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Opinions Sun, 24 Jul 2011

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NPP Has No Point Here

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

When the Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, observes that “some politicians intend to use proceeds from drugs to fund their campaigns during the 2012 general elections,” he is merely making a statement of contingency, meaning that the likelihood of illegal drug money finding its way into the campaign war-chests of some politicians is quite high (See “Only Court Can Compel Me to Mention Names – Akrasi Sarpong Tells NPP” MyJoyOnline.com 6/29/11).

While, indeed, such observation, or pronouncement, is rather provocative coming from a deeply partisan operative, it is not very meaningful for New Patriotic Party-affiliated politicians to simply assume that just because Mr. Akrasi Sarpong is a staunch and longtime member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) necessarily implies that the target of such allusion are New Patriotic Party parliamentarians and assembly members. That possibility, of course, exists. Still, longstanding records of executive vigilance vis-à-vis drug-trafficking, as indicated by the United States’ Department of State tracking data, does not give an edge to any one of the two major Ghanaian political parties.

In other words, according to the US State Department, Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board has invariably being guilty of woeful underperformance, irrespective of which of the two major political parties reserved the reins of elective governance. And so prejudicial or invidious innuendoes on the part of the Executive Secretary of NACOB or not, the fact remains that Ghanaians need to be better protected against the deleterious effects of the illegal drugs market.

It is also relevant to observe that, indeed, as unsavory as it may sound, nonetheless, Mr. Akrasi Sarpong was well within his rights to caution citizens in powerful positions of public trust against recklessly attempting to collaborate with drug barons and other common criminals to upend the stability of the very society of which they have been duly sworn to protect.

To be certain, the best and most logical riposte to Mr. Akrasi Sarpong’s widely perceived partisan innuendo, would have been for leading operatives of the New Patriotic Party, such as Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, to have highlighted the fact that not very long after President Barack H. Obama’s maiden working tour of Ghana, and as widely revealed by the infamous Wikileaks episode, President John Evans Atta-Mills was widely reported to have intimated to the United States’ Ambassador to Ghana that the entire security apparatus at the Kotoka International Airport(KIA), for instance, was thoroughly riddled with publicly paid operatives who could not be trusted to effectively perform the tasks for which they had been hired by the government.

Even more outrageously, President Mills was alleged to have informed America’s top diplomat in Ghana that he could not even trust senior KIA personnel, a remarkable percentage of whom had been hired by his own government!

In other words, rather than pointlessly indulge in a chest-thumping game of the dozens with the Executive Secretary of NACOB, what the key operatives of the NPP ought to be doing is meticulously and systematically mapping out strategically sustainable means of not only wresting the reins of governance from the lackluster Mills-Mahama government, but also making sure that Ghanaians are no time soon visited with the kind of untold misery that they have been enduring these past thirty protracted months.

In sum, allowing Mr. Akrasi Sarpong to so readily get under their skin, as it were, is the kind of lethal distraction that no purpose-oriented serious politico can afford. To be certain, such reactionary approach to realpolitik does not bode well for the NPP. At best, Mr. Akrasi Sarpong’s rather noisy and boastful promise to expose politicians whose campaigns are largely underwritten by drug kingpins may be envisaged in much the same light as Mr. Rawlings’ much-touted evidentiary smoking-gun on the Yendi Affair, which turned out to have been just another toy pistol worn in Sogakope Jeremiah’s tattered Army boots to shoo away cringing narrators of the proverbial old wives’ tales.

*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 a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author of 22 books, including “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

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