The widely reported allegation by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Asokwa, that Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku has either caused or facilitated the publishing of Mr. Alan Kyerematen’s resignation letter, must be accorded the highest investigative priority, even as the Offinso-North MP has himself suggested (See “Konadu Apraku: I Have No Hand in Printing of Alan Kyerematen’s Resignation Letter” MyJoyOnline.com 5/15/10).

Such an investigation is warranted by the fact that Dr. Apraku is a widely-known staunch backer of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and, in fact, actively served on the Akufo-Addo presidential campaign during the 2008 general election. Also the deafening implication here, needless to say, is that, somehow, Nana Akufo-Addo may be involved in a dastardly campaign strategy aimed at effectively undermining or even scuttling Mr. Kyerematen’s presidential nomination bid altogether.

We must also promptly observe here that merely asserting that he maintains no offices in Accra and Kumasi, where the aforesaid resignation letter was reportedly printed and circulated, does not effectively put paid to the allegation by Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah. For, it goes without saying that one does not have to maintain official spaces in both our nation’s capital and our unofficial commercial and cultural capital of Kumasi to be able to cause or facilitate the printing and circulation of the Kyerematen resignation letter.

Having registered our preceding observation, we must also highlight our puzzlement at the fact that staunch Kyerematen supporters like Mr. Jumah should be crying foul over the alleged publication of the Kyerematen resignation letter. In reality, what Kyerematen backers like Mr. Jumah ought to be doing right now is to be either vehemently denying or affirming the authenticity of the said letter. This is primarily because the very first remark that Mr. Kyerematen made to the people of Labadi, while kick-starting his presidential bid several weeks ago, was to vehemently deny, and even outright ridicule, the very notion that he had ever personally written or caused to be written any letter announcing his resignation from the now-opposition New Patriotic Party.

Thus, should it so happen that, indeed, Mr. Kyerematen had either personally written or caused a resignation letter to be written on his behalf to the NPP national executives, then the least that the Kumasi-Asokwa MP owes his apparent targets of calumny and/or libel is an apology, both verbal and written. This would, of course, necessitate Mr. Jumah, once again, taking to the airwaves and forcefully and sincerely retracting his defamatory statement.

On the part of Mr. Kyerematen, the response has to be nothing short of immediately putting his presidential campaign on ice, as it were. For, needless to say, it is both his credibility and integrity that are direly at stake here. And any candidate who proves himself to be sorely lacking in both credibility and integrity ceases to be an invaluable asset to both his party and our beloved nation at large.

Personally, I am hardly surprised that Mr. Kyerematen’s credibility and integrity are being impugned at the very moment that the NPP leadership campaign bid appears to be gathering steam. For it was only just a matter of time before the runner-up of the 2007 NPP presidential primaries was forced to confront his tarnished image.

While, indeed, his conciliatory method of warding off Mr. Jumah’s quite serious allegation deserves to be lauded, nonetheless, the very seriousness of the allegation warrants that Dr. Apraku launch a libel suit against Mr. Jumah. Such a suit has two salutary objectives – one, to thoroughly and definitively disabuse the minds of NPP supporters and sympathizers who may have already been prejudiced against Mr. Jumah’s apparent targets of obloquy. For a favorable judicial verdict is apt to bring finality to an otherwise irresolvable controversy. And two, in order for Mr. Jumah to fully appreciate the responsible appropriation of free speech in a democratic society, the Kumasi-Asokwa MP needs to get hit exceptionally hard in his wallet/pocket, in view of the fact of his political clout in Ghanaian society, both as a policy-maker and a role-model for our youth.

In other words, our convicted contention here is that Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku can be both conciliatory, for the greater interest and good of the NPP, on the one hand, and justice-oriented for the even far greater interest and good of Ghana at large.

*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 a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI), the pro-democracy policy think tank, and the author of 21 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.

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