By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The Wikileaks’ leakage continues to instructively reveal the gapingly ugly fault lines of Ghanaian politics and the true nature of the people, particularly Ghanaian leaders and their abject hypocrisy. One prominent figure caught in the crossfire campaign of anti-northern leadership in Ghana’s Fourth Republic is Deputy Finance Minister Fiifi Kwetey. The latest tranche of “Wikileakage” has this Ewe-descended Ghanaian citizen vehemently swearing “Trokosistically” to the impossibility of having a Muslim elected President of Ghana (See “Wikileaks: Muslims can’t Be President – Fiifi Kwetey” Ghanaian Statesman 9/7/11).
That Mr. Kwetey made his striking observation as Propaganda Secretary of the then-opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), makes such observation all the more fascinating, if only for the great insight that it provides into the “projective techniques” of NDC propaganda. In sum, in a country with a Muslim population of only 16-percent, or thereabouts, it is only to be expected that the chance of a Mulsim being elected Ghana’s Chief-of-State would be marginal at best. The latter quite realistic observation is not, however, in anyway, to suggest that it is virtually impossible for a Muslim citizen to be elected President of Ghana; it is only highly unlikely, assuming that most Muslims are invariably inclined towards voting for a candidate of their own faith, just as most Christians are also likely to heavily gravitate towards a Christian candidate.
What Mr. Kwetey deviously failed to let on to his U.S. Embassy point-men is the fact that historically and relatively speaking, it is rather the Ewe-dominated National Democratic Congress that clearly appears to immitigably resent the nomination of a northern Muslim as a presidential candidate. For instance, none of the two Vice-Presidents that served under the Rawlings regime was of northern extraction, Muslim or Christian. Both Messrs. Ekwow Nkensen Arkaah and the now-President John Evans Atta-Mills were veeps of Fante extraction.
We must also significantly recall vigorous efforts made by the Rawlingses and their supporters to parry off the attempt by the northern-Muslim husband of Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the former Attorney-General, to run for the presidential nomination of the National Democratic Congress. Instead, we had the bloody couple deftly attempting to get the half-Akan and half-Ga Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu elected as the running-mate of the now-President Mills. The latter move was clearly a rascally attempt to preempt the selection of the now-Vice President John Dramani Mahama, a northern-Christian, as Tarkwa-Atta’s running-mate. And in the wake of the selection of the former Member of Parliament for Gonja-West as the then-Candidate Mills’ running-mate, Mrs. Rawlings would mordantly impugn the integrity of Mr. Mahama who, by the way, had served as Communications Minister under the Rawlings administration, and insist that Mr. Mahama’s selection lacked wisdom and common sense. “My husband has not approved it,” Mrs. Rawlings was widely reported to have said.
Generally speaking, it is in the practically hamstrung Ghanaian parliament that quite a remarkable number of northerners have been accorded functional prominence, notably Messrs. Alban Bagbin and Rashid Pelpuo. A northerner, Muslism or Christian, has yet to be named Speaker of the House.
Ironically, as Mr. Kwetey frankly observes, we find the NDC using the abortive presidential nomination of former Vice-President Aliu Mahama as a handy cudgel to strategically and tactically undermine the credibility of the New Patriotic Party with voters of northern extraction. In reality, as pointed out times without number, the failure of Mr. Mahama to get elected as NPP flagbearer had fairly mulptiple reasons, not the least of which had to do with his alleged partisan involvement in the Ya-Na regicide, on the one hand, and his abysmal lack of following among constituents of his putative stronghold of the Northern Region.
Armed with the largely pedestrian revelations of NDC propaganda tactics by Mr. Kwetey, nonetheless, it is up to the NPP, particularly the Akufo-Addo Campaign, to devise a frontally viable counter-technique to effectively neutralize the vicious, albeit unmistakably powerful, NDC propaganda machine, if the widely presumed lead-architect of the Repeal of the Criminal Libel Code/Law is to have a fighting chance in the 2012 presidential election.
*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 Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of 22 books, including “Nananom: Foremothers” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.