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Sam Okudjeto has had his say

Sat, 23 Jul 2016 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Folks, when those who should have known better not to talk "by heart" fail to do so and speak non-sense, we will take them to task.

Failed politician, Samuel Okudjeto who claims to be a constitutional lawyer, has spoken his mind on goings-on as far as governance in Ghana is concerned only to come across to me as a nuisance.

Speaking to the host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3FM, Prince Minkah, after think tank Institute of Economic Affairs launched findings of its pre-election survey, which identified unemployment, unreliable electricity, and poverty as the most important problems confronting Ghanaians ahead of the 2016 polls, Mr. Okudzeto made an outrageous claim that exposes his own ignorance and political mischief.

Let's hear him:

"Brilliant and intelligent Ghanaians have been sidelined as far as running the country is concerned, and instead, people “who know next to nothing” are calling the shots due to extreme partisanship in the country..."

"The country is full of very brilliant, intelligent people [but] we have sidelined them, we have pushed all of them to the side and then you have people who know next to nothing wielding power, showing power, and the rest of us are suffering. I think it’s about time that Ghanaians sit up.” (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/People-who-know-next-to-nothing-running-Ghana-Okudzeto-456717).


Mr. Okudjeto is himself a failure when it comes to politics, which explains why he is lost in the political wilderness. We recall that he entered Parliament in the Second Republic as the MP for Tongu on the ticket of Agbeli Gbedemah's national Alliance of Liberals (NAL), a staunch opponent of the Danquah-Busia camp.

He did nothing at all to contribute to the development of the constituency or improvement of governance, generally. He came to notice mostly by stoking controversies and singing his own praise. He consequently suffered much from that poor performance.

When he bounced back for the 1979 elections on the ticket of the People's National Party (PNP) to represent Tongu again, he was roundly rejected at the initial stage. Mr. William Dowokpor was preferred.

Hurt by this repudiation, and left stranded on the political terrain, he sought redemption in the workings of the Ghana Bar Association, spearheading opposition against Jerry Rawlings' PNDC as if doing so would help him re-engineer himself for acceptance in the era of constitutional democracy.

What next for him but to run for cover in the Danquah-Busia camp, where he wields no influence but speaks "by heart" to sustain that camp's book and rogue politics. He remains neither a mammal nor a bird. Thus, I declare him a political bat!!

He has more with which to paint him black. At the time that he represented the Tongu constituency, rumours circulated that consignments of materials (such as cement) given him for the development of the constituency found their way to the custody of his father, Agbakpey.

Samuel Okudjeto is an Anlo man but was chosen by the Tongu people as their MP because of his father's long residence in Adidome with his children, thus, making the family acceptable. But his shoddy performance as a politician left the people no other option but to reject him. He has remained rejected to date.

Claiming that the "brilliant and intelligent people" have been sidelined for those who know next to nothing to rule Ghana is a huge insult to the electorate. Samuel Okudjeto finds it difficult to accept the fact that those he has disparaged as Knowing next to nothing" but being in power did not impose themselves on Ghanaians nor did they force their way to power. They contested genuine, free, fair, and transparent elections and won the hearts, minds, and thumbs of the electorate to be in power. So, can't Okudjeto and those thinking like him see the sense in the electoral process?

He has failed to recognize the fact that the so-called "brilliant and intelligent people" (whom I can easily identify as characters like him in the NPP) stood the elections and lost because the electorate had no respect or confidence in their so-called brilliance and intelligence. The electorate treated them with the highest level of contempt and chose those they were comfortable with to rule them. They will do so again soon.

For as long as self-righteous, contemptuous characters of Okudjeto's type live among us and spew raw garbage this way, we will continue to miss the track in efforts at improving governance.

I have been so harsh toward Okudjeto because of how he framed his thoughts and expressed to provoke me. Other than that, there are some aspects of his concerns that should be cited for praise.

I like the fact that he complained about the excessiveness that occurs in public expenditure, especially the aspect on vehicles and gas consumption (maintenance costs). As he frankly put it, "the amount of fuel guzzled per month by one V8 SUV used by government officials, can build a school for a village".

Of course, there is too much waste in the system, and condemning it so the right thing can be done for the good of the country is good; but couching that condemnation in the over-extended mischievous political language as he has done is the problem.

In effect, if those who feel that they are "brilliant and intelligent" and can outperform those who know next to nothing, what prevents them from contesting the elections?

Putting everything together, then, I can say that Okudjeto's utterances and public posturing reflect the NPP mindset and inferior-superiority complex. If they fear being rejected by the electorate despite all their self-promotion as "brilliant and intelligent" people, then, they should descend from their high horses of arrogance and petulance to reach out to the people with campaign messages that will reflect that "brilliance and intelligence".

Other than that, they can rave and rant, huff and puff, fume and fuse all they want to; but it will not put them in power. The electorate will sideline them for as long as they lack substance to confirm their "brilliance and intelligence". Such recycled septo- or octogenarians who still find it difficult to know that their political sun set long ago will rake up the past and confuse it with the present, deceiving themselves that it will resuscitate the future of their political quests. Nature doesn’t work that way. The old order is set to yield its place to the new order4; and those who can’t deal with the new order will lag behind. Such is it for the Sam Okudjetos w2ho cannot know that politics involves more than claims of “brilliance and intelligence”.

Will Sam Okudjeto and Co. be humble enough to find out why it had to take the ordinary “bushman” Akwamu Asamani to launch a single-handed attack to drive the British colonizers out of the Osu Castle? Or why Yaa Asantewaa {the Queenmother of Ejisu) had the guts to mobilize the forces of Asanteman to take on the British marauders while her male counterparts (chiefs or whatever) were catapulting? Or why it had to take the ordinary Kwame Nkrumah and his “Verandah Boys” to bend the arms of the ever-powerful British Establishment to give Ghana independence while the “brilliant and intelligent” people led by Dr. J.B. Danquah and Kofi Abrefa Busia were jockeying around for recognition and acceptance as “brilliant and intelligent” for their own sake? As traitors to be condemned by those who know them more than they know themselves?

For the records, Danquah died a common death, unsung, at the Nsawam Security Prison in 1962 despite all his intellectual (and not politically beneficial work in life) while Busia died in Britain as a British citizen after his overthrow. They had established a system to groom those spearheading the negative politics in Ghana today that a disappointed and lost Okudjeto is highlighting in his public utterances about governance. We have the records on all of them and will spill them when necessary. Such “brilliant and intelligent” people aren’t good for Ghana!! If they were, they would find better ways to appeal to the people for the mandate to rule Ghana.

I shall return…

• E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.