Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, the Mahama-appointed former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, would have Ghanaians believe that absolutely no bribe monies changed hands in the recently revealed Airbus SE Scandal, even though in last week’s pretrial settlement, announced by the media, that was struck between a London High Court and Airbus, the latter firm allegedly pleaded guilty to bribing government officials in Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and Ghana. Mrs. Appiah-Oppong must be taking the general Ghanaian public for a bunch of clinical idiots (See “Airbus Didn’t Pay Bribe Under NDC – Marietta Brew” KasapaFm.com 2/2/20). Just who ran the government in Ghana between 2009 and 2015, when the bribery scandals took place? President John Agyekum-Kufuor? Or President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo?Anyway, I strongly beg to differ with Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, President of the IMANI-Africa policy-research institute, that the seismic revelations coming from European airplane manufacturer, Airbus SE, are apt to put Candidate John Dramani Mahama’s repeat presidential political ambitions on the freeze (See “Airbus Scandal: Mahama Presidential Ambition in Limbo – Franklin Cudjoe” Ghanaweb.com 2/2/20). But I perfectly agree with Mr. Cudjoe that the Mahama 2020 Presidential Campaign is likely to take a hit from the latest revelation from the Airbus scandal; what remains to be seen is the extent of such hit.
Practically speaking, Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni, the latter-day staunch Mahama advocate and agitprop operative, would readily riposte to Mr. Cudjoe’s prediction by shrugging his shoulders and cavalierly saying the following: “The Airbus Scandal is nothing seismic for either Mr. Mahama himself or the leadership of the National Democratic Congress to lose a wink of sleep over.”
Mr. Azure would also add that, after all, every Ghanaian citizen and bona fide member of the electorate or eligible voter ought to be fully in the know about the very pedestrian fact that corruption is what Little Dramani does best. The deafeningly unspoken aspect of this observation is that, somehow, Ghanaians are apt to be more tolerant of the involvement of Comrade Mahama in a mega-scam such as the one reported to have occurred in the Airbus racket, than if the same scandal had involved another major Ghanaian politician, such as President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
And yet, this past Christmas, when the popular standup comedian Mr. OB Amponsah told an audience of his fans that the name “Mahama” was linguistically synonymous with the word “Corruption” in the Hausa language, West Africa’s largest idiom, the fast-rising star of Ghana’s entertainment industry was issued torrents of death threats and had to take cover, literally, with an obviously extorted rendering of a public apology.
Else, Mr. Amponsah would have had to be hurried out of town and out of the country by pallbearers. Now, it turns out that OB Amponsah is arguably the most prophetically accurate Ghanaian preacher on the comedy circuit. Indeed, if I were this generously talented young artist, I would be thinking of raising up the largest one-man church in the entire West African sub-region. Still, I don’t see Little Dramani’s being forced to endure what the late President John Evans Atta-Mills is both widely rumored and speculated to have endured in the runup to the 2012 Presidential Election, when Divine Providence, according to Little Dramani in a nationwide broadcast, “in His inscrutable wisdom,” decided to kick the veritable nuisance that was the man who literally handpicked the Bole-Bamboi native as his running-mate, against the vehement protestations of Chairman Rawlings and wife and bloody partner in crime, Nana Konadu, that Little Dramani would betray the Agona-Swedru anointed Presidential Candidate of the Rawlings-fangled National Democratic Congress.
At any rate, I don’t see Little Dramani being bounced off the very top of the ticket of the National Democratic Congress in the leadup to this year’s Presidential Election. You see, not only is the man staunchly backed by the Northern Caucus among the leadership of the National Democratic Congress, the cynical freeloading alumnus of the Nkrumah-established Tamale Secondary School – presently renamed Tamale Senior High School – Little Dramani is simply too Airbus-Filthy-Rich to be literally pushed out of contention or onto the political curb, in New York City parlance.
It is also simply highly unlikely that Little Dramani had absolutely nothing to do wherever the purchase of aircraft was concerned; to be certain, the criminal embezzlement of money meant for the purchase of the Brazilian-made Embraer aircraft has been dogging the political career of the former Rawlings’ Communications Minister, since Divine Providence royally kicked the butts of then President John Evans Atta-Mills, at the end of July 2012, and auspiciously replaced the latter with the first democratically elected Ghanaian leader to have been born just one year after Ghana’s being granted independence by the British colonial imperialists.
Thus far, we have been told that Airbus SE was fined the humongous sum of £ 3 Billion, approximately $ 4 Billion (USD), in a tort settlement by a British High Court just this past week, for paying huge sums of money in bribes to secure contractual aircraft supplies to former British colonies and protectorates like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Taiwan and Ghana between 2011 and 2015. That was precisely about the very time that the Mills-Mahama-led tandem regimes of the National Democratic Congress held the reins of governance. Now, we need to know precisely how much Messrs. Mills and Mahama and their associates and minions made out of these deals.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York