By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The reported heckling – it was actually a massive boycotting – of the Deputy Minister of Education for Tertiary Affairs, by selected students from seven teacher-training colleges in the Asante Regon at the Kumasi Wesley College, ought to send a strong signal to the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government that time is fast running out vis-a-vis the tolerance level of teacher-trainees of mischievous and disdainful attempts by the NDC to seriously undermine, as well as eviscerate, the quality and worth of their education and humanity. This is what the summary decision to remove the training incentives and allowances of these near-future full-fledged educators by President John Dramani Mahama, with the expedient and unreserved support of Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the Deputy Education Minister for Tertiary Affairs, amounts to.
And just as the taxpayer-sponging Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa has helped in making the lives of these young teacher-trainees a nightmare, the Deputy Education Minister must be prepared for more public heckling and boycotting by his charges. The days of passive exhibition of vacuous respect and tolerance for irresponsible politicians and authority figures are well behind us. And Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa and his rascally associates just got a piddling foretaste of the same (See “Ablakwa, Kwakye Ofosu Heckled, Humiliated By 7 College Students” MyJoyOnline.com 4/15/15).
The other Mahama lackeys who accompanied Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa to Wesley College were Mr. Felix Kwakye Ofosu, the obnoxiously loudmouthed and hip-shooting Deputy Communications Minister, and Dr. Michael Kpessah-Whyte, the smooth-talking scam-artist and book-cooking “Presidential Staffer,” or public-dole recipient, who was recently named Head of the National Service Scheme (NSS). In the wake of his appointment as NSS Director, Dr. Kpessah-Whyte made an eyewashing and scandalous claim that within the temporal span of a few weeks, he and his team of experts had been able to weed out hundreds of ghost names from the NSS payroll; but he would not let on about just how many of the culprits responsible for criminally bilking the taxpayers had been identified and/or scheduled to be arraigned before a legitimately constituted court of law for prompt and vigorous prosecution.
What inspired me to write this column was an article captioned “Ablakwa Angry Over Bawumia’s Heckling” (Ghanaweb.com 4/19/15), in which the NDC-Member of Parliament for one of the Tongu constituencies of the Volta Region was reported to have vented his spleen on his Facebook page over the recent prevention by some hired NDC thugs of Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia from speaking in the Volta Regional Capital of Ho. We are told that Dr. Bawumia’s lecture was part of a scheduled familiarization tour of the region. As of this writing, there were reports claiming the Bawumia lecture’s evisceration to have been executed by some students in retaliation for the heckling and boycotting of Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa and his associates at the Kumasi Wesley College.
Well, we cannot be certain about the credibility of the reason given by the Ho NDC goons for preventing the Bawumia lecture from taking place, because the southern Ewe-dominated Volta Region has an unenviable record of unprovoked anti-Akan and anti-New Patriotic Party hostilities. And so it is not even clear whether the 2016 Vice-Presidential Candidate of the NPP, who is himself a northern-born Ghanaian of Mamprusi ethnic affiliation, or descent, was prevented from speaking in the Volta Region because of his “foreign” descent or the mere fact of him being the Number Two Man on the presidential-election ticket of the NPP for Election 2016. To be certain, it well could be both. The Ewe-dominated Volta Region has a scandalous history of northern Ghanaian enslavement that has been effectively muffed up, even as the Anlo-Ewe attempt to blame Akans, and Asante’s in particular, for their political and socioeconomic misfortunes in the country. The region also maintains the unenviable record of having detonated the first grenade, or bomb, barely twenty-four hours in the wake of Ghana’s declaration of her sovereignty from British colonial rule in 1957.
Then also, during the last twenty-odd years of Fourth-Republican constitutional democracy in Ghana, beginning from 1992, diehard National Democratic Congress supporters and hirelings in the Volta Region have ensured that residents and indigenes supportive of the main opposition New Patriotic Party would not be ceded an inch of foothold or unfettered access to the polling booth. If, indeed, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa has any qualms about the uncouth treatment accorded Dr. Bawumia in the Volta Regional Capital, he had better begin addressing the thuggish behavior of the youths in his party before he and his associates begin to experience similar and more regionally widespread hostility around the country. Asking for trouble, the way it has been institutionally and perennially entrenched in the Volta Regon, would ultimately not do anybody any good.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]