately demean Ghana’s longest-ruling dictator in one week, such as Alhaji Bature Idddrisu did in comparing the patriarch of the ruling party to Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), and then just a week later, effusively laud the same personality that one has so mordantly demeaned, as having bequeathed the divine legacy that is the scandal-ridden National Democratic Congress to a hitherto politically bankrupt postcolonial Ghana.
Anyway, within hours of Mr. Iddrisu Bature’s mendacious posting on Ghanaweb.com, Dr. Josiah Aryeh, a former key operative of the NDC, appeared to vehemently contradict the insufferably nasty former chicken “herdsman.” According to Dr. Aryeh, the delay in the Rawlingses’ campaign appearance on the platform of the newly-formed National Democratic Party (NDP), had to do with bureaucratic red-tape at the registry of the Electoral Commission. Once registration formalities had concluded, Dr. Aryeh confidently assured the voting public, the race towards knocking out the proverbial wind from under the sail of the politically desperate and administratively bumbling NDC would be in full swing.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.