By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The very title of his book, Chasing the Elephant into the Bush, was plagiarized from the General-Secretary of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC); and so I would be very surprised if the Orangeburg, South Carolina, sniper has not been splitting whatever proceeds and/or royalties he has been reaping from his all-too-pedestrian muck-raker with General Mosquito.
I am also pleasantly surprised because this monomaniac's one obsession is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, whom he dubs as the Supreme Commander of the Kyebi Mafia of which yours truly is a "charter member." I have in the recent past promised to unmask this pathological malcontent of an Afropean. And with the seismic shift in leadership at the New Patriotic Party (NPP) headquarters, it ought to be about time the camouflaged NDC mole was give the heave-ho.
The party of Danquah-Busia-Dombo criminally cheapens itself by having such a disgruntled charlatan sport the oversized accolade of "Leading" or "Senior Member." And as Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the immediate former National Chairman of the NPP once had occasion to remind this charlatan and his ilk, no such titles as "Leading Member" or "Senior Member" exists among the rank-and-file membership of the NPP; at least, they do not appear anywhere in the party's highest and most sacred governance document - the august Constitution of the New Patriotic Party.
I also don't know the precise context and basis upon which the Kennedy wannabe predicated his rabid impugnation of the performace of our parliamentarians. And neither do I care a whit to learn about the same. The fact of the matter is that one cannot profusely laud what one cynically terms as the sterling achievements of the former Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, to wit, "Agye Wodin," and then turn round from far away South Carolina and presume to possess the gold template for measuring parliamentary performace.
The man has also emphatically alerted his audience that he has invested too much of his "treasure" in the New Patriotic Party to be forced to abandon the same. In other words, Comrade McHypocrite is waiting smack in the wings for Chairman Afoko to launch the gravy train that is the Elephant party into the Flagstaff House and then, Bingo!, it would be time to slice up the pachyderm, once more, as the CPP Abongo Boys did under the hopelessly corrupt and extortionate regime of the African Show Boy.
And here, of course, the interested reader only needs to revisit Prof. Ayi Kwei Armah's political classic The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born to pointedly get the drift of my yarn. Indeed, there can be absolutely no gainsaying the fact that Ghana's parliament, as it is presently constituted and operated, is fundamentally flawed and morbidly dysfunctional. But it is absolutely by no measure the fault of the New Patriotic Party's elected representatives therein. It has more to do with the practically excessive and paradoxically undemocratic powers conferred by the framers of our Fourth-Republican Constitution on the President and the Presidency at large.
And the modes of rectifying such anomaly are two fold: one, by periodic referenda/referendums on selected functionally hobbling provisions of our supreme instrument of governance, including the odious Indemnity Clauses. And, two, via Parlaiment's own constitutionally mandated self-charges.
What I mean by the latter regards the imperative and high-minded need for Parliament to streamline the way that governance is done, including measures that cut into some of the wasteful perks wantonly enjoyed by these otherwise legitimate representatives of the people, such as their terminal voting of orgiastic bonuses for themselves in the gratuitous name of "gratuities."
You see, serving in Parliament is not a voluntary affair. Our legislators, for want of a more appropriate term, are among the highest paid public officials in the country. And so it cannot be morally sound or righteous for these lawmakers - one of whom just this past March shipped four brand-new Mercedes Benzes, right here from Bronx, New York, each of them valued at $ 50,000 - to pretend as if they are any more deserving of extra income than the rest of Ghana's public and civil servants.
In other words, what is problematic about McHypocrite's criticism of the NPP parliamentary minority is not the criticim itself. For even Heaven knows that constructive criticism is necessary for the development of our country's democratic political culture. Rather, it is the facile and meanspirited manner in which such criticism is done. For instance, did McHypocrite also highlight some of the major flaws in the conduct of the members of the country's parliamentary majority? (Of course, I am also well aware of the fact that McHypocrite benefitted a great from no-bid sweetheart contracts when President Kufuor was in power.) That is what matters more than all else.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
April 15, 2014