By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
What Kind of Analysis Is This, Kofi Ata? (Part 3 – Final)
The Osafo-Maafo brouhaha is, really, much ado about nothing. Like Akufo-Addo’s “All-Die-Be-Die” clarion call, the former Finance and Sports Minister under President John Agyekum-Kufuor poignantly spoke truth to injustice, gross abuse of power and abject administrative incompetence, when he noted that the Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) was virulently and invidiously anti-Akan.
Indeed, President Mahama himself set this politically divisive tone for much of his 2012 electioneering campaign, when he told northern Ghanaian voters that he was their ideal candidate, and that they would make a great and forever-regrettable mistake if they voted for a southerner whose ethnic identity and geographical origin the Gonja native brazenly and flagrantly equated with a foreigner, a “Kabonga,” and therefore one whose agenda and interests were decidedly inimical to their own.
And until just a couple of months ago, when he named the former Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Julius Debrah, his Chief-of-Staff, nearly every significant player in President Mahama’s Flagstaff House office was either ethnically from one of the three northern regions or an Ewe. It has taken at least two years of irreparably bungling our national economy for Mr. Mahama to begin surrounding himself with a remarkable percentage and number of Akan-descended staffers. The clearly intelligence-insulting strategy here is obvious – the next general election is around the corner, and I had better ensure that I win enough support from the country’s Akan ethnic majority in order to retain “sweet-power” Kofi Antubam’s Chair.
But whether this retchingly lurid and morally distasteful gimmickry works to any remarkable effect is anybody’s good guess. If the late President John Evans Atta-Mills was aptly alleged to have harbored an anti-Asante agenda, with President John Dramani Mahama, the clear-cut agenda seems to be decidedly anti-Akan. But, of course, the man is passably smart enough, at least so it seems from the outside, to recognize the indispensability of the Akan vote; which is primarily why he replaced his late boss with the latter’s “clansman,” Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur. He would shortly follow up this cheap-and-tawdry vote-winning strategy with his famous “Make-Me-One-Of-Your-Own” crocodile dramaturgy. He is not called “Drama-ni” for nothing.
It is almost certain that when Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo made his allegedly anti-ethnic-minority comments during a closed meeting of New Patriotic Party movers and shakers, he must have been mindful of the preceding disturbing culture of anti-Akan chauvinism and conspicuous marginalization on the part of President Mahama. The naming of Mr. Kofi Buah to the lucrative post of Petroleum Minister, primarily based on the vehement demand of some Western regional chiefs, and the fact of Mr. Buah’s having been born in the Western Region, is not lost on many an avid student of Ghanaian politics, including yours truly, of course.
Likewise, the fact that almost every one of the economic development programs established for the benefit of northerners, most notably, SADA, GYEEDA and SUBAH, have all been hermetically oriented towards the exclusive benefit of northern-descended Ghanaians, including the proprietors of companies awarded contracts, as well as who gets to be awarded subcontracts or employed to work on any of these proects, is not lost on avid students and keen observers of Ghanaian politics. And you can imagine what the reaction would be if development projects initiated in any of the six Akan-dominated regions of the country were contractually rigged up for the exclusive benefit of Akan-descended contractors, sub-contractors and employees?
Unfortunately, instead of focusing their critical attention on such divisive Mahama public policies as the preceding, writers and columnists like Mr. Kofi Ata, predictably, prefer to blame the deliberately victimized for no other reason than the fact that Ghanaians like Mr. Osafo-Maafo, who are bold and courageous enough to expose the ugly tentacles of the tribalism and nepotism perpetrated by the Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress, are Akan-descended and the ardent political and ideological opponents of the Ewe- and non-Akan-dominated key players and operatives of the National Democratic Congress.
In all this, my one great disappointment is the fact that it took Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, so long to publicly acknowledge the fact that Mr. Osafo-Maafo called it like it is – or a spade a spade – when the latter pointedly noted that non-Akan ethnic minorities were rapaciously and invidiously battening on resources primarily generated from the predominantly Akan regions of the country. But I can also understand why it took so long for the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to weigh in on the side of righteous indignation. Nana Akufo-Addo is the one man that all the key NDC operatives and their supporters and sympathizers love to trip down and subject to gratuitous hatred in their politics of personal destruction.
And on the preceding score, critics and commentators like Mr. Ata are more in the mainstream of the NDC’s politics of expedient cynicism than being reflectively on the margins of the same. At any rate, we intend to keep watching and calling the shots as we see and deem them to be timely and appropriate.
Source: By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York