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Sour-Grapes, Deja-Vu

Fri, 20 Jul 2007 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Ordinarily, I would not be writing about a politician and an issue about whose details I know next-to-nothing, especially if the newsmaker or subject of discourse is a “has been,” or a disgruntled former team-player apparently driven over the cliff, as it were, for whatever reasons. Still, an article titled “NPP Gov’t Looting Ghana – Ex-NPP MP,” which appeared on Ghanaweb.com, got my horse, because in spite of all its failings, for it is made up of well-meaning albeit fallible humanity, the ruling New Patriotic Party, nevertheless, is unquestionably the best government to have ever set up camp in Ghana. And if, indeed, Ghanaians value their sense of liberty and self-respect (and yours truly has no doubt that by and large we do), they would ensure that the New Patriotic Party stays in power for as long as it takes the country to raise an alternative crop of equally decent, competent and life-respecting leaders.

Thus it came to yours truly as totally flabbergasting, to speak much less of the absolutely dissonant and outright distasteful, cognitively speaking, that is, when the former NPP-Member of Parliament for Akuapem-Akropong, Mr. Koi Larbi, was reported to be glorifying the insufferably senseless and “devolutionary” June 4, 1979 armed robbery by the so-called Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) as condign comeuppance for the purported misdeeds of the latter junta’s predecessors.

And when Mr. Koi Larbi speciously compares the June 4 putsch to the French and Russian revolutions, yours truly is simply nonplussed. And those of us who know a little bit about contemporary world history fully appreciate the fact that only a piddling modicum of what happened in France and Russia under Napoleon Bonaparte and Vladimir Lenin, respectively, could be chalked up as having redounded to the long-term benefit for the people in whose name and purported interests these political adventurers launched their so-called revolutions. Perhaps some more critical thinker ought to remind Mr. Koi Larbi that the French and Russian revolutions notwithstanding, today neither nation nor society claims to have forged their democratic political cultures squarely or even marginally on the political ideals of either “Emperor” Bonaparte or “Dictator” Stalin, the bloody lieutenant and successor of Mr. Lenin.

Likewise in Ghana, no clinically sane citizen could feel thankful for having been, literally, used as a political doormat by the “One Man, One Toilet” philosopher and infamous “Butcher-of-Sogakope” who ended up owning more toilet bowls than his purportedly corrupt predecessors whom Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings summarily executed by firing squad. Today, as one astute observer of postcolonial Ghanaian history recently noted, “Togbui Agbotui Sogakope” owns more toilets – WC’s, that is – in his Accra mansion than some of the four-star hotels in Ghana!

And so when Mr. Koi Larbi insinuates that “history has its own way of providing outlets to bring about justice for the ordinary people,” exactly what does this former parliamentarian mean? That Ghanaians are going to sit duck and let another certified bandit steal in upon them, capitalize on their goodwill and good-nature to wantonly exploit and savage them, once more, in the cynical name of “Probity and Accountability”? God forbid!

And if, indeed, that was what the illegal celebration of the June 4th Tricksters’ and Opportunists’ revolution was all about, then Mr. Koi Larbi had better rest assured that any frustrated gun-toter who makes the dastardly attempt and flagrant mistake of using populism to plunder our national treasury, as well as rob Ghanaians of their hard-earned wealth, would regret not having been born in another country altogether!

To be certain, I watched a photograph of the “Butcher-of-Sogakope” and his wife growling and snarling at each other during Joe-Jato’s recent celebration of his 60th birthday anniversary and was not in the least bit amused. And then I began to count on my fingers exactly how long the “Butcher-of-Sogakope” had allowed the likes of Justices Cecilia Koranteng-Addow, Agyepong and Sarkodie; Major Sam Acquah; Roger Felli, Amedume, Utuka, Acheampong, Yaw Boakye, Akuffo and Afrifa to live; and then I felt a kind of volcanic fury tinged with ethical impotence rise up my spine, and then sighing deeply, I muttered to myself: “The diamond birthday anniversary of a murderer must feel like bronze; in fact, sawdust, as even Shakespeare’s Macbeth could candidly testify.”

The preceding occurred shortly after a family friend called from London to ask just how yours truly felt about the man whose bloody guilt and shame prevented him from partaking of Ghana’s golden jubilee festivities. “I feel as if that bloody son-of-a-bitch has far outlived his Ghanaian hospitality!” I spat out nonchalantly.

In any case, the fact that Mr. Koi Larbi, the former NPP-MP from Akuapem-Akropong made his insufferably outrageous vow to present documents supposedly detailing the purported looting of our national treasury by the NPP constabulary on, of all stations, Radio Gold, roundly detracts from his credibility. And to be frank with you, dear reader, I am not holding my breath.

Couple the foregoing with the fact that this story was sourced to Joe-Jato’s “Lens” rag (or is it shit-paper, as in shit-bombing?) by Ghanaweb.com, and the whole damn desperate fabrication cannot be adequately laughed off. For instance, could Mr. Koi Larbi tell the Ghanaian public exactly how much, in terms of salary, Mr. Rawlings and his wife paid themselves during the ten years that Joe-Jato was Ghana’s de facto strongman? And so what might possibly have driven the poor soul to run, stark naked, into the fetid rat-hole that is Radio Gold (and you know, yours truly lived just next door to Radio Gold some 36 years ago, across from the hotel?) to spew such verbal scatology? Or maybe he had been woefully outdone in his own scam by an old schoolmate from SALEM (and dear reader, you know yours truly was the School Prefect there also in 1975-76)?

In any case, regarding Mr. Koi Larbi’s plaint about lack of transparency vis-à-vis the expenditure involved in the ongoing Cedi re-denomination exercise and the exact amount of New Cedi-notes put into circulation, perhaps the most relevant question to ask is: Just how much did it cost the nation for the P/NDC government to run us down the socioeconomic drain as it did, before the rationalist NPP government dug us out and gave us a turd-disinfecting bath? Perhaps a more palatable way to put it is as follows: Mr. Koi Larbi, forging a healthy democratic culture does not naively mean compromising our national security. And so in case you don’t understand the fact that as a former MP you have no right to the quiddities of national security matters anymore than yours truly, or your next-door neighbor, then, by all means, you can go to Chorkor or Akoto-Lantey and burn the ocean-sea!!!

Finally, I must confess that I would be terribly disappointed, Mr. Koi Larbi, if you turn out to be the son, or even grandson, of the celebrated firebrand attorney and immortalized Ghanaian patriot and Dr. Danquah’s comrade-in-arms, Mr. Koi Larbi of Akuapem-Larteh. The very man who mentored the African Show Boy during the latter’s London days. Interestingly, like the Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics, Mr. Koi Larbi would be dealt the kind of raw deal that Hitler and his Nazi regime dealt the European Jewry. Then again, wasn’t the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP) a neo-Nazi regime?

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., teaches English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@aol.com

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Ordinarily, I would not be writing about a politician and an issue about whose details I know next-to-nothing, especially if the newsmaker or subject of discourse is a “has been,” or a disgruntled former team-player apparently driven over the cliff, as it were, for whatever reasons. Still, an article titled “NPP Gov’t Looting Ghana – Ex-NPP MP,” which appeared on Ghanaweb.com, got my horse, because in spite of all its failings, for it is made up of well-meaning albeit fallible humanity, the ruling New Patriotic Party, nevertheless, is unquestionably the best government to have ever set up camp in Ghana. And if, indeed, Ghanaians value their sense of liberty and self-respect (and yours truly has no doubt that by and large we do), they would ensure that the New Patriotic Party stays in power for as long as it takes the country to raise an alternative crop of equally decent, competent and life-respecting leaders.

Thus it came to yours truly as totally flabbergasting, to speak much less of the absolutely dissonant and outright distasteful, cognitively speaking, that is, when the former NPP-Member of Parliament for Akuapem-Akropong, Mr. Koi Larbi, was reported to be glorifying the insufferably senseless and “devolutionary” June 4, 1979 armed robbery by the so-called Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) as condign comeuppance for the purported misdeeds of the latter junta’s predecessors.

And when Mr. Koi Larbi speciously compares the June 4 putsch to the French and Russian revolutions, yours truly is simply nonplussed. And those of us who know a little bit about contemporary world history fully appreciate the fact that only a piddling modicum of what happened in France and Russia under Napoleon Bonaparte and Vladimir Lenin, respectively, could be chalked up as having redounded to the long-term benefit for the people in whose name and purported interests these political adventurers launched their so-called revolutions. Perhaps some more critical thinker ought to remind Mr. Koi Larbi that the French and Russian revolutions notwithstanding, today neither nation nor society claims to have forged their democratic political cultures squarely or even marginally on the political ideals of either “Emperor” Bonaparte or “Dictator” Stalin, the bloody lieutenant and successor of Mr. Lenin.

Likewise in Ghana, no clinically sane citizen could feel thankful for having been, literally, used as a political doormat by the “One Man, One Toilet” philosopher and infamous “Butcher-of-Sogakope” who ended up owning more toilet bowls than his purportedly corrupt predecessors whom Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings summarily executed by firing squad. Today, as one astute observer of postcolonial Ghanaian history recently noted, “Togbui Agbotui Sogakope” owns more toilets – WC’s, that is – in his Accra mansion than some of the four-star hotels in Ghana!

And so when Mr. Koi Larbi insinuates that “history has its own way of providing outlets to bring about justice for the ordinary people,” exactly what does this former parliamentarian mean? That Ghanaians are going to sit duck and let another certified bandit steal in upon them, capitalize on their goodwill and good-nature to wantonly exploit and savage them, once more, in the cynical name of “Probity and Accountability”? God forbid!

And if, indeed, that was what the illegal celebration of the June 4th Tricksters’ and Opportunists’ revolution was all about, then Mr. Koi Larbi had better rest assured that any frustrated gun-toter who makes the dastardly attempt and flagrant mistake of using populism to plunder our national treasury, as well as rob Ghanaians of their hard-earned wealth, would regret not having been born in another country altogether!

To be certain, I watched a photograph of the “Butcher-of-Sogakope” and his wife growling and snarling at each other during Joe-Jato’s recent celebration of his 60th birthday anniversary and was not in the least bit amused. And then I began to count on my fingers exactly how long the “Butcher-of-Sogakope” had allowed the likes of Justices Cecilia Koranteng-Addow, Agyepong and Sarkodie; Major Sam Acquah; Roger Felli, Amedume, Utuka, Acheampong, Yaw Boakye, Akuffo and Afrifa to live; and then I felt a kind of volcanic fury tinged with ethical impotence rise up my spine, and then sighing deeply, I muttered to myself: “The diamond birthday anniversary of a murderer must feel like bronze; in fact, sawdust, as even Shakespeare’s Macbeth could candidly testify.”

The preceding occurred shortly after a family friend called from London to ask just how yours truly felt about the man whose bloody guilt and shame prevented him from partaking of Ghana’s golden jubilee festivities. “I feel as if that bloody son-of-a-bitch has far outlived his Ghanaian hospitality!” I spat out nonchalantly.

In any case, the fact that Mr. Koi Larbi, the former NPP-MP from Akuapem-Akropong made his insufferably outrageous vow to present documents supposedly detailing the purported looting of our national treasury by the NPP constabulary on, of all stations, Radio Gold, roundly detracts from his credibility. And to be frank with you, dear reader, I am not holding my breath.

Couple the foregoing with the fact that this story was sourced to Joe-Jato’s “Lens” rag (or is it shit-paper, as in shit-bombing?) by Ghanaweb.com, and the whole damn desperate fabrication cannot be adequately laughed off. For instance, could Mr. Koi Larbi tell the Ghanaian public exactly how much, in terms of salary, Mr. Rawlings and his wife paid themselves during the ten years that Joe-Jato was Ghana’s de facto strongman? And so what might possibly have driven the poor soul to run, stark naked, into the fetid rat-hole that is Radio Gold (and you know, yours truly lived just next door to Radio Gold some 36 years ago, across from the hotel?) to spew such verbal scatology? Or maybe he had been woefully outdone in his own scam by an old schoolmate from SALEM (and dear reader, you know yours truly was the School Prefect there also in 1975-76)?

In any case, regarding Mr. Koi Larbi’s plaint about lack of transparency vis-à-vis the expenditure involved in the ongoing Cedi re-denomination exercise and the exact amount of New Cedi-notes put into circulation, perhaps the most relevant question to ask is: Just how much did it cost the nation for the P/NDC government to run us down the socioeconomic drain as it did, before the rationalist NPP government dug us out and gave us a turd-disinfecting bath? Perhaps a more palatable way to put it is as follows: Mr. Koi Larbi, forging a healthy democratic culture does not naively mean compromising our national security. And so in case you don’t understand the fact that as a former MP you have no right to the quiddities of national security matters anymore than yours truly, or your next-door neighbor, then, by all means, you can go to Chorkor or Akoto-Lantey and burn the ocean-sea!!!

Finally, I must confess that I would be terribly disappointed, Mr. Koi Larbi, if you turn out to be the son, or even grandson, of the celebrated firebrand attorney and immortalized Ghanaian patriot and Dr. Danquah’s comrade-in-arms, Mr. Koi Larbi of Akuapem-Larteh. The very man who mentored the African Show Boy during the latter’s London days. Interestingly, like the Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics, Mr. Koi Larbi would be dealt the kind of raw deal that Hitler and his Nazi regime dealt the European Jewry. Then again, wasn’t the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP) a neo-Nazi regime?

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., teaches English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@aol.com

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame