Tilting at Windmills

Mon, 28 May 2007 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

I was not going to respond to an article by a Nana Amma Obenewaa, titled “Examining the Nation’s Energy Crisis,” which appeared in the Features column of Ghanaweb.com’s May 23, 2007 edition. I was not going to respond because the tired hallmark of Nana Amma’s writings is abject self-righteousness and sheepish linguistic acrobatics, or brazen and reckless solecism, something those of us who take writing as a serious art of communication find to be unpardonably otiose and intellectually unedifying. More so, when the bulk of Amma’s literary output, if one may charitably characterize it as such, has to do with petty squabbles and personal litigation over land and Amma’s own property rights in Ghana, which makes the avid reader of her writings wonder about exactly what meaningful dimension the writer brings to the pseudo-Social Democracy loudly espoused by the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC).

This problem of pathological Narcissism, however, is not wholly Nana Amma’s doing – for she maintains such a remarkable audience of fawning admirers of the sort that makes vacuous linguistic profusion (or empty talk) quite difficult to check. And so far, the writer seems to have kept her portion of her pact, whatever that may be, with her fawns. One only needs to visit a Ghanaweb chat-room on almost any day of the week to confirm or invalidate the foregoing observation. Unfortunately, yours truly once almost fell victim to Nana Amma’s practiced gimmickry by erroneously mistaking her for a well-meaning and formidably budding Ghanaian stateswoman, as it were, only to realize to his horror and utter shame and outright disgust that this writer is a veritable propaganda façade for the effete, terror-mongering, pseudo-political enterprise called the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

And, needless to say, it is precisely the terror-mongering aspect of NDC politics that one readily finds in this article pretentiously titled “Examining the Nation’s Energy Crisis.” And just what does Nana Amma “examine,” except to pathetically attempt to scream “Wolf!” and also declare a vicious, invidious and surreptitious war against the democratically elected and most-human-rights-respecting government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Consequently, the writer is able to impudently pretend that the Rawlings-led so-called National Democratic Congress epitomizes the ideals and aspirations of the Ghanaian populace at large: “By sidelining the opposition, the current administration is forestalling the nation’s effort to address [sic] the energy problem. In my opinion, the NPP is taking advantage of the magnanimity of the receptive Ghanaian society where the worst of policies are left unquestioned,” except, of course, for the lone intelligent Ghanaian Amma Obenewaa who has seen it fit and appropriate to question these “worst of policies.”

First of all, the preceding quote criminally pretends as if the decidedly and incontrovertibly undesirable and economically regressive incidence of rampant power outages was pioneered, or uniquely created, by the Kufuor Administration. Needless to say, had Nana Amma really intended to “examine” the current energy crisis in the country, the writer would have systematically informed her readers exactly what long-term solutions Messrs. Rawlings and Atta-Mills instituted in 1998, for example, when the P/NDC visited Stygian and apocalyptic darkness on Ghana, short of making servile appeals to the proverbial International Community for help which, we shortly learned, came partly in the form of mini-power-generators donated by former U. S. President William Jefferson Bly Clinton?

The writer also deliberately and deviously fails to point out that during the twenty protracted years that Togbui Agbotui Sogakope held Ghanaians, literally and bestially, by the scruff, not once did anybody hear about the imperative necessity for the construction of the Bui Dam, in the northern-half of the country, as a viable and complementary source of energy supply, although the Bui Dam Project had been on the proverbial drawing board since the turn of the twentieth century! And yet, Gen. I. K. Acheampong, the man whom Mr. Rawlings personally and summarily executed on the grounds of the former having “invented” or “introduced” corruption into government and governance, within the relatively piddling tenure of six years, was able to construct the complementary Kpong Hydro-Electric Power Plant!

But then, just what does Nana Amma Obenewaa mean by snarling to the dubious effect that “the NPP is taking advantage of the receptive Ghanaian society where the worst of policies are left unquestioned,” short of flagrantly calling the native intelligence of Ghanaians into question? Then also, exactly what is a “receptive Ghanaian society,” and just what are these “worst policies”? The NPP government sitting duck and allowing perennial parliamentary truants like Messrs. Bagbin, Ajaho and Ayariga to ride roughshod over the destiny of “receptive Ghanaians” I suppose?

And when she self-righteously gushes about massive layoffs, the pseudo-NDC social democrat forgets to remind her “receptive” Ghanaian readers just who made a staple political culture out of indiscriminate and massive privatization of the erstwhile government-owned Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC)? And just exactly what did such privatization entail, but the massive and unprecedented layoffs of “receptive” and diligent Ghanaian workers, even as Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings assumed private ownership of these “divested” public properties almost gratis? And what chutzpah, for Nana Amma Obenewaa to presume that the pathological “Fiafitos” of Ghana resided in Atwima-Nwabiagya!

Then, again, who has prevented the NDC “Thuggocrats” from publishing their solutions to the raging energy problem in the Parliamentary Hansard, or any of the country’s publicly- and privately-owned newspapers? “The exponential increase in the price of a bag of cement is enough evidence to prove my point on the scope of the problem.” Wow! And just what was the price of a bag of cement under Mr. Rawlings and his self-righteous band of brazen bandits and throat-cutters? Two Cedis? Get a grip, you charlatan!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., teaches English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame