The best response to Alhaji Collins Dauda is to ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to compare such cross-cultural and cross-ethnic New Patriotic Party (NPP) social-policy programs as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the School-Feeding Program, the Free Public Transportation for Elementary School Pupils with such National Democratic Congress-fangled programs like the Cash-and-Carry healthcare policy and SADA, and all the other ethnic- and geographical location-oriented programs initiated by the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for the exclusive benefit of Ghanaians of non-Akan northern and Krobo descent (and on the latter count, of course, I referring to the so-called Eastern Regional University), and then tell the nation and the world which political party has a well-calculated development policy agenda of geopolitical and ethnic discrimination in the country (See “Collins Dauda’s Islamophobic Comment Illogical – Akufo-Addo” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/11/16).
The notoriously cynical NDC party hack is reported to have told Ghanaian Muslims to expect to suffer withering discrimination if they make the serious mistake of voting the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party into power. Well, for starters, the NDC cannot point to a single instance where any of its three governments in Ghana’s Fourth Republic has fielded a Muslim as either its substantive President or Vice-President during the past 24 years. The NPP, on the other hand, has had the immortalized Alhaji Aliu Mahama as its two-time Vice-Presidential Candidate and its two-term substantive Vice-President of Ghana. And presently, of course, the NPP has Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, a bona fide Muslim of Mecca pilgrimage credentials and former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana, as the three-time Presidential running-mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
On the other hand, only once has the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress fielded a Muslim on its presidential ticket; but even then, Alhaji Mumuni was second-bananas to the late then-Candidate John Evans Atta-Mills. Alhaji Mumuni would be dropped like the proverbial hot potatoes, after just one abortive run at the polls in a scandalously poor imitation of the New Patriotic Party. You see, even President John Dramani Mahama, a Christian born into a predominantly Muslim extended family, has not deem it fit to name a Muslim as his running-mate.
Furthermore, every single one of the Akans who have served in the Vice-Presidential slot of the National Democratic Congress has been a Fante, namely, Messrs. Ekwow Nkensen Arkaah, John Evans Atta-Mills and Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur. And each and every single one of these candidates and later substantive Vice-Presidents had been selected on the purely tactical or strategic basis of splitting the Akan vote for the exclusive benefit of the Anlo-Ewe megalomaniacs who predominate the cabinet portfolios of every NDC government. And the Fante second-banana candidates have all come from the Cape Coast vicinity.
And so, really, if anybody could be deemed least qualified to bitterly complain about discrimination of any sort in contemporary Ghanaian politics, it is definitely the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress, and not the latter’s most formidable political opponents. Then also, who told Alhaji Dauda that the Islamic religion and culture are the exclusive preserve of any particular geographical region of the country or ethnic group. The NDC hack’s own first name of “Collins” betrays the syncretic cultural and religious background of Alhaji Dauda; which obviously explains why some of his most virulent critics believe that the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development may be emotionally and psychologically unhinged, and may well be in dire need of prompt psychiatric examination and treatment.
Indeed, were he not emotionally unbalanced, Alhaji Dauda would rather be telling Ghanaian Muslims precisely why he thinks they ought to deem themselves to be better off retaining President Mahama and his Flagstaff House Abongo Boys and Girls, rather than vacuously and scandalously pretending as if it has been exceptionally heavenly for Muslim Ghanaians these past 7-odd years of gross NDC administrative incompetence. On a personal note: Alhaji Dauda is widely known among the residents of his locality to have deserted the Akan benefactor side of his family and “re-ethnicized” or rediscovered himself as a non-Akan Ghanaian, once he secured a foothold on political power.
Is this a man of integrity who ought to be lecturing the rest of us about the nature of such deleterious forms of discrimination as tribalism, nepotism, Islamophobism and nativism in Ghanaian politics? Come on!
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 12, 2016
E-mail: [email protected]