By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 19, 2016
The sort of sub-ethnic factionalism raging within the New Patriotic Party (NPP) cannot be healthy for the development of any modern, postcolonial political organization serious about forming a government in the offing. And yet, master hypocrites like Dr. Richard Winfred Anane, the former Health and Road Transport Minister under the tenure of President John Agyekum-Kufuor, would have his audience and the rest of the nation believe that this is the wave of the party’s future.
Well, those of us with considerable historical knowledge and understanding of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo political and ideological tradition can assure the general public that the current brand of internecine factionalism raging in the New Patriotic Party is one that is more of a “personality centered” cult, such as is widely known to have prevailed in the Nkrumah-led original Convention People’s Party (CPP), than it is purely and objectively ideological.
It is neither ideological nor philosophical but incontrovertibly clear that the thuggish likes of the Kumasi-Nhyiaeso lame-duck Member of Parliament gravitated towards Mr. Kufuor, and not Prof. Albert Adu-Amankwaa Boahen, essentially and primarily because the former president was a “Kumasi Boy” and an Asante man like Dr. Anane, and not a “Kyebi-Osiem Boy” like the man who coined the term “Culture of Silence” as a poignant summative for the Rawlings dictatorship.
But in reality, the history of the present leadership crisis in the New Patriotic Party actually revolves around the 1979, largely Asante-fomented, factional polarities that culminated in the split between the William “Paa Willie” Ofori-Atta-led United National Convention (UNC) and the Victor Owusu-led Popular-Front Party (PFP). Contrary to what the Kumasi Boys would have the rest of us believe, both the UNC and the PFP were bona fide creations of moneyed or rich and politically powerful Asante Boys, and not Akyem and Asante, respectively. The UNC has been rightfully called the party of Gen. A. A. Afrifa. I have already extensively dealt with the subject in the past and do not intend to revisit the same in this present column.
Suffice it to observe, at least tangentially or glancingly, that short of his basic professional training as a physician, Dr. Anane has absolutely no remarkably informed intellectual orientation in the disciplinary area of political ideology and theory, the way one would readily credit Messrs. Agyekum-Kufuor, Victor Owusu, Akufo-Addo, Appiah-Menkah, William “Paa Willie” Ofori-Atta, R. R. Amponsah, N. Y. B. Adade, K. A. Busia and J. B. Danquah… one could also add to this list the name of the Oxbridge-educated legal luminary Dr. K. K. Kurankye-Taylor, of blessed memory. The list is inexhaustible, to be certain.
Indeed, contrary to what Dr. Anane would have his “Amen Corner” posse of operatic demagogues believe, the current post-congressional strife has more to do with ethnic and sub-ethnic factionalism. One has to ask why Nana Akufo-Addo, having fairly and squarely lost to then-Candidate John Agyekum-Kufuor, did not resort to the sort of lurid headquarters politics of deliberate and systematic sabotage orchestrated by the likes of Messrs. Paul A. Afoko, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong and Sammy Crabbe, among a slew of others, with expert engineering coaching from Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani who, ironically, also happens to be a relative of some of my Asante-Jamasi/Gyamasi relatives, by way of Akyem-Asiakwa and Akuapem-Abiriw by conjugal affiliation, in the latter instance.
You see, Dr. Anane would be making a great mistake if he so cavalierly presumes that he can get away with the sort disingenuous poppycock he has been peddling in the media in recent weeks. The fact of the matter is that we have had at least one former Akufo-Addo Communications Director globally proclaim that as an Asante-born Fante native with strong Asante ethnic identification, there is absolutely no way that he could be prevailed upon to line up his vote behind an “Okyeni” or an “Akyemkwaa” like Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Actually, that fanatically pro-Asante factionalist, who also happens to practice the same trade as Dr. Anane, was not that diplomatically polished. Dr. McHypocrite has written and published reams of character-assassinating tirades variously tagging Akufo-Addo as an “Akyem Mafia Capo” and a “Kyebi Mafia Generalissimo.” And need I tell the dear reader that Dr. McHypocrite is a bona fide stalwart of the same faction as Dr. Anane?
Make no mistake, dear reader, I fully recognize the delicate nature of these matters but, nevertheless, the unvarnished truth needs to be told in order to put these patently dirty “Adinkra” cloths behind us and forge a unified front for a landslide victory, come November 2016, and begin the sacred and godly business of the socioeconomic, cultural and psychological and moral transformation of Ghana. It goes without saying that we may have the same political views on a lot of matters, but what has recently occurred within the New Patriotic Party is that the NPP has been seriously blighted by the egomaniacal rage of some who would rather have one of their own kinsmen prosecute the liberal democratic and free-market ideals of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo traditionalists from the Flagstaff House, than have a Kyebi-Abomosu outsider like Nana Akufo-Addo spearhead affairs.
Ultimately, the paradox of historical and factual reality is that the genius and globally recognized greatness of Asante is a decidedly “Akanic” familial collaborative, one that encompasses all the key sub-ethnic polities of the Greater-Akan People of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Seychelles and elsewhere in the West African sub-region and, indeed, the Diaspora as well.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs