By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Last year, when he won the Nkawkaw parliamentary seat as an Independent candidate, I exploded with jubilation even while also wondering why he had not run on the ticket of the then-ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Of course, I am herein talking about my good friend and classmate, Mr. Seth Adjei-Baah. I would shortly learn, to my consternation, that corrupt party politics had summarily prevented the Donkorkrom Agricultural Secondary School transfer student from running as an NPP candidate, even when it became glaringly obvious that Mr. Adjei-Baah was potentially the most winsome candidate among the pool of NPP stalwarts vying to represent the Nkawkaw constituency in the Okwawu district. My old friend would valiantly assert his democratic and fundamental human right by running as an Independent candidate and handily clinching the coveted seat that was once held by Mr. Kwaku Baah.
As of this writing (9/24/09), I have no knowledge of whether my old St. Peter’s classmate is in anyway related to the former parliamentary minority leader of the Third Republic. Back then, former President John Agyekum-Kufuor (“Old-Sleepy-Eyes”) served as a staunch Kwaku Baah lieutenant; and it is not clear whether playing second-fiddle to the old Danquah minion had anything to do with the Manhyia toughie’s rather quizzical decision to scurry into the sanguinary pay of then-Flt.-Lt. Jeremiah John Rawlings and his so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).
Well, as it turns out, as it auspiciously ought to, Mr. Adjei-Baah appears to have recently, and maturely, chosen the salutary path of conciliation and cohesion vis-à-vis the fortunes of the badly contused NPP. The problem here, though, as I am learning, is that the very people who unwisely begrudged this proven winner the well-deserved chance to represent the good people of Nkwakaw, whom Mr. Adjei-Baah has long and faithfully served as a storekeeper, not being sobered by a shameful recognition of their egregiously errant ways, to speak less of brazen chicanery, have stolidly decided that about the only way by which they could be made to see eye-to-eye with the substantive Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw, is for my fiercely principled old friend to capriciously, fatuously and passively surrender the hard-fought and won mandate of his constituents in order to facilitate curious the staging of a bye-election in which, listen to this crap, Mr. Adjei-Baah would be expected to run, again, as a parliamentary candidate, almost as if perspicuously clinching his current seat as an Independent, last December, is, somehow, tantamount to a palpable act of immitigable criminality!
Wow! You would think that such dictatorial farcicality died a natural death with the salubrious overthrow of the neo-fascist and tautological Convention People’s Party (CPP) in the 1960s. Needless to say, somebody had better ask the NPP executive chuckleheads of the Nkawkaw constituency if they would, themselves, also consent to a voluntary surrender, or resignation, of their party positions and perks in order to facilitate a constitutionally unauthorized “re-election” geared towards the re-certification or re-legitimization of their respective leadership roles in the party.
What is even more rankling is the, reportedly, abject refusal of the Nkawkaw NPP constituency executives to register supporters of Mr. Adjei-Baah who desire to resume their membership of the NPP (See “No Decision on Nkawkaw Seat – Ohene-Ntow” Myjoyonline.com 9/24/09). One thing appears to be eerily and unforgivably clear here; and it is the fact that the Nkawkaw constituency executives of the NPP do not seem to appreciate the fundamental principle of democratic political culture being inescapably about numbers and critical masses.
Fortunately, sanity appears to have prevailed, with NPP General-Secretary Nana Ohene-Ntow exhorting the Nkawkaw branch executives of the NPP to “respect the concession granted to [former NPP members and supporters] who want to return,” by having the latter promptly and expeditiously registered. Still, one is also forced to wonder precisely what kind of training did these Nkawkaw NPP executives undergo in order to earn positions whose basic functions none of them seem either able to perform or even appreciate.
*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 a Governing Board Member of the Danquah Institute (DI), the Accra-based pro-democracy think-tank, and the author of 20 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. ###