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Akufo-Addo solidifies his statesmanship credentials with Quartey’s AU appointment

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

The story has been making the rounds for quite a while now. Ordinarily, I would not have made much capital about it. But we are, here, talking about Ghanaian politics where rabid partisanship is jealously guarded, especially where the key operatives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are concerned. For when the latter have occupied the Flagstaff House, it has all been about themselves and their cronies, both local and foreign, and none else. There have not been many of these cases, but whenever they have occurred, it has always been far more likely for the leaders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to traverse party lines in order to nominate or support the nomination of non-party candidates spoiling for appointments and/or jobs of international dimension to represent our country, often at such regionally and globally prominent organizations as the African Union (AU), formerly called the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the United Nations Organization (UN).

We are all well aware of the storied case of Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the Rawlings “revolutionary” stalwart who has, over time, suavely morphed from a blood-thirsty cutthroat Bastille-type rabble-rouser, at least that is the opinion of some of his contemporaries from their University of Ghana “Let-The-Blood-Flow” days that yours truly recently had the chance to speak with, to a high-profiled diplomat of considerable heft. Like Mr. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the former secretary to ex-President John Dramani Mahama, who recently got elected as Deputy Chairman of the African Union’s Commission, Dr. Chambas had earlier on served as Ghana’s Deputy Foreign Minister in the pay of the National Democratic Congress. Mr. Quartey would also serve in the same position later on.

What these two quite astute men also have in common, according to those with personal and quite intimate knowledge of them, is that Messrs. Chambas and Quartey have, by turns, been grossly short-changed by the leaders they had served without reservation and with great dedication and diligence, by being flatly denied appointments which they clearly seemed to be highly qualified for. In the case of Dr. Chambas, the fingered culprit is former President Jerry John Rawlings – excuse me, my dear reader, but I am more comfortable with the far more revolutionary and head-chopping title of the man, namely, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings. For the picture of the man that most resplendently enlivens my mnemonic recall is that of the Political Dracula who earlier on made a pet hobby of capriciously lining up his professional superiors for target-shooting practice at the Teshie Military Range.

He may not like this picture but like the proverbial bed, it was he who made it himself and so has no other choice but to sleep on the same. For Mr. Quartey, the seemingly deviously orchestrated disappointment was skillfully minted and/or brewed by the infamous Gonja petty chieftain. The good news here, though, is that both men, by turns, would be bailed out by two different New Patriotic Party chiefs-of-state, namely, former President John Agyekum-Kufuor and the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

What the preceding means, of course, is that brazen and rabid partisanship and all, Ghanaian leaders of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition or ideological camp tend to be the more civically minded and statesmanlike. But even more significantly, it ironically shows how even some of the best and brightest intellectual and professional lights of Ghanaian society often make wrongful political choices. Which, of course, is not to necessarily imply that all our best and brightest ought to put their proverbial eggs in a single basket. No such suggestion could be more preposterous.

Thus recently, in the wake of having successfully put his considerable political heft behind Mr. Quartey, to help the latter beat out his competitors for the quite weighty post of AU Commission’s Deputy Chair, President Akufo-Addo highlighted the need for Ghanaian leaders to privilege principles over pure partisanship in their bid to arriving at decisions bordering on who best qualifies to be elected or appointed to which post. “I have never believed in the [procrustean] uniformity of ideas. I also don’t believe that I’m president and so everybody should agree with me” (See “How Akufo-Addo Saved Mahama’s Secretary” DailyGuideAfrica.com / Ghanaweb.com 2/2/17).

Now, that is how a delectably functioning democracy ought to work!

By: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. English Department, SUNY-Nassau Garden City, New York E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net *Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

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