You just can’t take Okudzeto-Ablakwa seriously

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

At some sort of parliamentary interface affair hosted by the academic community of the Ho-based Evangelical Presbyterian University, National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for Tongu-North, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, was reported to have castigated the Akufo-Addo Administration for being “uninspiringly slow” to ship relief supplies to the victims of the massive mudslide that ravaged the Sierra Leonean capital of Freetown.

This natural disaster is reported to have killed as many as 400 residents, with some 600 still reported to be missing (See “Government’s Response to Sierra Leone Uninspiring – Minority” Ghana News Agency / Modernghana.com 8/18/17).

Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the ranking member of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, who mordantly decried President Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo’s participation, together with other major African leaders, in the removal of the former Gambian dictator, President Yahya Jammeh, also described as utterly embarrassing the call by the Akufo-Addo government for Ghanaians to donate items of clothing, and other essentials, for onward transmission to the government and the mudslide victims of Sierra Leone.

Now, this self-righteous posturing and rush-to-judgment of the former Atta-Mills Deputy Information Minister is rather infantile and very comical, to speak much less about the downright cynical because even as we speak, some 24 hours later, Vice-PresidentMahamuduBawumia is reported to be headed to the Sierra Leonean capital with relief supplies estimated to be worth at least $ 1 million (See “Bawumia Set for Sierra Leon with $ 1 Million for Disaster Victims” MyJoyOnline.com 8/18/17).

The reader should also compare the preceding response of the Akufo-Addo Administration to the response of the government of then-President John Evans Atta-Mills, late, of which Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa was a key operative, some 6 or 7 years ago, when a massive earthquake struck the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and its immediate environs.

Back then, the National Democratic Congress-led government did absolutely nothing, “Nada,” as Spanish speakers are wont to say, to help alleviate the plight of the approximately half-million people directly affected by the quake.

Actually, what President Atta-Mills had reportedly said then was that Ghana would contribute relief supplies “at the appropriate time.”

It is also interesting to hear Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa castigate the key operatives of the Akufo-Addo government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for being slow to respond to the Sierra Leone disaster, when one reckons the fact that the capstone foreign policy agenda of both the Mills and Mahama tandem governments of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was to doggedly pursue an insular policy of hermetic non-interference in the potentially far-reaching activities of neighboring countries in the West African sub-region.

And so then-President Atta-Mills maintained a deathly silence while hundreds of thousands of Ivorians were slaughtered by both sides of the civil war-wracked regime of then-President Laurent Gbagbo.

It would be then-main Opposition Leader and now-President Akufo-Addo who would make diplomatic overtures for cessation of hostilities. “Dzi Wo Fie Asem,” or “Mind-Your-Own-Business,” President Atta-Mills would snap at any of his most ardent and notable Ghanaian critics, largely members of the then New Patriotic Party opposition who had called for some form of humanitarian intervention in the Ivorian conflict.

We must also recall cynical attempts by then-President Mahama to facilitate the entrenchment of the Jammeh dictatorship in The Gambia, in the wake of a popular coup detatthat rocked the jaded dictator, in the lead-up to Ghana’s 2016 general election. Having lost a democratically credible election in his own strip-mall country, Mr. Jammeh flatly refused to stand down, after having conceded defeat.President Mahama would also attempt to intervene in a popular street uprising that led to theoverthrow of Burkinabe dictator Blaise Campaore. I mean, the NDC leadership may be anything but humanitarian and/or conscientious.

Even at home, in Ghana, the policies of the so-called Social Democratic leaders of the National Democratic Congress have been anything but socially democratic. Indeed, virtually every single poverty-alleviation program put in place by government, such as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the School Feeding Program and LEAP has been both initiated and implemented by New Patriotic Party-led governments, namely, by former President John Agyekum-Kufuor and, presently, President Akufo-Addo.

Maybe before calling the response of the key operatives of the Akufo-Addo Administration to the Sierra Leone disaster into question, the former Education Minister second-bananas ought to have informed Ghanaians about the level and magnitude of emergency relief supplies bequeathed the erstwhile Mahama-run National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to the Akufo-Addo-run present-day NADMO. The details of what Mr. Ablakwa comes up with would better inform the reader about the integrity and credibility of the critic on this present subject.

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.