By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that some members and operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) may have “benefited” from the much-touted largesse of the man who scammed the Ghanaian judicial system to the whopping and hitherto unprecedented tune of some GH ¢ 51 million. And we need to also quickly add the fact that, ultimately, it was the Ghanaian taxpayer who bore the brunt of such outrageous scam.
We, indeed, have no reason to disbelieve the fact that some NPP operatives may have benefited from the financial “largesse” of Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome “Gorgormi” because, even as was clearly, albeit bizarrely, witnessed in the Mabey and Johnson scandal, regally presided over by the sanguinary and self-righteous Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings, some National Democratic Congress (NDC) crossovers to the NPP happened to have been up-to-the-neck deeply involved in the largest pontine – or bridge-building – scam in postcolonial Ghanaian history.
And so when the editor-publisher of the so-called Al-Hajj newspaper asserts that Messrs. Osafo Maafo and O. B. Amoah benefited from the “benevolence” of Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome “Gorgormi,” the loud-talking and barroom-brawling NDC activist reveals absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. And, after all, hasn’t it been said time and again that “Politics makes strange bedfellows”?
On the latter score, though, we need to also promptly add that Mr. Osafo Maafo, the former Education and Finance minister under the Kufuor administration, has vehemently denied having benefited from the financial generosity of Mr. Woyome. And in the same breath, we must also hasten to further add that at the time of this writing (February 20, 2012), Mr. Osei-Bonsu Amoah (popularly known as O. B. Amoah), an NPP operative, had reportedly been arrested (See Ghanaweb.com February 19, 2012).
I have yet to read the details regarding the events and/or forensic evidence prompting the arrest of Mr. Amoah. Suffice it, however, to observe in passing that the “Woyome Outrage” is far, far less about who might have benefited from the financial generosity of the subject of our national outrage than the fact of Mr. Woyome having criminally abused Ghana’s judicial system in a bid to selfishly raking in millions of Cedis in taxpayers’ money to which the suspect had absolutely no right, whatsoever, by the use of false pretence. And it is on the latter aspect of the case on which the spotlight of our national outrage ought to be squarely focused.
What is also quite fascinating and one that clearly contradicts Alhaji Bature’s obviously cynical attempt to rope in as many NPP operatives as possible, is the forensically incontrovertible fact of the criminal suspect, himself, having clearly and publicly stated that he has absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to do with the liberal-democratic ideology of the New Patriotic Party or any of the latter’s human operatives. And, indeed, while a verbally abusive and insufferably arrogant Mr. Woyome has admitted to having had links with the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition in the past, largely through his family, nevertheless, Mr. Woyome has also vehemently and rabidly expressed regret that he ever had any ideological trucking with Ghana’s most celebrated democratic tradition.
Instead, the epic criminal suspect prefers to style himself as a “Rawlings Revolutionary” with a decided pet aversion for all things Asante and, by logical extension, Akan. The latter may partly explain why the overwhelming force of his support has emanated from his native Volta Region, with even some Volta chiefs reportedly staunchly lining up to make a special pleading for one of their own before the very publicly supportive President John Evans Atta-Mills.
Needless to say, in the days, weeks and months leading up to Election 2012, what the key operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party ought to do is to relentlessly focus the attention of all eligible Ghanaian voters and well-meaning citizens, and residents, on the fact that the Woyome Scandal is about the collaborative attempt by leading members of the ruling National Democratic Congress to ride roughshod over Ghana’s vibrant, albeit fledgling, democratic dispensation in the Fourth-Republican era.
*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 Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: [email protected].