It is rather absurd, to speak much less about the downright stupid and thoroghgoing idiotic for former Education and Trade Minister Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah to be faulting President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for failing to show up at the tomb of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, on the 5th anniversary commemoration festivities of the passing of the latter recently (See “Spio-Garbrah Slams Gov’t for ‘Boycotting’ Mills’ Fifth Anniversary” Kasapafmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/25/17). It is absurd because Mr. Spio-Garbrah spent most of the last decade of the life of the former University of Ghana’s tax-law professor vilifying and demonizing Prof. Atta-Mills, among other scurrilous and scandalous invectives, as “damaged goods” and one who was not fit to occupy the presidency.
And so precisely why does the former Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States want President Akufo-Addo to join in celebration of the life of a leader the cause of whose death, his own deputy or Vice-President never officially announced to the Ghanaian public? Mr. Spio-Garbrah would do himself and his reputation, or whatever piddling modicum may be left of it, quite a bit of good by telling us where he had been all the while that the tomb of the so-called Asomdwoehene, or Prince-of-Peace, was being widely reported to be falling apart, right under the nostrils and the watch of former President John Dramani Mahama, the very leader under whose government Mr. Spio-Garbrah served as Trade and Industry Minister. You see, among the Akan, there is a maxim which says that: “One does not pluck off the feathers of a bird, only to present it to an adult and ask him/her to call out the name of the same.” In short, insulting the intelligence of his social and moral, as well as his intellectual, superiors may be the strong suit of Mr. Spio-Garbrah, but it does not in any way make the man civically responsible. Indeed, the key operatives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) may be good traders in using the questionable deaths of their leaders to play on the soft spots or emotions and delicate sensibilities of the Ghanaian electorate and citizenry at large. But they would be grossly mistaken to think, as Mr. Spio-Garbrah seems to believe, that they can play on the mortality of President Akufo-Addo to get the latter to facilely go along with their theatrical buffoonery. I mean, what kind of rational human celebrates the death of a man the clinical cause of whose demise has been deliberately shrouded in mystery, and whose arch-lieutenant far preferred to exult in the purportedly condign and auspicious liquidation of his own boss? Mr. Spio-Garbrah had better show a realistic and intelligent appreciation for Akan cultural mores, and stop pretending as if the rest of Ghana’s ethnic majority populace was composed of clinical idiots.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 30, 2017
E-mail: [email protected]