“All-Die-Be-Die” Is Still Relevant

Wed, 15 Aug 2012 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

to Fourth-Republican Ghanaian Politics

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The reportedly massive assault of the Gomoa-East constituency secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) by the constituency chairman of the same party (See “Gomoa East Chairman Faces One Month Suspension” Ghanaweb.com 8/12/12), eerily drives home two facts that are inextricably associated with the Mahama-Arthur government.

The first of these two facts regards the pathologically violent temperament of a quite considerable percentage of the membership of the so-called National Democratic Congress, as more than amply evinced by the preceding incident and the globally infamous and brutal “slappocratic” beating of the late Vice-President Ekwow Nkensen Arkaah by former President Jerry John Rawlings, the founding-patriarch of the NDC, among a plethora of others.

The second fact, of course, regards the incontrovertible relevance of the call by the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, for members and supporters of the NPP to frontally meet the seemingly incurable violent attitude of the members and supporters of the NDC with measured countervailing force, as an unarguably practical means of safeguarding the integrity of Ghanaian democracy.

And, oh, there is also a third prong to the preceding problem – and it is, of course, the glaring fact that the much-touted peacefulness of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills does not appear to have had any significant impact on the general membership of the party, particularly the executive membership of the National Democratic Congress, let alone the country at large.

Ironically, Mr. Peter Kojo Essel, the Gomoa-East constituency chairman, is alleged to have brutally assaulted his constituency secretary, Mr. Kwesi Acquah, during a routine exchange of ideas at a party meeting which, incidentally, coincided with the final funeral rites for the late President Mills, according to the Gomoa-East NDC Member of Parliament, Mr. Ekow Okyere Panyin.

What is curiously refreshing about the entire episode, though, is the fact that for once, the key operatives of the ruling party appear to have been considerably embarrassed by the characteristically violent NDC temperament exhibited by Mr. Essel. Nonetheless, the alleged decision to suspend the culprit for one month appears to be more out of political expediency than a pure act of justice or the human conscience at work; and in a highly charged election-year atmosphere, such seemingly responsible reaction of the NDC’s Central Regional Executive Committee is more of an exception than the norm.

In reality, what ought to have happened here, if we are to believe that the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress have any remarkable respect for the rule of law, is for the assailant to have been handed over to the Gomoa-East police in order for the latter to promptly initiate criminal assault charges against Mr. Essel, by having the latter prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Needless to say, failure to promptly prosecute the Gomoa-East constituency chairman for criminal assault, would seriously undermine any talk of a peaceful Election 2012 by the proverbial movers and shakers of the ruling party. This, of course, is not to imply, by any stretch of the imagination, that the NDC has any premium on credibility, whatsoever, when it comes to the subject of civic responsibility and the rule of law.

*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 “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@gmail.com. ###

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame