By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
April 2, 2015
I haven't heard from Benin Republic's President Yayi Boni, the foremost Bad Boy of West African Politics, and the man who teamed up with other cynical associates, including former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (I don't know what this old fat cat thinks of the fast friendship between Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan and Mr. John Dramani Mahama now), to ensure that the Wood-presided Supreme Court of Ghana afforded justice the most shortshrift treatment in the matter of Akufo-Addo v. Mahama, otherwise known as Ghana's 2012 Presidential Election Petition.
Among the Akan-speaking people of Ghana, there is a maxim about the inevitable finitude of time in the affairs of humankind. That maxim goes as follows: "Longevity, too, has its temporal span." In the Akan original, it runs as follows: "Enkyenkye Wo N'Afe." And so it is fast coming to past, which is that the Yayi Boni Cabal has begun crumbling with alacrity. Pardon me for the use of such bombastic choice of a rather ancient and tired word - "alacrity," that is. In Ghana, quite a humongous lot of eligible voters are taking solace in the eloquent electoral demise of a "youthful" President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan and literally chafing at the bit, in a bid to equally dispatching the twin-brother of the renowned zoologist of Bayelsa State. He may not be one academically and/or professionally, but it does really seem most of the time that President John Dramani Mahama is the President of Mr. George Orwell's Animal Farm.
Of course, we are all well aware of the fact that the March 28-29, 2015 Nigerian presidential election marked the first time in that giant African country's history that a sitting government and its leader were resoundingly voted out of power, short of a military putsch. In 16 years, the Obasanjo- (or is it Babangida-) minted People's Democratic Party (PDP) seemed politically invincible; that is, until the founding president of the PDP himself decided to throw his considerable weight behind his old fellow Green-Khakii Club boy of the main opposition All-Progressives' Congress (APC).
And, dear reader, have you noticed how the names of many an African political party, especially in the West African sub-region, sounds as if it was composed by a borderline illiterate? Of course, you darn well know who and what I was coming to next! And why not, since it readily offers itself as the most striking example of the subject at stake. I mean, whoever made any good sense out of a retarded political party name such as the "Convention People's Party"? You get the quaint and risible sense that the name must have been minted by a politically desperate novice and amateur, to speak much less about an intellectually vacuous megalomaniac.
And so Ghana and Ghanaians continue to suffer the deleterious after-effects of such patently expedient dumbness. And it goes without saying that the clinically dumb political opportunists hatched by the CPP woefully continue to dominate our national political culture. And so our seemingly interminable socioeconomic, cultural and political free-fall is unlikely to witness and/or experience any remarkable cease in the offing. Which is why I could not stop my sides from literally splitting with laughter, when I read Chairman Wontumi's take on the latest Nigerian presidential election.
Well, according to the New Patriotic Party's Asante Regional Chairman, "Just as it happened in Nigeria on Tuesday, the electorate in Ghana will forcefully marry Mahama and Jonathan into opposition" come December 2016. Amen! Let it be so! I say. We also hope and pray that the margin separating Nana Akufo-Addo from President Mahama will be as resoundingly gaping as that which distanced President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari from the pathologically incompetent and corrupt President Goodluck Jonathan. Indeed, you must be in for a lot of hard luck for your parents to have named you good luck.
But what I am much more concerned about here is the imperative need for the key operatives of Ghana's main opposition New Patriotic Party to thoroughly eschew the sort of morbidly suicidal streak of complacency with which they have been afflicted since they mounted center-stage of Ghana's political platform in 2000. Remember that bunk about corruption being as old as Adam and Eve? That is the sort of complacency tripe and blubber that got the NPP back into the high-and-dry margins of political opposition, where the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian citizens find themselves presently. And this is what the exuberant likes of Mr. Bernard Antwi-Boasiako ought to guard themselves against in the lead-up to Election 2016. Getting rid of President Mahama is clearly the easy part; we did that in 2012, in spite of what Justice William Atuguba and some of his cynical associates on the Supreme Court would have the rest of the world believe.
The really hard part is pursuing an evenhanded course of leadership integrity. And here, of course, I am not simply and facilely talking about the integrity of one man; I am talking about our communal and ideological integrity as a political party and a government of the people. And I mean all the Ghanaian people!