By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.


??????????? Sometimes, when you come across a news article in which an inescapably daft, or stolid, statement is attributed to a highly credentialed personality, your gut reaction is to first decipher the identity of the alleged declarer/declaimer of the aforesaid statement. You see, ordinarily speaking, credentials are signal markers of moral and intellectual stature. In this instance, the subject of such puzzle is Dr. Clement Apaak, convener of an organization called The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ). The name of the latter organization, presumably a marketplace for intellectuals and thinkers, is a tad awkward; for what sort of ?governance,? for instance, are we talking about here? Then again, who said that in a constitutional democracy such as Ghana?s, nobody has a right to label his or her organization with a name that seems so abstract, quaint and grotesque as to invite undue attention from the critical thinker? We intend to take up this messy matter of organizational naming as it becomes relevant and/or necessary in due course.


For now, the issue at stake regards former President Kufuor?s quite timely impugnation of the clearly ?senseless? decision by Dr. Kwadwo ?Afari-Gyan and the Electoral Commission (EC) to creating 45 more constituencies, with barely three months to Election 2012. What is fascinating here, though, is the scandalous expression of ?disappointment? by a pathologically uncouth National Democratic Congress propagandist who once had the temerity to call Mr. Kufuor a ?kleptocrat? and an ?oaf? within the same breath. The latter invectives had been used in connection with some public funds that the brazen Trokosi Nationalist claimed to have been criminally misappropriated by the former president on a private residence that he had recently renovated. Back then, I vividly recall demanding to have, in return, the salary record of President Jeremiah John Rawlings, the Trokosi Icon and Tin God, between December 31, 1981 and January 1992, in order to forensically prove which of the two leaders was the more ?kleptocratic? and self-righteously ?oafish.? Needless to say, I have yet to be provided the same by this feline-filching societal parasite who now pretends as if Mr. Kufuor, personally, owes him a humongous debt of statesmanship neutrality, thus his rather irreverent expression of ?disappointment? in the former president for simply being himself.


At any rate, it is rather a pity and a damn shame that those who fault Mr. Kufuor for calling Dr. Afari-Gyan by his real name, the one in his proverbial trunk or chop-box, woefully fail to readily recognize the fact that a political scientist worthy of the latter designation is routinely expected to ?sensibly? appreciate something remarkable about electioneering campaign culture in civilized constitutional democracies. In essence, what the former president is impugning here is the Electoral Commissioner?s all-too-facile presumption to insulting the intelligence of the eligible Ghanaian voter, in particular, and the citizenry at large. In sum, short of flagrant mischief, those of us who have studiously followed the professional and ideological career of the Dormaa Ahenkro native, and royal, as we reliably understand him to be, are fully convinced that Dr. Afari-Gyan may well be the finest Ghanaian expert at all things political except democratic governance and the dogged pursuit thereof.


For those of our readers who may not know this, the apparently prematurely grizzled Canadian-trained political scientist is a vintage product of the Nkrumah-minted Convention People?s Party (CPP), and the Hitler-leaning Young Pioneer Movement (YPM). But what is even more significant, is the fact that the man who appointed Dr. Afari-Gyan to his present and long-held post, knew precisely the kind of hatchet job that he expected his minion to perform, against the better judgment and delicate sensibilities of freedom- and democracy-loving Ghanaian citizens, should the occasion and the need so arise. And, of course, that job, that is the real and tacit aspect of it, has anything to do with everything but ?freedom? and ?democracy.?


The fact of the matter is that Dr. Apaak, of the Forum for Governance and Justice, clearly seems to be in perfect agreement with former President Kufuor that, indeed, short of him being rather high on a narcotic contraband to recognize the same, Dr. Afari-Gyan?s decision to inopportunely create 45 more electoral districts, with barely three months to Election 2012, may well be prime tinder for civil strife. What the evidently tone-deaf Electoral Commissioner needs to be told, in no uncertain terms, as it were, is the incontrovertible fact that in the event of him deliberately and unwisely setting the country ablaze with such clearly ill-timed decision, his own house may well be the first port of such infernal call.


It may also be that it is his apparently inveterate antipathy for President Kufuor that sadly prevents Dr. Apaak from recognizing the unmistakable fact of his perfect agreement with the former. On the latter score, that is regarding Dr. Afari-Gyan?s clearly obtuse and insolent decision to raising Ghana?s parliamentary seats just 25 shy of 300, this is what the convener of the so-called Forum for Governance and Justice had to say: ?I disagree because once the districts have been created, you will have situations where there is one Member of Parliament struggling between two districts, and that actually has a much more [sic] higher potential of causing chaos than the Electoral Commission going ahead to create the constituencies.? Dear reader, you be the judge.


*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 ?Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana? (, 2005). E-mail: [email protected].



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