Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Drums Of War And The Civilization of Electoral Politics In Ghana

For a good part of the campaign this year, 2008, there have been a group of people who have been consistently advocating civil war and do everything to discourage national reconciliation and unity. One such person is Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jr. One of such articles was recently shot donw by Nana Akyea Mensah with a rejoinder. The rejoinder and the original articles are both published here for your comments:

A Message to the Asantehene

Feature Article of Wednesday, 12 November 2008
by Nana Akyea Mensah.

A Rejoinder to: Chief Lizard on the Stumps, by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Feature Article of Sunday, 9 November 2008.

Nana Asantehene,
His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II,
Manhyia Palace
Kumasi, Republic of Ghana.

Your Majesty, Nana Otumfuo Osei Tutu II,

With all respect, please kindly permit us to use this occasion to wish you well. We humbly suppose that in an electoral season, where all the political parties are moving in and out of Kumasi and each paying homage to his majesty, who like a good father, has been receiving all and sundry, this must be obviously a heavy schedule season for the Manhyia Palace. We therefore wish that Nana gets enough time to rest and to be of good health and of the wisdom of which we are his majesty's new convert.

As a king of all Ashantis, regardless of their political hues, shades, and colour, they in turn regard you as their father, and rightly so, because you seem to exhibit the qualities of a good father. May the real Otumfuo, God almighty, the He that is, keep you safe from all the dangers of life, and bless you, and your household, amen!

Foremost on my mind is the fear that innocent people may be losing their lives in the aftermath of the impending elections. These fears have been heightened by the mounting tensions and unprofessional political swipes coming from both sides of the political divide, which do nothing to calm down an already precarious situation. Which is why we humbly submit that it is about time that some one who commands the respect that you do and the wisdom and focus that you have shown, would do your best to help in the civilisation of politics in Ghana.

Your majesty, it is our humble wish to propose for your consideration as a part of this initiative, the drafting of a national charter for the respect of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, which, we believe, could be fine-tuned to cover all citizens of Ghana, irrespective of party political affiliations, in order to bring to a halt an installation of a system of politically-motivated judicial vendetta remotely controlled by the Executive, regardless of which party is in power, before this becomes the order of the day, as it appears to be the case under the current government led by the NPP, a political party which, if we can go by their own claims as champoins of liberal democracy, are supposed to even know better.

Your Majesty, I am sure you would agree with me that such politically irresponsible acts, will do nothing to improve our system of justice, nor promote peace and progress of our country. This is why I profoundly agree with you. I believe that the more people from both sides of the political divide clamour for peace and support your initiative, the more both parties, the former President, Mr.Rawlings and President Kufuor, would narrow down their perspectives to a national consensus of geniune reconciliation, and a peace that will endure.

We are absolutely certain that all Ghanaians, including people like our own grandson, a certain charlatan who currently calls himself Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City, whose latest civil-war propaganda tract against this noble initiative that has provoked this message, would also benefit from it, if you do indeed succeed.

Fortunately most Ghanaians already know people like that, who so far as they succeed in sabotaging such an initiative, any argument would do. These are the people that every peace-loving Ghanaian must watch first, if the noble initiative of Nana Otumfuo must be actively defended and supported by all peace-loving citizens of Ghana. We are all Ghanaians, not oil and water. The only common denominator here is peace and social progress. Very few Ghanaians are yearning for war. An overwhelming majority are for peace!

Your Majesty, we have not been a great fan of the Ex-President Rawlings, but we do agree with you that he, at least, conceded to the demands of the people without turning it into a civil war that we see surrounding and engulfing us, all over here in Africa. To sustain our little oasis of peace in Africa, we need to constantly pay attention to it, and take tender care of it. We need to attend to it with great circumspection and wisdom, qualities which Nana has so graciously made clear are not missing in his Majesty's very important and crucial national mission.

Nana, whilst wishing you all the best in your endeavours, please permit us, for the want of a better word on it, to ask you to ignore our grandson, Kwame Okoampa -Ahoofe, Jr., who considers your noble initiative as one of "those misguided Ghanaians who still believe that he [the Ex-President, Mr. Rawlings] bequeathed our country with an enviable democratic culture".

It is much too easy to dismiss this as simply an act of childish stupidity. We believe that is is about time that you came out very clearly and eloquently to the extreme right-wing fringes of the NPP such as my grandson about the indispensable national imperative to at least fail, trying to counter increasing messages such as "JUSTICE FOR AKANS not UNITY" and anotherone by a famous Julor Jato (JJ) Rawlings on Ghanaweb, who posts messages such as:

"Otumfuo, please you can't mix crude oil with water, so please don't try this game at all.

It is never possible to turn a kuborlor into a gentleman and no gentleman will like to associate himself with a gangster.

Otumfuo,as overlord of the Ashantes, we know you command a lot of respect and we will not want this kuborlor to take undue advantage of your peaceful intent to show off his stupidity.

We all know that this Kuborlor has no respect for any Ghanaian because of his Ofiri Jato colour, so please leave alone and let him gloat in his idiotic lunacy.

This kuborlor of a Julor Jato Rawlings, is the first head of state of Maaaaame Ghana to be told by another former head of state(the great Yakubu Gowon of Nigeria)to learn to behave himself.

Please Nana Ashantehene, please stay away from this kuborlor.

He insults everyone including Archbishops,intellectuals,Nananom,Military Officers, and the whole of cape coasters.

Let him live with his stupidity !"

Author: Julor Jato (JJ) Rawlings Date: 2008-11-07 11:14:10 Comment on IWill Unite JJ And JAK - Asantehene,, General News of Friday, 7 November 2008.

We strongly believe that the Ex-President Rawlings has apoint: "The upcoming elections... not about whether one is an Ashanti, Akyem, Ewe, Fante or a Dagomba, but an opportunity for the electorate to show the NPP the inglorious exit into opposition, after mismanaging the affairs of the country in their almost eight years of governance."

The attempts by our grandson to malign you and Mr. Rawlings on this very important matter, is most unfortunate. We pray that your words act as a dart of light to pierce into his darkness, which like Dryden's Shadwell, admits no ray, and has never been known on any occassion, to have ever deviated into sense! Hence our entreaty to your Majesty to kindly ignore him. We wish to urge you on, and we believe that even if you failed, you would have done your best for the best interest of every Ghanaian.

It gives us so much pleasure that we can say thank you so sincerely. We do humbly avail our self of this opportunity to extend to you, and to your faithful and diligent subjects at the Manhyia Palace, and to the great Ashanti Kingdom, our heartfelt felicitations from our base here at Apedwa cemetary, and to express to you, your Majesty, the assurances of our highest esteem,

Nana Akyea Mensah,
The Odikro of Apedwa.

Chief Lizard on the Stumps

Feature Article of Sunday, 9 November 2008
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Those misguided Ghanaians who still believe that he bequeathed our country with an enviable democratic culture ought to have heard the Chief Lizard tell the good people of Ghana’s heartland of the Asante Region how he has painstakingly remained faithful to the tenets of our present democratic dispensation in the dubious name of “national unity and cohesion” (Ghanaian Chronicle 10/26/08). “I will continue to remain faithful to the democratic dispensation because I believe in national unity and cohesion.”

Perhaps somebody ought to have reminded the Chief Lizard of that sweltering and arid January morning, in 1993 or thereabouts, when the former Ghanaian strongman stood before the National Assembly and bitterly snarled about a democratic political culture being such a drag on government; and also the fact that he could never be expected to respect constitutional democracy. In essence, anyone who does not respect constitutional democracy cannot also credibly claim to be a respecter of the same, not even in the dubious name of national unity and cohesion. Indeed, such a person cannot even seriously understand what s/he is talking about. First of all, while, indeed, the need for the preservation of national unity and cohesion cannot be intelligently gainsaid, nonetheless, a democratic culture is fundamentally about the unfettered observation of human rights and the rule of justice and fair play; and the Chief Lizard would be hard put to claim that in the preceding realms of governance the P/NDC has been exemplary in a manner that ought to put the ruling New Patriotic Party to shame.

And when the Chief Lizard vacuously asserts that “The upcoming elections [are] not about whether one is an Ashanti [sic], Akyem, Ewe, Fante or a Dagomba, but an opportunity for the electorate to show the NPP the [inglorious] exit into opposition, after [supposedly] mismanaging the affairs of the country in their almost eight years of governance,” our simple riposte is that it takes overweening pride and abject arrogance for the criminal mastermind of the Cash-and-Carry health policy to accuse the inimitably welfarist and incurably progressive government of the New Patriotic Party of gubernatorial mismanagement.

And while it is unpardonably criminal enough for the man whose bloody accomplice of a wife used the so-called 31st December Women’s Movement to illegally acquire the Nsawam Cannery, as well as assume proprietorship of a cocoa-processing factory in Tema township, to heretically claim never to have stolen from our national coffers, the criminal conviction of a slew of his staunchest associates – among them Messrs. Selormey, Abodakpi, Peprah and Tsikata – in of itself is adequately telling about the type of personality that our Chief Lizard is. Maybe Dzelukope Jeremiah needs to be reminded about the following dicta: “Birds of similar feathers flock together” and “Show me your friend and I’d show you who you are.”

It is also rather interesting that to-date, Mr. Probity and Accountability has yet to credibly explain to the Ghanaian public precisely how he managed to ship his children abroad for expensive schooling, even as our Chief Lizard set our national system of education alight. Then also, Flt.-Lt. Yor-Ke-Garri has yet to explain to the longsuffering Ghanaian electorate how his name and governments came to be associated with the SCANCEM-GHACEM scandal. If anything at all, Election 2008 is incontrovertibly about the imperative need for the Ghanaian electorate to consign the so-called National Democratic Congress, permanently, to the Stygian margins of postcolonial Ghanaian politics where it definitely belongs.

It is also amusing to hear our Chief Lizard rant about Election 2008 not being about an inter-ethnic showdown. Exactly when did this pathological Ewe nationalist arrive at such curious and flabbergasting decision? And precisely upon what cross-cultural grounds did he come by his invidious doctrine about the Volta Region constituting the immutable electoral preserve of the Ewe-dominated so-called National Democratic Congress? Or it is just that Dzelukope Jeremiah presumes the fabled tolerance of non-Ewe Ghanaians, especially those of Akan descent, for congenital foolery? And on the latter score, we are forced to remind our readers that in the wake of the Anloga intra-ethnic disturbances exactly a year ago, our Chief Lizard threatened to conflagrate our entire country, on the specious grounds that the Kufuor administration had, somehow, constituted itself into the inveterate enemy of the Anlo people. The Chief Lizard also asserted that having fled political repression in Notsie – wherever in the world that is – in order to settle in their present abode, the Anlo-Ewe were, yet again, being subjected to the imperialist domination of the Akan people. And so it takes a lot of chutzpah, obviously, for the man who systematically cleansed the Ghanaian Supreme Court of Akan judges to be lecturing the rest of us Ghanaians about the need for cross-ethnic unity and cohesion.

One also wonders why he would exuberantly and seemingly comfortably pitch his party’s patently vacuous manifesto to the very people of the Asante heartland, whose legitimately elected national leaders our Chief Lizard accuses, without any forensic evidence, whatsoever, of the regicidal demise of the Ya-Na and some 40 of his lieutenant and/or subjects. Perhaps if he studied just a little bit more of Ghanaian history, particularly that aspect regarding the centuries-old kinship between the Dagomba and the Akan, particularly the Asante, our Chief Lizard would be humbled enough not to traipse the Akan heartland sophomorically and fatuously espousing such tripe.

It was also quite fascinating to hear our Chief Lizard vaunt about the P/NDC maladministration having “created an enabling environment for all Ghanaians to develop their God-given talents by providing electricity, good drinking water, roads and hospitals across the length and breadth of the country.” Maybe somebody ought to have asked our pistol-packing Chief Lizard why Professor Atta-Mills continues to make regular runs to South Africa for medical treatment, if, indeed, the P/NDC-built hospitals and clinics were half as good as he is claiming them to be. He had also better be reminded that the days of Re-diffusion Radio Politics have long receded into the backwaters of Ghana’s Dark Days.

In the past, he had publicly smoked what he now cavalierly claims to be SM cigarettes, though those of us avid students of Ghanaian politics have absolutely no doubt that they were, almost certainly, spliffs of Mary Jane. These days, however, our Chief Lizard also appears to have begun snorting cocaine, else he could not have been seriously bragging about the P/NDC having generously provided Ghanaians with “good drinking water,” while at the same time sneeringly accusing the Kufuor government of supplying the people with water that is far less potable than that which runs through the cisterns of his WCs.

It is also not quite clear what our Chief Lizard means, when he asserts that “None of the NPP men could match the qualities of Prof. Atta-Mills.” Precisely what “qualities” is our Chief Lizard talking about? He, obviously, is not talking about academic or professional prowess, or flair, since Dzelukope Jeremiah himself is not well-educated enough to seriously make such judgment call. At the end of the day, though, what bears highlighting is the fact that scarcely any seasoned and principled Ghanaian academics readily sold off their consciences in order to become bootlicking lackeys of Dzelukope Jeremiah.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of 18 books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (, 2005). E-mail:

Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame