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Opinions Thu, 20 Jun 2013

From Propaganda Secretary To Keta NDC-MP, Wow!

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

Anybody calling Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan "a colossus of a hero," perhaps, needs to be told frontally of the fact that had the then-Deputy British High Commissioner to Ghana not personally intervened in the Strong Room of the headquarters of the country's Electoral Commission, the now-ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC)), using Rawlings-styled military intimidation tactics, would have strong-armed the Electoral Commissioner into fraudulently declaring a presidential victory for the now-late President John Evans Atta-Mills in 2000.

Indeed, legend has it that some key military operatives of the NDC had invaded the private residence of the Electoral Commissioner, held his wife and children at gunpoint, and rudely and crudely demanded that the Election 2000 presidential results be called in favor of the Rawlings-handpicked NDC presidential candidate.

By 2004, however, the power of incumbency and effective command and control of the coercive apparatus of the state - President John Agyekum-Kufuor had put his immediate younger brother in charge of the Ministry of Defence - had synergistically guaranteed that the NDC's jungle-like military intimidation tactics would not materialize, let alone be successfully applied. It was pretty much this military-terror tactics that had ensured that "elective power" would, for two consecutive terms, be secured in the hands of the key operatives of the Trokosi or the Sogakope Wing of the National Democratic Congress.

Needless to say, had Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan been a man of classical dignity and democratic principles, the former University of Ghana political scientist would have promptly resigned his post shortly after he quite wisely and guardedly declared then-Candidate Agyekum-Kufuor winner of the 2000 presidential election, and called for an independent enquiry into the entire criminal attempt by NDC operatives to force him to declare victory in favor of the wrong candidate.

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This bizarre event has been amply documented in a book authored by the extant Deputy-British High Commissioner to Ghana; thus then propaganda-secretary understudy Mr. Richard Quashigah cannot candidly claim not to have been in the know about the same. Consequently, when the now-NDC-MP for the Keta Constituency accuses key operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) of callously and unconscionably attempting to ruin the hard-earned reputation of the Nkrumah-leaning Dr. Afari-Gyan, he clearly does not know what he is talking about (See "NPP's Desire Is To Ruin Afari-Gyan's Reputation - Quashigah" TV3 News / Ghanaweb.com 6/9/13).

Perhaps, a triumphant President John Agyekum-Kufuor ought to have called for an independent investigation into how Election 2000 was almost coercively declared for the wrong presidential candidate. Very likely, it was the complacent giddiness of him having won Election 2000, and then also being too eager to stamp the quite laudable seal of his legacy on the postcolonial Ghanaian political landscape, that prompted him to cavalierly ignore the imperative significance of such an investigation.

Needless to say, this egregious blunder has now come to haunt Mr. Kufuor's successors of both political parties and, as it is to be expected, it is the key operatives of the New Patriotic Party who are presently suffering the brunt of this otherwise escapable dilemma. This is precisely what I mean when I carp contemporary Ghanaian leaders and politicians for not being as forward-looking as they ought to be.

And to pointedly, or directly, answer the question posed by Mr. Richard Quashigah, regarding whether the NPP, rather than the NDC, is responsible for the apparent ruination of the purportedly hard-earned reputation of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the grim but true fact of the matter is that it was Dr. Afari-Gyan who brought any such ruination upon himself.

Indeed, had the former Legon political scientist done the most honorable thing by promptly resigning his admittedly cushy post in 2000, shortly after declaring Mr. John Agyekum-Kufuor as the rightful winner of that year's presidential election, and then called for a thorough and an independent investigation into the widely alleged military intimidation tactics used by the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress, in a bid to effectively aborting Ghana's democratic political culture, the experiential narratives of both Elections 2008 and 2012 would be very different today.

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And almost definitely, Mr. Quashigah would not be so comfortably perched on his sea-washed parliamentary seat exuberantly and disingenuously pontificating over matters on which he has absolutely little or no appreciable knowledge.

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

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

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Garden City, New York

June 9, 2013

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame