Opinions Sat, 12 May 2012

Re: “Catalyzing” Tribal Genocide

Making it a habit of invariably churning out hate speech and whipping up tribal sentiments in Ghana from far away United States of America is bad enough, and to try hiding under the cover of the Akan ethnic group when the chips are down, even makes it worse. Clearly, NPP and Danquah Institute’s Kwame Okuampa-Ahoofe’s article (“Catalyzing” Tribal Genocide” www.ghanaweb.com, Sunday, 6 May 2012) vindicates the position of The Catalyst, and further exposes him for what he truly is- a tribal bigot.

Okuampa-Ahoofe has tried very hard to create the false impression that, criticisms of hate speech and politics of ethnicity by the likes of himself, Nana Akufo-Addo, Kennedy Agyapong and Kwabena Agyapong, as pointed out by The Catalyst in a publication last week, meant that some ethnic Anlo-Ewe publishers, editors and reporters were on the rampage, against the human rights of Akans.

The opening paragraph of Okuampa-Ahoofe’s article read: “If, indeed, it was meant to be an editorial on inter-ethnic tensions in the country, with a refreshing thrust on finding a feasible and lasting solution for the same, then what the editorial published by the Catalyst newspaper ended up doing was to convince me beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that we, Ghanaians of Akan descent, had better be eerily mindful of the fact that Anlo-Ewes like the publishers, editors and reporters of the Catalyst have absolutely no respect, whatsoever, for our humanity and civil rights even under the Fourth-Republican Constitution of a democratic Ghana.”

Okuampa-Ahoofe needs to check the ethnic background of our editor and the rest of us on The Catalyst in order to stop displaying his blatant ignorance. He does not deserve our response on this point because we cannot fall for his bait, since we are not interested in the tribal segregation of the Ghanaian society. We are all Ghanaians irrespective of our ethnic backgrounds. And For his information, our piece was intended to further expose the tribal agenda of Akufo-Addo fanatics like him as the country approaches the 2012 elections, against the backdrop of current worrying political developments in Ghana.

Okuampa-Ahoofe better stop playing tricks with the intelligence of the right-thinking people of Ghana by trying to seek refuge under the umbrella of the Akan ethnic group when the truth is that he belongs to an isolated desperate group of unconscionable Akufo-Addo fanatics, who, obviously, hope to ride to power on the back of a tribal agenda with the NPP, in the 2012 elections.

In actual fact, our piece: “NPP & Hate Speech: Genocide MP, Kwabena Agyapong” published by www.ghanaweb.com on May 5, 2012 was captioned by us as “NPP & Hate Speech: Genocide MP, Kwabena Agyapong, Okuampa-Ahoofe.”

We are not surprised that Okuampa-Ahoofe sees absolutely nothing wrong with the genocidal war declaration by Kennedy Agyapong on radio, and seeks to justify this despicably murderous conduct of calling for members of the Ga ethnic group and Voltarians to be slaughtered in the Ashanti region and elsewhere on the flimsy excuse that NPP’s Ursula Owusu was slapped at Odododiodioo, added to the false claim by the NPP MP that some announcement was made in a village in Volta, urging the under-age to go and register in the biometric registration exercise.

Like we said earlier, this behaviour is consistent with the beliefs of Okuampa-Ahoofe, who by all indications, would like to see the Ewe ethnic group wiped out of the surface of the land called Ghana, and since Volta region is home to Ewes, a call for mass slaughter of Voltarians cannot be out of place. What a jaundiced mindset of an intellectual!

We do not want to go into the issue of the effect of the slap received by Ursula Owusu on her health. What happened to her was unfortunate, even if she provoked the action by her “all die be die” attitude as reported. We were, however, pleasantly surprised to realise that on the morning of the day after the incident, Ursula Owusu’s “bloody and bandaged head,” had disappeared when she appeared on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show.

Conveniently, Okuampa-Ahoofefor got, or might not have heard, that the NDC Deputy Women’s Organiser for Techiman North, Cecilia Yeboah on Friday, April 6, 2012 was also brutally beaten by NPP thugs, and two weeks after that incident, she still spotted a black eye. Eye witness accounts have it that Cecilia was timely rescued by Good Samaritans from the NPP hoodlums, who had decided to teach the poor woman a lesson, after laying ambush for her on her way home from the Tuobodom Presby School registration centre where she was the NDC agent. The NDC woman’s crime was that she legally challenged attempts to register children and foreigners by NPP activists, even in the face of firing of warning shots by one of the NPP hoodlums, Kwesi Bedie.

Ursula Owusu went to the Odododiodioo constituency wearing an ‘all di be die’-inscribed ‘T-shirt’ in a bid to encourage NPP supporters in the Kantamantu area, as she claimed, to go out and register. This was only days after some NPP activists in her constituency, Ablekuma South, were accused of burning to ashes, a car belonging to an NDC activist on the Mortuary Road in the early hours of the day. The NDC man had to run into the bush to save his life, having realised his assailants were closing in on him, before managing to make his way to the police station. This incident too, Okuampa-Ahoofe, of course, could not have heard about.

From his articles, it is very easy to find that Okuampa-Ahoofe is obsessed with Ewes and he spites the ethnic group totally. Consistently, this hatred makes him veer completely into the realm of absolute absurdity in his ethnocentric inspired write-ups. Here is a classic example from his article:

“Now, regarding inveterate anti-Akan hatred in the Volta Region, I have written and published amply about the equally brutal case of Dr. Sammy Ohene, head of the Psychiatry Department at the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, Legon, who in 2008 lost his vision in one eye, as a direct result of his savage mauling by some officially certified NDC polling agents in the Ewe-Akan township of Abutia. Needless to say, we find absolutely nothing “flimsy,” whatsoever, about this wanton act of savagery.”

Granted that the NPP’s atrocities in Ashanti and elsewhere during the 2008 elections, in particular, emanated from a fairy tale concocted by the victims, when did Dr. Sammy Ohene become an Akan? And for his convenience the NPP tribalist is struggling to turn Abutia, which is in central Volta, into an Akan township. Is it not interesting that Okuampa-Ahoofe has forgotten all of a sudden that Kennedy Agyapong called for the slaughtering of all Gas and citizens of the Volta region including the people of his so-called Ewe-Akan township of Abutia? What intellectual dishonesty!

Now, let’s take a cursory look at the calibre of person we are dealing with here and why The Catalyst believes his overbearing tribalist posture does not only pose grave danger but threatens the unity, cohesion and peace of this country.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. flaunts his credentials as Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City, Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Danquah v. Nkrumah: In the Words of Mahoney.”

Dear reader, we challenge you to make an effort of reading some of Okuampa-Ahoofe’s earlier articles on the internet (search engines such as www.google.com can bring out some of those articles), especially his numerous articles bordering on politics in Ghana, and we can bet our last bottom cedi that ‘you will bring us our stone’ because you will definitely find that something is amiss.

Our concern is a simple one. Mother Ghana brought all of us forth, irrespective of ethnic background, and expects each one of us to contribute our quota to her development. It is least expected that a Ghanaian of such status as Okuampa-Ahoofe, would make it an inexorable duty of sowing seeds of tribalism and whipping up tribal sentiments within the society through hate speech.

We also want to make the point that as Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing, it is Okay to show ones prowess by writing copious articles in English. But it is not enough if those write-ups end up creating disunity, especially on tribal lines as Okuampa-Ahoofe Jr. Ph.D has sought to do over the years. (Just take a look at the comments on his articles and you will understand what we are talking about). That is why his lame accusation that our editorial ended up showing disrespect for the humanity and civil rights of Akans, even under the Fourth-Republican Constitution of a democratic Ghana, is laughable. In fact, he is the English professor. We are just students.

We must also state with all emphasis that Okuampa-Ahoofe and his NPP tribalists stand alone in this matter. Akans as an ethnic group have nothing to do with the agenda of these NPP tribalists.

We have deliberately chosen to ignore the misplaced tribal attacks on those of us on The Catalyst by Kwame Okuampa-Ahoofe Jr. because we consider them to be effusions of an egocentric tribal bigot. However, considering the larger picture of the national interest, we deemed it compelling enough to point it out to him that mother Ghana deserves better.
Columnist: The Catalyst