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Rawlings Begs to Vehemently Differ with Obed Asamoah

Tue, 2 Nov 2010 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

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

When Dr. Obed Asamoah asserts that Mrs. Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings is better qualified than President John Evans Atta-Mills for the job which the latter already holds, in the definitive opinion of Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings, such bold public claim absolutely defies common sense (See “Nana Konadu More Qualified to Lead NDC than Mills – Obed” Ghanaweb.com 10/13/10).

Factor into the foregoing the glaring fact that for eight years and two electoral terms, Mr. Rawlings insisted, a la his infamous “Swedru Declaration,” that, indeed, the vintage NDC presidential material was none other than our substantive president, and Dr. Asamoah’s thesis, at best, becomes chimerical. It would, therefore, have been far more constructive and meaningful if the longtime national chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress had also explained to Mr. Adakabre Frimpong-Manso, the Adom-Fm radio host who recently interviewed him, why for the better part of a full decade and two electoral terms Mr. Rawlings clearly does not appear to have recognized the fact of his own wife being better qualified to succeed the former Ghanaian strongman than “Tarkwa-Atta.”

We must also highlight the fact that just a little over two years ago, in the heat of the presidential electioneering campaign, Dr. Asamoah vehemently cautioned against any reckless attempt by Ghanaian voters to return the NDC to power. Back then, the former Attorney-General and Justice Minister insisted that the National Democratic Congress was virulently and pathologically violent, and that any attempt to return Mr. Rawlings’ political juggernaut to the reins of governance was certain to precipitate the irreparable economic ruination of our beloved nation.

And so barely two years later, what has really changed on the Ghanaian political landscape to make the man who loudly and brazenly split from the NDC, in order to form his own political machine, the so-called Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), to now pretend to be deeply interested in the gubernatorial affairs of “the most violent” Fourth-Republican political party?

For starters, it appears that Dr. Asamoah is quickly coming to terms with the fact that if he does not scurry to make peace and forge a common cause with his former fellow travelers in an oil-rich Ghanaian economy, not only does he stand to be miserably and perennially marginalized but even more significantly, his widely recognized yeomanly contribution to the establishment and development of the National Democratic Congress stands the great risk of being permanently written out of the checkered, but admittedly enduring, history of the NDC. And also that the man is well into his 70s in a country with a life expectancy rate that is just below 60 years, may have significantly informed the Likpe-Kukurantumi native about the dire need to indemnify himself and, in the process, immortalize himself and his legacy in the hallowed mnemonic bank of Ghana’s political landscape.

Then there is also this wicked irony of Dr. Asamoah having almost belatedly come to the realization that leading a successful ideological revolution may well not be within the scope of his destiny, at least not in this particular incarnation of his existence, having also epically failed to make any remarkable dent with his DFP. And even more significantly, the at once humbling and sobering decision by Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, Ghana’s longest serving Finance Minister and a sometime arch-rival of Tarkwa-Atta, to swallow his pride by accepting the unquestionably alluring post of petroleum czar from his former bitter rival and, some have even insisted, internal political enemy.

In other words, Dr. Asamoah may be fast coming to terms with the fact that unless he also wisely swallows his pride and, somewhat, grovel as gracefully as he possibly can, however seemingly diplomatically obliquely, the petro-chemical Atta-Mills gravy train could well permanently leave him hanging by the scruff of his decidedly frayed plaid shirt.

Dr. Asamoah also dangerously verges on the outright fraudulent when he both paradoxically claims Chairman Rawlings to have had absolutely no hand in the foundation of the NDC, even while also authoritatively acknowledging the fact that this patchwork of “thuggocrats,” bullies and shameless opportunists was, indeed, established “to promote some of those ideals of the [Rawlings] revolution.” But that the former University of Ghana law lecturer and avuncular mentor to Messrs. Atta-Mills and Tsatsu Tsikata, to name just a couple, would have students of Fourth-Republican Ghanaian politics envisage him in the icon of a Gbedemah to Mr. Rawlings’ Kwame Nkrumah, is all the more intriguing, considering the fact that Dr. Obed Asamoah is widely known as a Danquah-Busia-Dombo traditionalist.

“I was virtually in charge of the [NDC] even though there were officials occupying various positions,” he wistfully tells Adakabre Frimpong-Manso and promptly adds, “I maintained a professionally warm relationship with Chairman Rawlings as a cabinet member of the P/NDC.” A mild apology for supporting the abortive presidential candidacy of Dr. Botchway against Uncle Tarkwa-Atta, maybe?

*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 the author of 21 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame