All you have to do is simply take a casual glance at the development policies of the Left-leaning National Democratic Congress (NDC), vis-à-vis the progress and development of Okyeman, in particular Akyem-Abuakwa, to arrive at the unmistakably objective conclusion that left to NDC political sore losers like Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the former Mahama Deputy Finance Minister and presently the Ranking Minority Member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Akyem-Abuakwa would be left behind the rest of the country in terms of economic and cultural development (See “Minority Kicks Against Establishment of UESD Campus at Bunso” GhanaNewsAgency.org / Ghanaweb.com 7/14/18).
Fortunately for our kind of constitutional democracy, most hardworking Ghanaian taxpayers do not reason in such criminally invidious ways.
The decision by the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party to take a $90 million (USD) loan for the establishment of the proposed satellite campus of the University of the Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) could not have come at a more opportune moment in Ghana’s history. To be certain, the proposal is long overdue. It is also significant to point out that the Bunso-Tafo district of the Eastern Region, which also happens to be the electoral stronghold of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has more than a century-year-old history of taking the leadership in the establishment of the cocoa industry as the seminal matrix of Ghana’s economic development in the post-slavery era.
Furthermore, as I have known it for quite a considerable while now, the basic architecture of the proposed university is already in place, as well as the establishment of the institution itself, a project that has been at the forefront of the priority agenda of The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin, II. It has been largely ignored by the leaders of the National Democratic Congress, first by the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, who flatly refused to attend the inaugural ceremony of the college, as I vividly recall.
This policy of deliberate and brazen disengagement with Okyeman would be studiously pursued by his arch-lieutenant and successor, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, who, in an apparent demonstration of his abject disrespect for Okyeman – Remember his sneering characterization of Kyebi and Akyem-Abuakwa as the Galamsey Capital of Ghana? – would focus his development policy agenda on the Krobo district of the Eastern Region, in a clearly mischievous bid to playing our Krobo kinsmen and women against us, with the endgame of splitting the Eastern Region’s vote in favor of the Cash-and-Carry NDC social-democrat apparatchiks.
The recently deceased former Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur would follow through with the same lurid strategy of divide-and-conquer in goose-stepping fashion, albeit far less successfully. He would, for example, campaign in the Okwawuman district by telling the native Okwawu residents, in a rather stolid and condescending tone, that it was well-nigh time that all eligible Okwawu voters seriously considered switching their civic allegiance from the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party to the National Democratic Congress, because the NDC had built Okwawuman first-class roadways and provided them with potable water, a gesture the likes of which ought to be a great source of envy for Okyeman. He did not use these exact words, but he unmistakably implied them. I had to quickly remind the Cape Coast native about the historically inextricable kinship between the people of Akyem-Mansa and Okwawuman.
Which was why I literally fell off my chair recently when, in the wake of the passing of the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, one of the deceased man’s eulogists risibly suggested that so impeccably mild-mannered and gentle was he that Mr. Amissah-Arthur was incapable of hurting a fly. Obviously, that is not the sort of angelic picture that those of us who sedulously followed the brief meteoric political career of the man have of him. Truth be told: Mr. Amissah-Arthur was definitely not as calculating and unconscionably wicked as his former boss, to wit, Mr. John Dramani Mahama; but the fact of the matter is that Mr. Amissah-Arthur could, nevertheless, savagely kill both the spirit and the soul of an elephant.
At any rate, the basis upon which the NDC Parliamentary Minority has been kicking against the $90 million (USD) South Korean loan for the establishment of the Bunso campus of the University of the Environment and Sustainable Development is nothing short of the criminally scandalous. And it is ridiculously that the Bunso Campus of the UESD presently has no Governing Council, as clearly stipulated by Ghana’s 1992 Constitution. My terse riposte is this: How much and how long does it take to constitute a Governing Council for a government-supported UESD? Then also, does it really make any sense to put the approval of such a significant development loan with an equally significant and far-reaching purpose, in both the short- and long-term, on hold because of a process that ought not to take more than a month or two, at the most, to put in place, and which is partly not in place because of the deliberate and systematic sabotaging by the leaders of the National Democratic Congress?
Once again, my short answer here is that the New Patriotic Party’s Parliamentary Majority should just go ahead and approve this loan facility in the very progressive manner that they have always dealt with the NDC’s nation-wreckers on nearly every progressive issue, fully bearing in mind that it is veritably about the destiny of our beloved nation, and not the parochial selfish interests of the Social Darwinian Operatives of the National Democratic Congress.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York