By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
March 14, 2015
That when it comes to ethnocentric politics, President John Dramani Mahama is without any coequal in Ghana cannot be gainsaid. And so it is rather outrageous for the Northern Regional Director of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to cavalierly presume to call on Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo to publicly apologize for calling it like it is vis-a-vis NDC's Rawlings-minted politics of anti-Akan conspiracy that is its so-called Better-Ghana Agenda (See "NDC Asks NPP To Condemn Ethnocentric Pronouncements" Ghana News Agency / Ghanaweb.com 3/15/15).
Maybe people like Mr. Abdul-Mumin Alhassan have conveniently forgotten this, but it was Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, the founding-father of the National Democratic Congress who, together with fellow Ewe tribesmen like the Tsikatas and some of their northern-Ghanaian born associates, orchestrated the Mafia-style abduction and bestial execution of the three Akan-descended Accra High Court judges and the retired Ghana Army major on June 30, 1982. Is this what the Northern Regional NDC Communications Director means, when Mr. Alhassan presumptuously declares that: "We wish to assure the NPP that we will unconditionally resort to any and all democratic and civilized measures to safeguard these values and protect the unity, peace, stability and sanctity of our country"?
Further, Mr. Alhassan insults the intelligence of Ghana's Akan majority when he rather scandalously call on all citizens: "To remain calm, steadfast, patriotic and reassured them that the government will always stand tall in the protection of the nation's unity, peace, stability and national progress and development." Well, let's get one thing unmistakably clear to the likes of Mr. Alhassan: The National Democratic Congress is about anything except our "nation's unity, peace, stability and national progress and development." We also don't know that the NDC's understanding of unity-fostering language of the sort that characterized President Mahama's anti-Akufo-Addo and anti-Akan 2012 presidential campaign is what Mr. Alhassan is calling on all Ghanaian citizens to heartily and unreservedly adopt, although it eerily and strikingly sounds like it is.
Well, for those of our readers who may not either know or may have so soon forgotten the same, Transitional-President John Dramani Mahama, campaigning to firm up his presidency, in the wake of the "mysterious" liquidation of President John Evans Atta-Mills, called on all eligible Ghanaians of northern descent to roundly reject the candidacy of the southern-born Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, because the latter was a "Kabonga" who did not belong among their fold. Mr. Alhassan would have his fellow northerners believe that their citizenship and livelihood are threatened by the allegedly ethnocentric pronouncements of the former Kufuor Sports and Finance Minister.
What the NDC Communications Director conveniently refuses to either see or acknowledge is the fact that most Ghanaians of Akan ethnicity and descent are of the equal belief that their deserved economic opportunities and livelihood are threatened by an Ewe- and ethnic-minority dominated National Democratic Congress that has perfected the sinister act of democracy nullification, through the brazen application of raw intimidation and ballot-stuffing to perennially ensure that the country's Akan majority populace would continue to be treated like second-class citizens.
What is needed here is a constructive national dialogue on the politics of ethnic chauvinism and bigotry, rather than pretending that Akans like Mr. Osafo-Maafo have absolutely no right to speak against the sort of morbid tribalism that has largely characterized the voting patterns of northerners and voltaics for the better part of the country's Fourth-Republican dispensation. In other words, Ghanaians who share the perspective of Mr. Osafo-Maafo, when it comes to the sticky subject of ethnocentric politics, are in the majority, contrary to what the likes of Messrs. Alhassan, Nyaho-Nyaho Tamakloe and Mahama would have the rest of our nation and the world believe.
Indeed, what is "reckless and highly irresponsible" is for Mr. Alhassan to think that the proper way to unify and move the country forward is to have Akans play dumb and stupid, by docilely accepting the abject status of second-class citizenship.