By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

New Crusading Guide’s Editor-In-Chief Malik Kweku Baako may be hurting Ghana’s cause in the latter’s dispute with the Ivory Coast over an oil-rich offshore boundary west of Cape-Three-Points than he realizes (See “Invorians Are Wicked Friends – Baako” / 4/29/15). First of all, we need to emphatically state that about a third of the population of the former French colony is composed of ethnic Akans, who also easily constitute a full-half of Ghana’s citizenry. And so realistically and truthfully speaking, the Ivorians are far more than our “friends,” as Mr. Baako rather offensively prefers to label them.

wpid-kwekubaako.jpgThey are more than merely our neighbors to the west as well. To be certain, the Ivorians are indisputably our clansfolk and kinsfolk. The other non-Akan parts of Cote d’Ivoire, as Ivory Coast has been officially known in the French language since the early 1990s, especially the northern part of that country, have ethnic groups that are closely related to some of the ethnic groups in Ghana’s three northern regions. Now, having duly observed the preceding, it comes as very strange to hear Mr. Baako claim that the Ivorians have “acquiesced” to the offshore boundary in dispute in the past, and therefore have no business reversing their stance. That sounds rather condescendingly absurd.

At any rate, my college English teacher’s knowledge of the English language tells me that one cannot “acquiesce” to an issue and unreservedly “agree” with it at the same time. In other words, when one “acquiesces” to something, there is an inescapable element of “wistfulness” or dissatisfaction that goes with it. Thus, one can only “acquiesce” to something just to avoid what one may deem to be unnecessary confrontation or conflict. Consequently, Mr. Baako cannot logically within the same breath claim that the Ivorians have in the past “acquiesced” to the general contours of the disputed boundary, as it currently exists, and then turn round to accuse the purportedly acquiescent party of being “insincere, inconsistent and dubious,” as well as to further complicate matters by accusing our Ivorian clansfolk and kinsfolk of having nefariously informed themselves with “inconsistency and duplicity,” whatever these rather intellectually insulting words may be intended by the speaker to mean or imply.

The New Crusading Guide’s Editor-Publisher does not specify his sources or the credibility thereof; and yet, Mr. Baako pontifically claims that “Records and history show that they [the Ivorians] did not give a damn about all those things, but once we [Ghanaians] found oil, they are trying to review and rewrite history.” This is very interesting in a decidedly scandalous way, because Mr. Baako clearly prefers to rhetorically beg the question than put paid to all reasonable doubts, via the rigorous application of the forensically accepted test of evidential verity or truth. For example, does the mere fact of the Ivorians’ not seeming to give a damn about the contours of the offshore boundary claimed by Ghanaians in of itself objectively prove that, indeed, the disputed territory has always legitimately belonged to Ghanaians?

In essence, rather than letting his emotions overwhelm his ratiocinative faculties, Mr. Baako needs to promptly sober up and reason like a mature adult and a remarkable intellectual powerhouse. The latter quality, we must promptly observe, has absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to do with whether the subject of discourse is the holder of a university degree or not. What Mr. Baako seems to be saying in reality is that as long as the Ivorians behaved like troglodytes who had yet to muster an acute awareness of their civic and territorial rights and responsibilities as modern civilized humans, it was hunky-dory for Ghanaians to take advantage of such purported socioeconomic, political and cultural lack of sophistication on the part of the Ivorians.

Well, like it or not, the Ivorians have now wised up and have decided to aptly assume their rightful status vis-a-vis their inalienable right to fairly and equitably sharing the black-gold find located in the offshore territory it now claims to jointly own with their Ghanaian clansfolk and kinsfolk. We must also hasten to point out the fact that the area West of Cape-Three-Points have always been known, since time immemorial, to be richly endowed with black-gold. It is thus not wholly accurate, as Mr. Baako would have his audience believe, that the Ivorians only became aware of the presence of oil in that offshore region after their Ghanaian neighbors and kinsfolk invited some multi-national oil companies to prospect for oil. If I am not mistaken, the Ivorians began drilling for oil long before their Ghanaians relatives and neighbors saw the proverbial light and went into the same business.

Source: By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]


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