By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I was not going to make any issue, whatsoever, out of the reportedly recent arrest, right here, in the United States, of the younger sister of Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa (See “Okudzeto-Ablakwa’s Sister Arrested in America” Ghanaweb.com 1/17/12). I was not about to make any issue out of it because at 22 years old, Ms. Mercy Ablakwa is a fully grown woman and an adult of a discretionary age who ought to be squarely held personally accountable for her own crimes and misdemeanors, whatever these may be.
Unfortunately for the self-righteous, “holier-than-thou,” Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa, we have no other choice but to give the rambunctious and obstreperous 30-year-old man a bitter taste of his own broth. Americans have a saying that “What[ever] goes around [also] comes around.” It is about the proverbial and perennial law of the boomerang. In sum, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa asked for it, and it would be grossly remiss on our part not to take him up on his gauntlet.
And for those of our readers who may not readily recall the same, not very long ago – or sometime late last year – the Deputy Information Minister vitriolically lambasted the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for allegedly harboring among his campaign staff, a relative with a criminal arrest record. At the time, a highly pumped up and snooty Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa poignantly observed that, ordinarily, he would not have ventured that low-down to make an issue out of the criminal record of an adult relative of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was roundly responsible for his own crimes and misdemeanors, except for the fact that Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Justice Minister had made a routine game out of flaunting the reputation and integrity of his family. Consequently, in the well-considered opinion of Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa, Nana Akufo-Addo was not only immitigably guilty by association, and kinship, the NPP flagbearer for both Election 2008 and 2012 was woefully lacking in good judgment.
In view of the foregoing, are we also equally right in suggesting that in deciding to sponsor a crime-prone sister for higher education, here, in the United States, the Deputy Information Minister has not only avoidably and recklessly embarrassed himself and the entire Ablakwa family but, even more flagrantly, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa has embarrassed the Republic of Ghana at large. And here must also be promptly recalled the fact that Ms. Mercy Ablakwa stands charged with the felonious offence of “Forgery-Uttering,” a crime which she committed in Milwaukee in the Mid-Western State of Wisconsin, on or about October 7, 2011, and which carries a penalty of $10,000 (Ten-Thousand American Dollars) or a 6-year prison sentence or both.
Needless to say, we sincerely hope that the young woman receive the kind of mercy-tempered justice, as is clearly implied by her first name, and thus is able to carry on with her life almost as if nothing this blotchy ever occurred in her life. In other words, as many a liberally minded American is wont to say, Ms. Mercy Ablakwa deserves a second chance, even as Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa also direly needs to learn when to shut up and stop pretending as if he is morally and behaviorally above board, as it were. Young man, like your sister, Mercy, you haven’t even begun to taste real life as yet. And, by all means, don’t be fooled by that sinecure preferment ceded you by the clinically doddering Uncle Tarkwa-Atta.
Some have also raised Cain over the possibility that some “Woyome”-like scam must have occurred for Ms. Ablakwa to have been successfully enrolled in quite an expensive institution such as Charleston University, located in the State of West Virginia, where tuition fees range in the vicinity of $ 25,000 a year. The obvious suspicion here, somehow, is that since Ms. Ablakwa’s admission and attendance at Charleston University strikingly corresponds with the reign of the Mills-led National Democratic Congress (NDC), perforce, some wrongdoing must have occurred. We, of course, prefer to pass up such mouth-watering temptation.
*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] ###