By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Legend has it that Mr. Jerry John Rawlings dominated the firmaments of Ghanaian politics for as long as he did because, more than any of either his predecessors or successors, Muammar Gadhafy's protege quickly learned to deftly apply the hardnosed Machiavellian principle of divide-and-conquer. The Sogakope Iron Boy is said to have done so by mischievously playing his servile minions one against the other and, in the process, systematically and selectively eliminating one highly suspected Enemy-of-the-State after another.
Eventually, this led to what the late Prof. Adu-Boahen characterized as the virtual "culture of silence," in which the half-Scottish Ghanaian strongman came to confidently and comfortably envisage himself as the wisest man in the entire land. The preceding state of noetic stasis is what President John Dramani Mahama appears to be attempting to stanch, by creating a vintage culture of consensual maturity in which conscientious diligence, rather than pathological backbiting and studied lassitude, becomes the procedural means of ingratiating oneself with the Big Kahuna for the salutary development of our beloved nation (See "Mahama's Terkper Comment Angers NDC" The Al-Hajj / Ghanaweb.com 1/17/14).
The Minister of Finance appears to have become the prime target of the inveterate enmity of those who want to continue with the gravy-train status-quo initiated by Mr. Rawlings, even as the former Ghana Airforce flight-lieutenant continued to brazenly, unconscionably and cynically scream such bloody faux-revolutionary obscenities as "probity, accountability and justice." Recently, for instance, the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has come under a blizzard of vicious malediction seeking to villainously blame him for the Rawlings initiated and consecrated "garage sale" of government-owned real estate and other landed public property.
Such ironic vitriol comes in the wake of a Supreme Court decision finding resoundingly in favor of Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey's all-too-legitimate acquisition of similar properties, whose otherwise patently unethical and even flagrant acquisition and ownership were originally sanctioned by the Rawlings-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). One also has yet to hear, for example, the name of longtime PNDC operative Mr. Ebo Tawiah, who came by his real-estate property in exactly the same manner as Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, and his political party of self-righteous thieves come up for condign castigation.
What irked me more than anything else, though, was to hear Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, the rabidly anti-Akufo-Addo former Kufuor chief-of-staff, casually presume to instruct Little Dramani on political diplomacy. I mean, this is the very man who listed Messrs. Kojo Tsikata, the infamous killer of the three Akan-descended Supreme Court judges, the Danquah-hating John Evans Atta-Mills, and John Dramani Mahama for the highest civilian honors and decorations of the land, while conspicuously and deliberately omitting the name of Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2008 presidential candidate of his own political party, until Prof. Mike Oquaye put the rascally and mischievous bunch to shame! Talk of patriotism! Indeed, wonders, it has been said, shall never cease.
He may, indeed, sport an Akan name alright, but it is not quite clear to me precisely what sort of culture Mr. Mpiani belongs to; and, dear reader, don't get me wrong - he seems to come from a quite decent background, as I vividly remember my own maternal grandfather, the Rev. T. H. Sintim, as well as my grandmother, mention the "Mpiani," and also the "Pianim," name on several occasions, in connection with something presumably noble and memorable, while I was growing up at Akyem-Asiakwa.
The Akan have a maxim that runs as follows: "You better cry for yourself!" This maxim actually appears in its Akan original in the form of a rhetorical question. In other words, what I am trying to obliquely get at is the following rhetorical question: "Isn't Mr. Mpiani the same purported Ghana-At-50 scam-artist that the Mills-Mahama regime desperately sought to imprison for life?" Haba!
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Feb. 15, 2014
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