View Full Version : Ghanaians Refuse To Be Misled By Pathological Academic Mendacity

8th March 2011, 08:15 AM
For most of her History, Ghana’s Political journey has been largely led by folks with high Academic attainments. Ghanaians have for long been almost subserviently acquiescent to the suggestions and opinions of our leaders with PhDs.

We invariably love to associate with the Dons who project themselves as the sole repository of wisdom, not just Academic knowledge. We love to hear the big words and convoluted high-sounding verbiage, even if we don’t always understand what they really mean. Yes, our little-changed Colonial Educational expectations have something to do with that. I have no qualms with higher Education, at all, please, no one should get me wrong, and flowery use of the tongue is a welcoming mitigation to the otherwise monotonous interpersonal communication landscape. But what I do have much concern about is the growing incessant efforts by many well-educated among us to mislead our folks, and take advantage of our relative shortfall in Academia for their parochial interests.

This concern is aggravated by a concomitant use of such Academic advantage to intimidate and stifle people’s contribution in getting the truth out on all issues. Such is how I constantly see the likes of Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. PhD. behave. It is not out of personal envy of this Professor of Journalism and Creative Writing that I focus on him to exemplify my concern. Rather, it is how I see our Posterity being misled with both History modification and half-baked claims to objectivity that he indulges in, much so often, that bothers me. And the latest thing that triggered this piece from me is Professor Okoampa-Ahoofe’s response to Dr. Dowuona’s Article about the President of Ghana, Dr. Mills.

Dr. Dowuona’s Article alluded to the possibility that the President’s morality might get him to be preferred to his opponents in the next Presidential Elections in 2012. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe’s response to that Article is entitled: “Election 2012 Is About Competence and Results-Oriented Leadership”, and appeared on Ghanaweb.com on March 14, 2011. The said Article by the Board member of the Danquah Institute, Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., however, turned out to be just another lecture of his half-truths, in spite of the indisputability of its deceptively benign caption.

There is no doubt that leadership qualities that produce positive, progressive results are what the People of Ghana love most to have in a Presidency. However, while divinely inspired morality alone may not necessarily translate into an embodiment of all the other qualities expected in a leader, no sane Ghanaian would, knowingly, advocate for a criminal or anyone with Publicly deeply tainted character to be our President. Most people believe in pragmatism. That pragmatism encompasses the expectation that a leader would not be a bed-fellow of the Devil's. That pragmatism requires all our Presidential candidates to have an acceptable mix of leadership qualities capable of producing positive results within reasonable time frame, and underlain by high enough morality that majority of the people could find acceptable.

The acceptability of a potential leader's morality is predicated upon the fact that we, all, are fallible but, generally, have a line drawn in the sand as to what level of morality a Presidential candidate must not fall below. This is just simple commonsense. Just like the late US Supreme Court Associate Justice, Potter Stewart, once said about Pornography that: it might be difficult to define hard-core Pornography, but he knew it when he saw it, so can most Ghanaians know immorality when they see it, even if it were difficult to set its limitations in writing. I don't think Professor Okoampa-Ahoofe had to make this any complicated by groping all over the place to find remotely related issues to deny the obvious.

So, if anyone cites morality as being a determining factor in our impending Elections, like Dr. Dowuona did, what ought to be wisely inferred from such an assertion is that the other leadership qualities of the contestants might have been presumed to be almost at par, and that the question of a candidate's morality might help that candidate carry the day.

If Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe had argued that his favorite candidate, or any other candidate, for that matter, commanded a higher combined tally than the President’s for morality and results-churning qualities, and deserves to be elected over the President, that would have sufficed for a more reasonable argument. I think Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe seemed to have recognized that fact earlier in his piece. But his ensuing tirade portrayed him to be weakening his grip on that compelling stance, even abandoning it for the woeful insinuation that any criminal with great result-producing talent could be chosen by the People of Ghana for a President.

I would like to remind the Professor of Fiction Writing that even the USA's FBI does acknowledge the exceptional organizational and results-producing efforts of the Mafia in New York and elsewhere around the States. But no one in their right mind would suggest any of the Godfathers for a President in the USA. If we zone in to the governance of a Nation, and Ghana in particular, the qualities most people would like to see include those that unify the People and publicly speak against Drugs and Violence of all kinds, including Political thuggery, without inciting one Ethnicity against another. We don’t live on empty promises. We don’t live on the Pastor’s Sermon that assures his or her faithfuls’ any Manna from Heaven. But we, also, don’t foolishly put our necks in a noose whose ensnaring vestige is an experiential knowledge from past incidents or performance.

Unfortunately, once again, Okoampa Ahoofe is seen here as taking a cheap swipe at Dr. Dowuona because the former is peeved by the perceived implication in the latter’s piece that President Mills’ relatively higher morals would attract more votes to help him outrun his opponents. Okoampa-Ahoofe couldn't be more angered by the fact that Dr. Dowuona happens to be a member of CPP (a pro-Nkrumah), the Party most hated by the Danquah Institute.

It is most irresistibly risible, downright comical, to notice how Okoampa-Ahoofe laments over someone's "Tribalization" of issues but conveniently, knavishly keeps mute over the "Tribalization" of Akufo Addo's response to insane thuggery that some NDC supporters had been perpetrating against NPP supporters, lately.

Meanwhile, how could the Fiction-Writing Professor not remember similar sycophantic savagery that NPP supporters were reported to have inflicted upon NDC supporters in the era of NPP's control of the Government. An example is the case at Begoro in 2008, when NPP thugs chased NDC supporters with Cutlasses and Clubs. (Ref. : NPP members attack NDC sympathizers Begoro (E/R), Nov. 14, GNA). My reference to the NPP part in this primitive, objectionable, criminal Politicking does not emanate from any justification of NDC's vindictiveness but rather from the standpoint of fairness in apportioning blame and seeking a wise approach to admonish both sides to desist from hiding behind their affiliation with the Government in Power to attack the other.

Both NPP and NDC have indulged in violent, criminal attacks that never came to be prosecuted. Both are still precipitously poised to inflict similar atrocious acts on each other, with the slightest excuse. This is what Ghanaians must fully appreciate and denounce in no uncertain terms. None of these violent actions is justifiable because it is perpetrated by one side or the other. Period!!! It is, also, one thing having a National leader decrying such violence, and another thing inciting his or her side to take to Arms to fight back without exhausting all available legal means to curb the trend. It is even worse to carve any objection to the brutish violence in Tribal terms as if NDC is synonymous with non-Akans and NPP is of strictly Akan membership.

Unless the majority of Ghanaians are missing something, which might be that there is some preponderant evidence that such Political violence has been perpetrated by ONLY non-Akan NDC elements on ONLY Akan membership in NPP, there is no justification whatsoever for any peaceful-minded, "unifying" leader to resort to instigating for Tribal violence as Akufo Addo did. No amount of expatiation in the most loquacious oratory, delivered in the most exquisite Queen's obscure English vocabulary can justify the error Akufo Addo made with that "Tribalization" of his presumed protest to the Political violence against NPP supporters. His breast-thumbing, stentorian call to Akans to rise up in Arms against non-Akans is simply inexcusable, and reasonably hints at his desperation to win back some lost grounds in the likability arena. This last suggestion makes more sense if one were to notice how soon that "Tribalization" warning to non-Akans came at the heels of Akufo Addo's disappointing wandering into "sexcapades", when eulogizing the deceased Lady MP friend of his—the incident many have duped as “Bottomscape”.

We don't anymore live in the era when the employment of sheer brawn for the sake of showing machismo was necessary to prove leadership qualities. We live in an era where ideas are given the most attention for choosing our leaders. There may be few among us who think otherwise. But those eventually tend to be the losers.

If Okoampa-Ahoofe thinks his uncle, Akufo Addo, has the requisite moral strength to lead the Nation, he only has to convince us of that. He has to lay his moral credentials alongside those of the contestants for the Presidency who are insinuating their morals give them an edge over Akufo Addo. But to posture that morals are somehow second to the ability to produce results, no matter how illicitly the leaders achieve those results or how their dubious character creates difficulties for the Nation in our dealings with the outside World, is definitely an irresponsible error, at best, and at worst, a subtle entreaty for the Citizenry to overlook any dangerous character flaws in a candidate.

Ghanaians do not want stolen monies!! Ghanaians are not foolish to vote for criminals who might taint the National image of our Country and serve as bad role models for our Posterity. Ghanaians do not want our Nation be seen as a haven for Drug Lords. Ghanaians do not want a leader who would rather have us kill each other under the delusional guise of any illusive Tribal superiority. Yes, we need results-oriented leadership. But we do not want leadership steeped in criminality, even if some of us might be dubiously gaining material growth from such leadership.

Ghana needs a leader who would be bold to be fair, not boastful of some atrophied Tribal glory. Ghana needs a leader who would tell us the truth and not hide behind Partisanship to cover up crimes and criminals. Ghana needs a leader who would be guided by morals even as he/she exercises other leadership qualities to produce results, including keeping us all safe and prospering, as much as our individual legal performances would allow.

Morality underscores the urge in any leader to curb Corruption among us, especially his or her team of Officials leading us. It is the adequate sense of morality in us that empowers us to view Fraud, Corruption, Bigotry and Violence in our Politics as unacceptable and deserving of any leader’s utmost effort to eschew from our system. We don’t hear Akufo Addo, one-time Attorney General, advocating for a vibrant anti-Corruption campaign. And that alone makes many Ghanaians deeply doubt the results that Okoampa-Ahoofe envisages that his uncle, Akufo Addo, would be capable of achieving for all Ghanaians. Any President’s lack of acceptable morals would not produce the right set of results for the Nation.

Okoampa-Ahoofe might be more worried by others' "Okraman Ahobrase" (Canine Humility), but most Ghanaians are more principled and being guided by the adage "Din pa ye sen ahonya" (Good Reputation is preferable to Wealth), especially ill-gotten Wealth, when that Wealth is set against our Nation's Reputation. We better live in our humble poverty, than be blacklisted as a Cocaine trafficking Country, for example.

Long Live Ghana!!!

Source: Berko, G. K