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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Oct 11, 2015
I can understand this media obsession with Nana Akufo-Addo’s promise to keep his hands off the people’s money, if voted into power next year. The three-time Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) may himself be part of the problem, as he has been singing this song repeatedly wherever he has taken his “Arise And Build” electioneering campaign train. And so the Sunyani, Brong-Ahafo-based Class-FM reporter was not altogether off the mark when s/he captioned his/her article as follows: “I Won’t Steal Ghana’s Money As President – Akufo-Addo” Ghanaweb.com 10/6/15).
What Akufo-Addo is not saying is clearly implied in this context. And it is the fact that, indeed, some people who have already been either afforded the mandate by the Ghanaian electorate or may have forcibly and deviously snatched the same, have been robbing the Ghanaian tax payer raw and bloody and blind. You and I know who these thieving politicians are – some of them sit on the governing boards of companies and corporations at the same time that they serve as contractors and suppliers to these firms. On the face of it, such modus operandi is called a conflict of interest. We have seen presidential half-brother Ibrahim Mahama fall into this quite common funk. We also witnessed former President John Agyekum-Kufuor name his younger brother, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, his Defense Minister. The latter state of affairs was not without a lot of raised media eyebrows. And then, of course, once again, we witnessed President John Dramani Mahama jam pack the Flagstaff House, or the so-called Presidency, with a brigade of Ghanaians of northern-ethnic descent.
And so, clearly, Nana Akufo-Addo could go one step further to promise Ghanaians not to inordinately pack his staff with relatives and friends. And, of course, President Kufuor’s staunchest staff appointees have been embarrassingly noted to have almost exclusively been from the Asante Region. And to be certain, at one point a very prominent traditional ruler and a diehard New Patriotic Party affiliate had bitterly complained to yours truly that the grotesquely skewed selection of cabinet appointees by President Kufuor, uncomfortably made the NPP government of the Oxbridge-schooled leader appear as if the name Republic of Ghana was synonymous and/or interchangeable with the Ghanaian Republic of Ethnic Asantes. Whatever the real case may have been, one thing is incontrovertibly clear vis-à-vis the preceding political profile of Fourth Republican Ghanaian Presidents. And it is, obviously, the fact that nearly every single one of them have been pathologically ruled by the demonic spirit of nepotism and tribalism, if the dear reader would be magnanimous enough to grant me this right and privilege to tell it like it is.
I have absolutely no doubt that he means every word and nuance of the sentence, when Nana Akufo-Addo declares that “I am coming to do an honest job for Ghana.” And he has an astute and hardworking running-mate to back up his claim, at least for the nonce. And he is consistent enough to have retained Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, most of whose own extended family members and other relatives are widely known to be staunch supporters of the Mahama-chaperoned National Democratic Congress. Now, who said perspicuous consistency is not a prime hallmark of genuine and genius leadership?
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