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Opinions Wed, 11 Dec 2013

Dr. Kunbuor overreached himself on Drill-Ship

The alleged volleying of intemperate verbal assault on the Parliamentary Majority Leader, Dr. Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor, by the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Adansi-Asokwa, Mr. Kwabena Tahir Hammond, on the floor of our august National Assembly, is inexcusable (See "K. T. Hammond Is Emotionally Incompetent - Prof. Baah" Peacefmonline.com /Ghanaweb.com 12/5/13).


But it is, nonetheless, understandable. It is understandable because under no circumstances, whatsoever, can Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome's criminal bilking of the Ghanaian taxpayer, to the whopping tune of GHC 50 million-plus, with the apparently public condonement of the erstwhile Mills-Mahama regime be compared to the drill-ship sale saga, as it has widely come to be labeled.


We know for a fact that the Mills-Mahama government was complicit in the Woyome Affair, in which the criminally indicted protagonist used false pretences to plunder our national coffers, because the now-late President John Evans Atta-Mills personally made public comments and pronouncements that clearly appeared to back Mr. Woyome's criminal misbehavior.


In the case of the drill-ship sale conundrum, as it were, it has now been clearly and forensically sustainably proven that, in fact, the New Patriotic Party's energy ministry officials named in the affair never personally, or even officially, misappropriated the public dole. The amount involved ($3.5 million) far pales in significance to the caper involving Mr. Woyome. Consequently, Dr. Kunbuor had absolutely no tangible reason to cite the drill-ship impasse within the same breath as the Woyome Affair.


The two cases are simply not comparable by any stretch of the imagination, and Dr. Kunbuor is more than smart enough to have recognized this stark fact, unless he was up to some sort of mischief. The most appropriate comparison to the Woyome Affair, as a striking example of the widespread public perception of Ghanaian politicians as abjectly corrupt, ought to have been the infamous $20 million Juliet Cotton Affair, in which a reckless and an unconscionable gang of reprobates, led by the then-Vice-President Atta-Mills, literally handed over $20 million of hard-earned taxpayer money to an African-American woman scam-artist posing as a big-time rice farmer gratis.

But, of course, citing the preceding in tandem with the Woyome Scandal would not have put the Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) in good light. And so, logically, a pathologically partisan Dr. Kunbuor had to go for an example that appeared to him to put the main opposition New Patriotic Party within the same corruption pontoon as the mega-heist professionals of the party misguidedly associated with "transparency, probity, accountability and justice."


Prof. Amoako-Baah could not be any more "emotionally competent" by knee-jerkily calling for the Parliamentary Privileges Committee to severely sanction the Adansi-Asokwa MP with suspension from the House. It ought to be quite obvious to the political science lecturer of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology by now, that Dr. Kunbuor did not conduct himself with the optimal level of rhetorical moderation, and maturity, expected of the Parliamentary Majority Leader of any civilized democratic culture.


What is significant here is that Mr. Hammond has profusely apologized to Dr. Kunbuor and promptly retracted his intemperate use of language on the floor of our august House of Parliament. It is therefore time for all of us to move on to deliberating upon far more pressing national issues, beyond bruised egos, for the greater good of the Common-wealth Republic of Ghana. Period!


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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Dec. 5, 2013
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net
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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame