There is absolutely nothing wrong with ruling-party insiders who feel the morally imperative need to exposing what they strongly perceive to be administrative venality or corruption in the corridors of power resorting to the same.
Even so, such self-appointed “citizen vigilantes” (My profound apologies to Mr. Martin Amidu) ought to soberly bear in mind that Akan adage which says that “Anytime that you point an accusing finger at your neighbor, be mindful of the fact that your other three fingers are pointing squarely at you, the accuser.” The fact of the matter is that anybody who has been studiously observing the obscenely self-righteous public and political behavior of the Hiplife artist, Mr. Kwame Asare Obeng (aka A-Plus), is perfectly aware that the latter’s so-called anti-corruption fight or activism did not begin as one that was unencumbered or untainted by parochial self-interest.
The fact of the matter is that A-Plus started out as an ordinary opportunistic Greedy Young Bastard (GYB), like many of his peers and associates, who attempted to overcapitalize on the fact of him having composed an electioneering campaign jingle for then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for which, we are reliably informed, he was handsomely rewarded or fully paid by the 2016 Akufo-Addo Presidential Campaign. From what we know, things went awry when Mr. Obeng reportedly pressured, albeit unsuccessfully, some presidential staffers to be awarded some extra non-competitive contractual awards over and above what was considered to be commensurate with the magnitude of his personal contribution towards the success of both Candidate Akufo-Addo and the then main opposition New Patriotic Party.
In other words, A-Plus’s purported anti-corruption activism is not wholly without prejudice or any selfish motives. He has a Dirty Greedy Young Bastard’s Agenda. Which is simply that if Mr. Obeng cannot get his choicest meat in the house, then he must just as well bring down the entire house with him. But, of course, as I have already observed in several previous columns on this very subject, the political establishment or institution of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-inspired New Patriotic Party is much, much bigger than any individual political operative both within and without the party. In what falsely parades as his latest exposé on rank corruption in the Akufo-Addo Administration, Mr. Obeng claims that the Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) caused some GH? 146,000 in taxpayer funds to be extravagantly lavished in just one night on food for 8 people at a restaurant in an unspecified context or circumstances.
Put in simple terms, the occasion for which, and on which, the aforesaid amount was lavished on food, and just what kind/kinds of food is not categorically stated by the so-called anti-corruption activist. In reality, however, the documents which A-Plus has allegedly provided to prove his accusation of corruption against Mr. Owusu, the Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, does not square up with his “one-night” wassail or profligacy claim (See “Ghana Maritime Authority Boss Blows Over GH? 135,000 on Food from His Own Hotel” MyNewsGh.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/25/18). According to published documents – memoranda, to be precise – allegedly provided by Mr. Obeng himself, it clearly appears that the afore-referenced sum, which amounts to approximately $30,000 (USD), was actually spent on several occasions over a considerable span of time, with at least one such occasion being specifically described as an end-of-year’s party or get-together by employees and staff of the GMA.
But what fascinated me even more than anything else is the morally primitive and patently vindictive attempt by the “anti-corruption crusader” to convert the above-referenced amounts into the old shinplaster or decidedly worthless value of the cedi under the protracted and dictatorial and pathologically incompetent and thoroughgoing corrupt tenure of then-Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, later democratically elected President Rawlings. Consequently, we are disingenuously given to believe that the amount for which Mr. Owusu supposedly stands guilty as the Original-Sin itself is said to be equivalent to GH? 1.4 Million under the Rawlings regime, which spans roughly between 1992 and 2000. What kind of mentality prides in moralizing and/or celebrating and glorifying the bleakest and bloodiest period in the country’s postcolonial history?
You see, it would be scandalous and even downright fatuous and definitely casuistic for any levelheaded Ghanaian citizen, irrespective of political party affiliation or ideology, to gainsay the fact that there clearly appears to be a conflict of interest for the GMA Director-General’s approval of a financial transaction between his own privately-owned company and the GMA. Still, what clearly appears to be the “anti-corruption” activist’s raison d’êtrè or primary objective for mounting such exposé is to unconscionably character assassinate Mr. Owusu for wanting to tap into the same public dole or taxpayer money that A-Plus happily and voraciously tapped into, when the Hiplife scam-artist was awarded his non-competitive fuel transport contract by BOST, the state-owned Bulk-Oil Storage and Transportation Company, early last year.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York