I keep telling our journalists and media operatives that you simply cannot call a gut- or stomach-oriented political opportunist the “stalwart” of any major political party. That is precisely what Mr. Victor Yankson, who recently announced his ignoble defection from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), veritably is. We learn that in 2012 Mr. Yankson who, like Mr. Alexander Afenyo Markin, is a professionally trained lawyer, fiercely battled the latter, the then-parliamentary incumbent for the Effutu Constituency of Winneba, in the Central Region, in the party’s local primaries and miserably lost. We must also quickly note here that Mr. Markin is still the NPP’s Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency.
We are also informed that Mr. Yankson’s recent announcement of his defection to the National Democratic Congress, and into the pay of Mr. Goosie Tanoh, who has been doggedly battling for his party’s mandate to run against President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 Presidential Election, took place at Agona-Swedru, also in the Central Region (See “Afenyo Markin’s 2012 NPP Contender Defects to NDC” Ghanaweb.com 11/3/18). Clearly, it seems that some Ghanaian politicians never learn any fruitful lessons from the telling experiences of their political predecessors and antecedents; else, Mr. Yankson would have since long taken a cue from the tragicomic experience of Brig.-Gen. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (Rd), the former Chief of the Defense Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and relative of the brutally slain Maj. Sam Acquah, who also defected a little over a decade ago from the New Patriotic Party to the Rawlings-chaperoned National Democratic Congress.
Today, Gen. Nunoo-Mensah, who is very close to 80 years old, is a very desperate and bitter man who has made several unsuccessful overtures to President Akufo-Addo in order to have the latter quietly bring this prodigal son back into the fold of the leadership of the New Patriotic Party. It is really all about one voracious freeloader’s bid to being, once again, cut an oversized check that he clearly does not deserve. You see, Dear Reader, coldly calculating opportunists and traitors like Gen. Nunoo-Mensah and Mr. Yankson never end their political careers on a good or sound note. Chances are that Mr. Yankson was never a convicted member of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-inspired ruling New Patriotic Party. So his departure may very well be good riddance for the Effutu Constituency Chapter of the NPP.
But, of course, the rather poetically and fortuitously suicidal note here is the decision by Mr. Yankson to truck with another perennial and jaded opportunistic political scam-artist and former NDC-breakaway cofounder of the so-called National Reform Party, to wit, Mr. Agustus Obuadum “Goosie” Tanoh, whose resume or curriculum vitae seems very impressive until the reader realizes that it is loaded with the kind of garish fluff that characterizes the resumes of those Rawlings-tug-along P/NDC apparatchiks of the 1980s and 1990s. The “Goosie” sobriquet or nickname of the man makes Mr. Tanoh seem like a political clown more than the seasoned politician and international business that he claims to be. Mr. Tanoh also has a diploma or certificate in the oil business; and it is this “oily” part that I want to underscore here, being that the Legon and Northwestern, Chicago-trained lawyer has been mired in nearly every oil business racket in the country that also involved the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress. Which, clearly, at the end of the day, means that he has absolutely nothing progressive up or under his sleeves to offer towards the salutary development of Fourth-Republican Ghana.
I first came to know about Mr. Tanoh in the wake of the Drill Ship Purchase and Resale Scandal that then-President John Dramani Mahama mischievously attempted to use to tarnish the image, reputation and the chances of his then main political opponent, Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the Presidency in the leadup to the 2016 general election. In the main, the story went that in the wake of the Tsatsu Tsikata legal imbroglio related to the Drill Ship that ensured shortly after the democratic transfer of the reins of governance from former President Jerry John Rawlings to then-President John Agyekum-Kufuor, between 2001 and 2009, some Judgment-Debt matter involving Mr. Goosie Tanoh came up whereby the latter and/or his client were due some payment from the government. The story further goes that Mr. Tanoh deliberately and flatly refused to cash some court-authorized damages to which he or his client was due, it is not quite clear to me which was exactly the case, until well after Nana Akufo-Addo, who had served as President Kufuor’s Justice Minister and Attorney-General, prior to the former’s service as Foreign Minister, had long left office, by which time the amount involved in the Judgment-Debt would have exponentially increased.
In other words, in this former Chief Executive of Finance and Administration of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), we have a professional dyed-in-wool kleptocrat and scam-artist who has absolutely no patriotic or sacrificial sensibilities to be expected to jealously look after the national kitty, by ensuring that the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money would be wholesomely safeguarded and conscientiously used for the evenhanded or equitable development of the country. Our elders have a maxim that runs as follows: “Show me your friend, and I would show you your character.” That is the life-sized photograph of Messrs. Victor Yankson and Goosie Tanoh for you, Dear Reader, if you were to honestly ask me for the same.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York