By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The last person with any credibility to call former President Jeremiah John Rawlings to order, vis-à-vis the latter’s patently undiplomatic remarks regarding the health of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, is the National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary candidate for the Odododiodio Constituency of Central Accra (See “Naadu Mills Is ‘Appalled’ By Rawlings’ Comments – Nii Lantey” Ghanaweb.com 7/26/12).
As the Director of Operations at the Presidency, the rabidly anti-Akan Mr. Vanderpuije, and his colleagues on the presidential staff, owed Ghanaian citizens and eligible voters the bounden obligation of letting on the true state of President Mills’ health. Instead, his band of cynical opportunists and unconscionable nation-wreckers, including the reprehensible likes of Messrs. Newman, Segbefia, Dogbe and Anyidoho, kept the nation effectively in the dark, as both the country and the president’s health degenerated precipitously.
In the case of the country, such acute degeneration came in the form of the veritable bog-peat that is the still-raging judgment-debt scam-artistry. And in the case of the late president, such degeneration came in the form of abject administrative incapacity and leadership vacuity, as shamefully witnessed in such troubled spots as Hohoe and Ekumfi-Narkwah, the now-late premier’s own home district in the Central Region.
Indeed, what Nii Lantey Vanderpuije and his boorish posse of vigilantes ought to be worrying about in the heated lead-up to Election 2012, is how to be able to credibly present themselves to Ghanaian voters as responsible leaders who are worthy of their trust. Of course, Mr. Rawlings is only being pettily hypocritical when he pretends to be visibly perturbed by the “untimely” passing of his former arch-lieutenant and longtime protégé. Still, the retired Ghanaian strongman is dead-on accurate when he bluntly suggests that President Mills’ death, barely five months before Election 2012, could have been temporarily and auspiciously delayed if the deceased leader had heeded wise and constructive counsel, by drastically reducing his workload, or even pursuing the more mature and self-loving path of resignation.
On the latter score, and needless to say, President Mills exhibited the at once unsavory and morally untenable trait of a megalomaniac than a patriotic statesman with the paramount interests of the nation at heart. It also goes without saying that Mrs. Naadu Mills, the former first lady, has every right to be livid with the man who handpicked and adamantly promoted the presidential ambitions of her late husband when most Ghanaians clearly appeared to have written him off as irreparably damaged goods. And more so, because Mr. Rawlings’ inveterate antagonism towards the late President Mills, to the flagrant extent of publicly spearheading his wife’s viciously seditious campaign against the Mills presidency, may well have immensely contributed to the “premature” demise of the former Legon tax-law professor.
The road to Election 2012 is clearly likely to be rough going for both major political parties of Fourth-Republican Ghana, especially for the credibility-bereft key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress. Needless to say, the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) has the equally formidable task of vigorously campaigning without seeming to be taking cheap shots at the transitional government of a recently deceased leader who commanded the cross-party respect and affection of his fellow countrymen and women.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. ###