There is an age-old maxim which says that “It takes one to know one.” This was precisely what flashed through my mind when I read the news report in which Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was reported to have told a gathering of women traders at the Kantamanto Market, in Central Accra, that both President John Dramani Mahama and his immediate younger half-brother, Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, were clinical kleptocrats who were stealing the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money left and right, front, back and center (See “Mahama Is Stealing, His Brother Is Stealing, Friends Also Stealing” Atinkaonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 11/3/16).
My maternal grandmother, the late Mrs. Grace Ateaa Agyeman-Sintim, first cousins with Barima Ohemeng of Akyem-Apedwa, better known in the history books as the immortalized Nana Akyea-Mensah, was fond of saying that “A crab does not beget a bird.” In essence, if it is true that President Mahama has made a devout avocation of stealing from our national coffers, then perhaps the most logical question to ask is this: Who trained Little Dramani in the art of such political criminality? As well, who first gave the “Ganger Boy” unfettered access to our collective national kitty? I don’t need to remind the dear reader that much of whatever the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House knows about Ghanaian politics was afforded him by Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, the husband and bloody political bedmate of Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.
And so if today President Mahama is being described by Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings as a mega-thief, it stands to reason for any levelheaded Ghanaian citizen to conclude that Chairman Rawlings is an even bigger thief. A super-mega thief, that is. Indeed, even as I write, Ghana’s longest-reigning military dictator has yet to fully explain to both Ghanaians and Nigerians alike why it took him 20 years to publicly acknowledge that, indeed, contrary to his initial vehement protestations, that the most self-righteous Ghanaian politician had accepted millions of dollars in Nigerian taxpayers’ money from the late Gen. Sani Abacha. Yes, for 20 protracted years, Chairman Rawlings pooh-poohed the sincere queries of such prominent Nigerian citizens as Prof. Wole Soyinka, the literary and cultural titan and continental Africa’s first Nobel Literature Prize Laureate.
I have also yet to receive any answer from the Rawlingses regarding the exact salary of the former Ghanaian strongman between December 31, 1981 and January 1992; and, also, precisely how the expensive tabs for the bloody couple’s children’s education, both at home and abroad, were footed. We must also bear in mind that it was Chairman Rawlings and his henchmen of the so-called Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) junta that summarily executed the likes of Air-Vice Marshal Yaw Boakye and Maj-Gen. Utuka, for contracting housing bank loans worth the piddling sum of GH₵ 50,000, apiece, even by the standards of the time.
What clearly appears to bother Nana Konadu here is the fact that in her jaundiced estimation, the admittedly notorious Mahama Brothers not only appear to have studiously learned how to steal from our national till, but even more significantly the fact that these shameless kleptocrats also appear to have perfected the art of official thievery beyond the wildest imagination of the bloody couple. Nana Konadu is also implacably upset with the fact that Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, who reportedly had a hard time repaying a bank loan not quite a while back, but for the timely intervention of Elder Brother John, could secure adequate monetary resources to purchase a jet worth $ 20 million, according to his accuser, for the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House, perhaps in token appreciation of the countless deeds done for him by Little Dramani.
We must also quickly point out that while the preceding is decidedly an unproven allegation thrown into the public domain by the former first lady to sate her own whims and caprices, on the other hand, the payola scandal involving Chairman Rawlings and the late Gen. Abacha has been publicly confirmed by the obnoxiously self-righteous former Ghanaian dictator himself. About the only disagreement here regards the fact of whether the man alleged to have delivered the Abacha payola to Chairman Rawlings had, indeed, personally handed over a briefcase loaded with a total cash sum of $ 5 million. Chairman Rawlings claims to have received only $ 2 million of the aforesaid amount.
I have said time and time again that short of character assassinating her political opponents, especially those whom she has absolutely no chance of vanquishing at the polling booth, Nana Konadu has clearly no constructive agenda for the development of the country. Not very long ago, Chairman Rawlings’ wife also had the temerity to impugn the professional qualification of Nana Akufo-Addo, the three-time presidential candidate of the country’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), to practice law in Ghana. And all this, in spite of the fact of Akufo-Addo’s having distinguished himself as one of the most talented and astute trial lawyers of his generation.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.