National Democratic Congress Has No Moral Authority On Libya

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

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

On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, the Voice of America (VOA) reported that Nigeria, the most significant nation among the membership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had taken the bold and purposeful initiative of recognizing the rebel-led Libyan Transitional Council as the “legitimate representative” of the aspirations of freedom and democracy-hungry Libyans. A more reticent Kenya, speaking through its acting Foreign Minister, George Saitoti, called on the Libyan Transitional Council to start an all-inclusive national dialogue geared towards the establishment of a viable democratic culture in that North African country, in the wake of the auspicious removal of the 42-year-old Gadhafy dictatorship.

In the wake of the preceding developments, some Ghanaian political observers have begun wondering why it appears to be taking an unduly long time for the Mills-Mahama government to recognize the decisive reality of the new government in Tripoli.

The reasons for such apparent foot-dragging are not far-fetched. And it is simply that the National Democratic Congress and its earlier ideological incarnation, the Rawlings-led erstwhile so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), are not widely known and/or recognized as citadels of democratic governance in Ghana. But even more significantly, the NDC, under the leadership of both Messrs. Rawlings and Atta-Mills has always staunchly and hermetically supported the extortionate and protracted regime of Col. Muammar Gadhafy. It is also a verifiable fact of history that Mr. Gadhafy significantly contributed to the establishment and lurid entrenchment of the so-called 31st December Revolution, which ushered in eleven miserable years of the Rawlings dictatorship and continued to generously support the pseudo-democratic phase of the same. In the main, Mr. Gadhafy generously supplied his Ghanaian counterpart with arms and may very well have made the Russian-made assault rifle, the AK-47, the weapon of choice of the PNDC government. The foregoing reason largely accounted for why rather than promptly call on their “Libyan Godfather” to wisely and decently give up illegitimately acquired power, in the wake of Mr. Gadhafy’s being caught totally off-guard by the proverbial “Arab Spring” that swept over much of North Africa this past February, former President Jerry John Rawlings, for example, was very busy attempting to collaborate with Mr. Gadhafy’s ambassador to Ghana on ways and means of deftly finessing the so-called Benghazi Rebels who, by the way, none of the major leaders of the ruling National Democratic Congress even half-anticipated would be assuming the reins of governance in Tripoli anytime soon.

We must also promptly and significantly observe the fact that in the wake of the Libyan uprising, that witnessed hundreds of immigrant Ghanaian workers being forced to leave the country, the Mills-Mahama government issued a statement vehemently threatening to prosecute any Ghanaian returnees from Libya who were suspected of having participated in the “Benghazi Rebellion” against the Gadhafy government.

Couple the preceding patently unenlightened polices of the Mills-Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government with the decidedly outmoded Millsian policy of political non-interference and territorial integrity, and it becomes at once objectively clear that the last thing that any levelheaded observer of NDC political culture can reasonably expect from the key operatives of the latter party, is for President John Evans Atta-Mills to issue any progressive statement declaring his government’s unwavering support for the Libyan Transitional Council.

In reality, the very top echelons of the National Democratic Congress may very well be stuck in a traumatic mourning (Ramadan) mode, fasting and praying and quixotically hoping against hope that, somehow, the old dictatorial dinosaur would bestir himself and massively rally the coercive apparatus of his decidedly vanquished regime for an unlikely reprise of his September Revolution, on what would have been the latter’s 43rd anniversary scarcely a week from now.

Ghanaians with good retentive memories may also do well to query precisely what mission Vice-President John Dramani Mahama and one or two of his arch-NDC lieutenants had been about sometime late last year, or thereabouts, when the Kufuor-bought Gulf Stream presidential jet got stuck in the toasty sand dunes of the Libyan Desert. You bet Mr. Amamoo Kakra would have asked the same question at the risk of his very life. Now, that is what patriotism is about!

*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 “Marlena: Sexual Indignities” (Lulu.com, 2009). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net. ###

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame