By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I can understand Mr. Julius Debrah, the newly named Presidential Chief-of-Staff, going to bat for his boss, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, in the matter regarding Prof. Kwesi Yankah’s quite bold and righteous assertion that the Flagstaff House has become an unhealthy haven for covering up the gross and culpable misdeeds of cabinet appointees who come under investigations. But when the batman is Alhaji Rashid Pelpuo, the Minister of State in charge of Public-Private Partnerships, then one is at a loss and forced to wonder about the extent of administrative dysfunction prevailing at the Flagstaff House (See “I Appreciate Prof. Yankah’s Claims, But… – Rashid Pelpuo” Adomonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 5/3/15).
Of course, nobody expects any key player on Mr. Mahama’s staff to approve of the reflective and well-measured observations of the Central University College president, particularly when such observations do not put the government in a flattering light. From what I have been able to glean from the media so far, Prof. Yankah appears to have amply substantiated his observations with striking examples for any critic to be able to logically hold him up to scorn or ridicule. What makes the situation rather interesting regards the number of high-powered officials feeling the need to promptly and vehemently parry off Prof. Yankah’s criticism.
That the former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana has touched a raw nerve cannot be gainsaid. It also well appears that Prof. Yankah has made an already jittery Flagstaff House even more nervous. It is almost as if the renowned liguistician were calling for the immediate ouster of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government, which no one really needs to do at this time, since the opportunity for doing so will in less than two years hence be presented to all eligible Ghanaian voters.
If Alhaji Pelpuo is sincere about not fully appreciating the unmistakable import of Prof. Yankah’s observaton, then clearly the former Sports Minister under the late President John Evans Atta-Mills has absolutely no business holding any public office, much less the high office of a cabinet operative. Indeed, Mr. Pelpuo himself may have a lot of questions to answer, in particular regarding the decision of President Mills to summarily boot him out of the Sports Ministry while Mr. Pelpuo was on an assignment with our senior national soccer team, the Black Stars. Or is this just a classical case of old bones rattling at the mere mention of death?
And just why does Alhaji Pelpuo suppose that Prof. Yankah would have done far better to have simply clammed up and pretended that all was well with both government and country? It is also insufferably arrogant for Alhaji Pelpuo to suppose that responsible and intelligent Ghanaians like the Central University College president would defer to the cynical pronouncements of the Mahama government, when it comes to dealing with such sensitive national issue as rank corruption at the highest echelons of our leadership. Dear reader, take this reading from Alhaji Pelpo: “If an NDC government is trying as much as they can to curb the menace called corruption, what again are we not doing?”
Is this Pelpuo guy serious? I mean, here we are with a government about 80-percent of whose deputy cabinet appointees are graduate stdents, and Mr. Pelpuo wants Ghanaians to believe that this is the best that the Mahama government can boast of by way of running an efficient governmental machinery! I have my own ideas about why Prof. Yankah appears to be such a razor-sharp thorn in the side of the Flagstaff House, but I prefer to reserve it for use in a future installment of this article. Meanwhile, suffice it to say, at least glancingly, that Prof. Yankah ought to be heartily congratulated and encouraged at the same time to pack more heat under the cushy seat of President Mahama and his legion associates of political scam-artists next time.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York