By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
October 7, 2016
Contrary to what Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia would have operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) believe, the 2016 general election, like many others of its kind in the recent past, will be about the quality of life of the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian citizens, and not an empty contest of personalities (See “NPP Plotting to Embarrass Amissah-Arthur – Asiedu-Nketia” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/5/16). According to the man who is popularly known as General Mosquito, the key operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have a sneaky plan under their sleeves to capture most of the seats and votes of the Central Region, in order to definitively end any prospects and/or ambitions of Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur vis-à-vis the presidency.
Well, that is the Asiedu-Nketia myth which, obviously, is laced with a glaring tinge of tribalism deviously parading as nativism, neither of which makes for a healthy political culture. But, of course, tribal propaganda is what the key operatives of the NDC do best. Indeed, it is an open-secret that whenever he campaigns in the generic North, President John Dramani Mahama makes “regional tribalism” the central plank and/or essence of his electioneering campaign agenda. Under this strategy, Mr. Mahama whips up anti-Akan sentiments against his most formidable opponent, namely, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, thus rendering the entire so-called Three Northern Regions thoroughly hostile towards the former Justice and Foreign Affairs Minister.
It is quite obvious that it is the same divisive tack/trick that the longtime NDC General-Secretary is attempting to use here. Indeed, if anybody or any political figure or personality is hell-bent on either embarrassing or undermining the presidential prospects or ambitions of Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, it is none other than the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana’s own immediate boss. Dear reader, you read this accurately from me that it is none other than President Mahama who is hell-bent on effectively scuttling the presidential dreams and ambitions of the man who was accidentally selected to fill up the tribal vacuum left behind by the abrupt and mysterious demise of then-President John Evans Atta-Mills. Mr. Mahama would deviously and cynically capitalize on the pinch-hitting selection of Mr. Amissah-Arthur to suavely court the sub-ethnic sentiments of the Fante Nation, in order to strategically retain his otherwise wobbly residency at the Flagstaff House.
Of course, it is no secret that President Mahama has little to absolutely no use, whatsoever, for his arch-lieutenant. His widely rumored favorite Fante Candidate for the presidency is Ghana’s half-Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms. Hanna Tetteh, with whom the President has also been romantically linked. But to press home the point even more poignantly ought to be recalled the fact that not quite long ago, when the functional heft, political relevance or significance of Vice-President Amissah-Arthur became a heated subject of media debate, the Flagstaff House issued a terse and tepidly worded rejoinder noting that the Vice-President was “a useful factor” in the Mahama presidency. Then there was also that telling moment when Ms. Tetteh, the Foreign Minister, had to publicly respond to widespread rumors that she was seriously being considered by President Mahama as the latter’s running-mate for the 2016 presidential election.
In short, the key operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party could not be in the process of hatching any electoral gambit or strategy to thoroughly embarrass Vice-President Amissah-Arthur that their opposite numbers among the hierarchy of the National Democratic Congress have not already planned or hatched and/or executed.
Then there was also that historic Conference of Big-City African Mayors held in Accra during which President Mahama glaringly sidestepped his own Second-in-Command in order to have Ms. Tetteh deputize for him. On this occasion, however, it took the abrupt and peremptory intervention of a livid and deeply frustrated former President Jerry John Rawlings, the NDC’s Founding-Father, to literally put Ms. Tetteh in her place. Among the Akan, there is a common dictum which runs as follows: “The beast that would unleash the deadly bite often lurks with the folds of one’s own cloth.”
Finally, it goes without saying that if the eligible voters of the Central Region delivered their smashing mandate to then-incumbent President John Agyekum-Kufuor, in the 2004 presidential election, this was primarily because the Kumasi-born Mr. Agyekum-Kufuor had amply demonstrated that he was far and away a better manager of the country’s affairs than both former President Rawlings and his surrogates and former cabinet appointees. That mandate had absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to do with any secretly hatched plan by any NPP operatives to royally embarrass then-Candidate John Evans Atta-Mills before his fellow Fante kinsmen and women, as Mr. Asiedu-Nketia would have the rest of us believe.
You see, this is the sort of cock-and-bull story that a paranoid and a pathologically unenlightened politician would tell a brood of kindergarten pupils on the playground, not an audience of full-fledged adults in a remarkably enlightened and civilized country like Ghana. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia should wake up! This is neither 1947 nor 1957.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
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