Phonies and Fools – These CJA Cheerleaders

Fri, 12 Jun 2009 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

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

I read about Mr. Kwesi Pratt’s most recent interview on Radio Gold-Fm’s “Alhaji and Alhaji” program and could, literally, not stop myself from falling off my chair. Mr. Pratt’s interview had to do with the sticky question of fuel-price hikes by the Atta-Mills administration.

For those members of our audience who may not already know this, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) just announced a whopping 30-percent rise in the prices of petroleum products.

The price hike, itself, as far as this writer is concerned is, of course, not the most significant issue at stake here, except for those too blind and stolid to appreciate anything meaningful about our raging global economic crisis and, in fact, how the economy generally works vis-à-vis the all-too-fundamental question of “demand-and-supply.”

In sum, the possibility of such hikes had always been expected because, one, Ghana has yet to become a full-fledged petroleum-producing and exporting country. And two, the ineluctable reality of inflation, globally, necessitates that both producers and consumers would periodically, and fairly regularly, adjust themselves to the perennial vagaries of the market.

Of course, if you were raised on the kind of blind welfarist ideology preached and advocated by the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP), or the faux-Socialist Democracy of the so-called National Democratic Congress, then this rather basic concept of a market economy, literally, becomes a “rocket-science abstraction,” and thus almost too difficult to fathom. In essence, it becomes an “Opepepeepee” sort of mathematical conundrum, in “Millsian” parlance.

And this is precisely why when the managing-editor of the Insight newspaper predicates the integrity and leadership capacity of President John Evants Atta-Mills solely on the latter’s ability to maintain an other-worldly freeze on the prices of petroleum products, Mr. Pratt must be squarely envisaged to be living in a quintessential fool’s paradise. This is not to say that many of us who have studiously followed the erratic political proclivities of Mr. Pratt’s for a remarkable while have not noticed the same. To be certain, we were only waiting for post-election reality to hit home hard before passing judgment on the primitive politics of ethno-nepotism that grotesquely characterized the campaign agenda of the NDC during Ghana’s most recent general election.

“Adze wo ofie a, oye,” loosely translated as: “The good thing ought to be kept at home.” And so the Oguaa boys and girls flocked to the polling booth in unprecedented droves, with the deftly orchestrated collaboration of the perennially morose and sulking denizens of the “Upper-Norths” and Agbotuinaland and gave themselves the greatest political gift in postcolonial Ghanaian history – an albatross of indescribable proportions, to the crippling horror of almost everyone else.

And now Mr. Pratt would have his evidently visually impaired “Insighters” believe that, somehow, the Oguaa boys and girls are being abruptly blindsided by that region’s most famous and astute tax lawyer! On Sunday, June 7, 2009, Mr. Pratt, a sometime chief spokesman of the so-called Committee for Joint Action (CJA) was quoted to be saying the following on the website of MyJoyOnline.com: “President Mills was the most credible person in the last elections; and, in fact, I wish this government well.”

Indeed, Oguaa Kofi, a cantankerous former opposition leader, must have been the most credible presidential candidate last December, an Obama look-alike, as one NDC campaign poster maintained. The irony, though, is that for the two preceding and consecutive general elections, the people of Oguaa had been all-too-glad and confident to proffer their sacred mandate to Atwima Kofi, of Manhyia.

And then, alas, it suddenly became dangerously apparent that if care was not taken, the Oguaa boys and girls could be outshone, yet again, by the determined Ahabanmu boys and girls of Kyebi. And then, Bingo, as New Yorkers would say, the new petroleum nativist was crowned King of Brofoyeduru. Somebody had, callously, either failed or simply refused to remind the people of Oguaa, Ahanta and Nzema that the University of Oguaa, as also those of Legon and Oseikrom, had been largely built on the sweat and toil of those bloody Ahabanmu boys and girls of Kyebi, Atwima and Wenchi.

All of a sudden, the mantra of choice became “ Adze wo ofie a, oye.” And so, indeed, “Adze” has come to “Ofie.” But what is even more wickedly amusing is that only days before, Mr. Alex Mould, the acting chief executive officer (CEO) of Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority (NPA), had tactically announced that there were no immediate plans of the Atta-Mills government causing a hike in the prices of petroleum products. Obliquely, Mr. Mould’s intimation was that the unsavory regime of rampantly incessant fuel hikes had delightfully been consigned to history since last December (See “No Fuel Price Increases! – NPA Boss” Daily Searchlight 6/2/09), with the apocalyptic sweeping away of the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) from the spotlight of our auspicious Ghanaian political landscape, as a lead actor in our still-unfolding national drama.

Mathematically speaking, the NDC has indicated, by its latest ambush, that, indeed, the only game in town is the one initiated by Chief Dzelukope some three decades ago (June 4th); which is that while the NDC reserves the peremptory right to increase fuel prices by a fantabulous 30-percent, the rest of the citizens of Agbotui Farm may only hike the prices of their non-petroleum-based products by a mere 17-percent. In essence, in Orwellian parlance, “Four Legs” are still “Good,” even as “Two Legs” are infernally “Bad.”

*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 the author of 20 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@aol.com.

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame