By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
July 27, 2014
In certain respects, I tend to envisage the founding-proprietor of the Progressive People's Party (PPP) in the mold of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills. But such similarities have absolutely nothing to do with the practically pedestrian and obvious. They have, for instance, nothing to do with the fact of both men being of Fante sub-ethnicity. It has everything to do with the fact of their being ideologically starcrossed. I admired certain aspects of the character of Prof. Mills, but I strongly felt that his one great weakness of character was his decision to not only truck with the rascally operatives of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC), but even more egregiously, his decision to consent to playing second-bananas to Chairman Jerry John Rawlings.
In doing so, the late Legon tax-law professor flagrantly compromised his ethics and integrity by sitting idly by while barbaric identification haircuts and other forms of atrocities were perpetrated against innocent and defenseless Ghanaian citizens. In the case of Dr. Paa (or Papa) Kwesi Nduom, I had a deep feeling that he had, for whatever reasons best known to himself, made the most inexcusable political blunder of his life when he decided to hitch wagons with the intellectually and ideologically static and bankrupt operatives of the rump-Convention People's (rump-CPP).
Perhaps it had everything to do with the successful imprint of Nkrumaist propaganda on the impressionable mind of the young Ghanaian citizen of the 1950s and 60s, particularly those who had been old enough to have qualified for membership in the Young Pioneers' Movement (YPM). Dr. Mills used to publicly recall this most impressionable phase of his life with indelible fondness.
It well appears that great learning for much of his adult life had done absolutely nothing to enable the quite prolific tax-law lecturer, and later professor, to fully appreciate the massive stumbling block that was Nkrumah's extortionate dictatorship to the salutary development of a creatively democratic culture in Ghana and most of the African continent. For the proverbial African Show Boy had been singularly responsible - as a neo-African political pioneer - for the wide and protracted spread of both civilian and military dictatorships throughout the primeval continent.
Fortunately, unlike President Mills, predictable rancorous developments in the rump-Convention People's Party would force him to reluctantly come to terms with the fact that Dr. Nduom needed to find his own ideological voice within the deafening din of the national political forum and, with the latter, his own independent and historically unburdened agenda and course of action.
And so, really, it is absolutely no wonder that when President John Dramani Mahama and his lackeys of cynical propagandists yell and scream about the laudability of what they term as their TEN-PERCENTAGE PATRIOTISM (we shall further expatiate on the latter in due course) the former presidential candidate of the rump-CPP prefers to talk about how to make a qualitative education available to each and every Ghanaian citizen, to the extent and degree of each individual's talents and capabilities. Now, this is what time and authentic statemanship - as well as stateswomanship, for that matter - is about.
At the centenary celebration of the St. Joseph's Primary Boys' School, located in his hometown of Elmina, Dr. Nduom seized the prime opportunity, as a keynoter, to remind the Mahama government and Ghanaians at large that the country's 1992 Fourth-Republican Constitution mandates making modern classroom-type education available to all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, gender or religious affiliation (See "Education, Better Driver of Economy - Nduom" Graphic Online / Ghanaweb.com 7/15/14).
Unlike the major players in the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress, the former CPP-Member of Parliament for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) firmly believes that the most transformative means of moving the country materially and culturally forward, is to provide each and every able-bodied citizen with the best available education. For most of the last six years that the National Democratic Congress held the reins of governance, nearly every single key player of the party has insisted that this most sacred constitutional mandate cannot be achieved.
Rather, the Mahama boys and girls prefer to vote for themselves criminally fat salaries and then make-believe their patriotism by volunteering to slash a tenth of these clearly undeserved salaries. Dr. Nduom, on the other hand, prefers to go whole-hog at patriotism. And on the latter score, he has given the no-holds-barred assurance that he intends to devote the overwhelming bulk of the resources generated by his business enterprises, as well as his family, to the remarkable improvement "of the educational system in Elmina, first, by constructing a university at Elmina-Aboabo."
On the preceding score, of course, Dr. Nduom may be authentically envisaged to share one political umbilical cord with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the two-time presidential candidate of Ghana's main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). This is absolutely no coincidence at all, for both Messrs. Nduom and Akufo-Addo occupied cardinal cabinet portfolios in the Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party, the most socioeconomically and politically progressive and successful government in Ghana's Fourth Republic.