Shortly after my column prevailing on Nana Akufo-Addo to relieve Mr. Gabriel Otchere-Darko of any duties he may be charged with at the Flagstaff House was published, a news article appeared on several Ghanaian media websites suggesting that, somehow, the wings of the protagonist’s critics had been clipped. Nothing could be more at once absurd and preposterous. In the aforesaid news article, the Akufo-Addo first-cousin, who has been widely accused of using his kinship with the President to solicit kickbacks in exchange for contracts, shot back with the clearly mendacious claim that he did not work at the Flagstaff House; and also that he was too preoccupied with the business of a law firm that he was running “to hang around” the President. So much for his characteristic arrogance!
Well, I knew Mr. Otchere-Darko was lying straight through his teeth, as it were, because somebody I have known for nearly two decades and have had a personal relationship with who went appointment-hunting (she has a Ph.D. and teaches at the country’s flagship academy) reliably reported to me that she had made the acquaintance of both Mr. Otchere-Darko and the President’s protocol chief, Nana Asante Bediatuo, another one of our relatives, and one or two other “Kyebi Boys” at the Flagstaff House. Indeed, as those of you who have been studiously and sedulously reading my articles for a remarkable span of time may have already realized, I have absolutely no vested interest in the affairs of the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), besides facilitating the ringing success of the President in his noble quest to making Ghana wholesome and prosperous again.
I have personally been called by a relative or two, asking whether I wanted to serve in any significant capacity in the Akufo-Addo government. I have promptly answered that I preferred to sit on the outside, like the eagle-eyed media watchdog that I have been for the past three decades. To be certain, the last time that I was in Ghana was some 15 years ago, and for just two weeks. And the reason strictly had to do with the conveyance of the mortal remains of my father for burial, at his own deathbed’s request, at Kyebi. Mr. Otchere-Darko is a relative I personally don’t know but have been introduced to and spoken on the phone with once; I have also done a few emails with him a while back. He is not my classmate, either in age or intellectual and ideological orientation, in the practical sense of the latter word. I don’t even remember ever having known him at Okwawu-Nkwatia’s St. Peter’s Secondary School, which I understand he also attended. Very likely, he was classmates with the couple of cousins – The Sintim-Aboagye Brothers – who got in after I had left.
Now, let me make one thing clear: if I really wanted to go into politics in Ghana, I would not be tugging at anybody’s coattails. I was writing and reading my poems on GBC-2 and Ghana Television when I was barely 16 years old and a student at PERSCO. In plain English, I was locally a fairly renowned “public personality” in Ghana, as was also my father a generation before me, before I turned 20 years old.
Now, we have Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong repeating the same corruption charges levelled against Mr. Otchere-Darko a couple, or so, days ago by Rev. Isaac Owusu-Bempah. I don’t know this other “Duke” Ofori-Atta guy who has also been alleged by Messrs. Owusu-Bempah and Agyapong to be fast bringing the name, image and reputation of the present government and its leader into abject disrepute (See “Appointees at Flagstaff House Making ‘Filthy Money’ – Kennedy Agyapong” MyNewsGh.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/25/17). Now, I don’t care one bit who is making “filthy money” or “wholesome money.” What I most care about is that the Akufo-Addo Administration works at full-throttle to equally benefit all Ghanaians, both at home and abroad. Neither Messrs. Owusu-Bempah nor Agyapong are perfect human beings. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
But you can be quite certain that both gentlemen have witnessed and are witnessing what those of us who care about the good fortune and longevity of this government need to know about and facilitate a resolution of the same. And now talking about the “clipping of wings,” I absolutely owe allegiance to nobody but my own conscience and the good of the country of my birth.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 25, 2017