I write this piece not to weigh in on the ongoing trading of accusations and counter-accusations between Messrs. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, general-secretary of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), and Nana Akomea, communications director of the Akufo-Addo Election 2012 presidential campaign, but to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and prompt intervention by the National Executive Committee of the New Patriotic Party (See “Tension Heightens in NPP” Citifmonline.com/ Ghanaweb.com 3/24/13).
It may be recalled that the dispute between the two NPP stalwarts was provoked by incendiary remarks allegedly made by Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, in the wake of the near-fatal vehicular accident involving Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the NPP vice-presidential candidate for both Election 2008 and 2012, near the Bole-Bamboi hometown of President John Dramani Mahama.
The NPP general-secretary was widely reported by the national media to have suggested that the national security apparatus and the government of Mr. Mahama had something to do with Dr. Bawumia’s accident. Nana Akomea, according to news reports, promptly responded that Mr. Owusu-Afriyie had spoken out of order, unless, of course, the latter was in possession of forensic evidence validating his claim.
The problem here is that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is not composed of choir boys, as it were. In other words, had the proverbial shoe been shod on the other foot, the reaction would have been the same. For instance, key operatives of the NDC, including the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, are on record to have suggested that the New Patriotic Party government of President John Agyekum-Kufuor was, somehow, behind the 2002 grisly murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II when, in fact, meticulously gathered evidence clearly indicates that the Yendi massacre was a pure family feud going back several generations.
But what is also widely known and envisaged as such, is the fact that the National Democratic Congress, in its various and previous incarnations, is incontrovertibly known to be the most violent political party in Ghana’s postcolonial history. No other government, since 1957, has systematically orchestrated the ethnocentric assassination of Supreme Court judges on grounds of the victims’ having delivered judicial verdicts that were unpopular with the key operatives of the “revolutionary” Rawlings regime.
Indeed, when Nana Akufo-Addo describes the NDC as being revolutionary, as opposed to the democratically oriented Danquah-Dombo-Busia camp, this is precisely what Ghana’s main opposition leader means. As a lawyer who once counseled Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome in a case unrelated to the most recent epic scandal involving the latter, one expects Mr. Owusu-Afriyie to be far more enlightened and circumspect in his public pronouncements, particularly on sensitive issues, such as Dr. Bawumia’s accident, than the former’s opposite number in the National Democratic Congress, the barely literate and pathologically uncouth Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia.
Yes, unlike the suggestion of another staunch and shamelessly flamboyant NPP scribal stalwart resident in Britain, I firmly tend to believe that “Sir John” can be very effective at his post without lowering his otherwise fine intellect to the insufferably abject level of that of “General Mosquito.” And just how does one do so? Simple: “Sir John,” for instance, could have more diplomatically and poignantly suggested that Dr. Bawumia’s accident was highly suspicious without naming names.
Mr. Owusu-Afriyie is also not quite accurate in his assertion that Nana Akomea’s assignment as Nana Akufo-Addo’s communications director ended with the actual casting of the ballot in Election 2012, and the fraudulent declaration of Mr. Mahama as the winner of the same. Obviously, this is not a smart political strategy, especially when one is also hotly contesting the legitimacy of President Mahama, as a democratically elected premier of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
In soccer parlance, the foregoing is tantamount to “scoring an own goal.” And this is precisely what the rabid NDC hacks and propagandists have been aiming for all along. If memory serves me accurately, Nana Akomea is a relatively young man who has creditably acquitted himself as an honorable Member of Parliament, cabinet member of the Kufuor administration and now, communications director of the Akufo-Addo presidential campaign. In sum, Nana Akomea does not deserve to be so cavalierly demeaned by Mr. Owusu-Afriyie as a marginal party functionary. Needless to say, Nana Akomea is in every way the veritable coequal of “Sir John.”
By the same token, the NPP general-secretary is a remarkable man of substance who ought to be afforded the requisite deference, even on sticky points of strategic disagreements. I am, however, tempted to exhort both Messrs. Owusu-Afriyie and Akomea to studiously follow and take their cues from Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the national chairman of the New Patriotic Party.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
March 24, 2013