“Hate-Speech” Is Protected Speech, Mr. President!
4/18/2012 5:52:26 PM -
The publishers of 'The Ewe Apologist' newspaper, otherwise called 'The True Statesman' and its readers may not know this, but in the most civilized and functional of democracies, hate-speech is constitutionally protected (See 'Kill All Ewes in the Ashanti Region' Ghanaweb.com 4/16/12). I intend to fully address the purported cause of the widely reported arrest of the vocal Member of Parliament for Assin-North, in the Central Region, Mr. Kennedy Agyepong, by operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), in due course. In the meantime, however, it is imperative to point out that as despicable as his alleged call for all citizens of Ewe descent resident in the Ashanti Region to be killed may aptly be deemed as such, nevertheless, constitutionally speaking, Mr. Agyepong's hate-filled speech, coming from a bona fide Ghanaian citizen and a member of our august National Assembly who ought to know far better, is no less protected than the publicly expressed animosity towards Ghanaians of Akan descent by such leading Ewe nationalists as former President Jerry John Rawlings and Professor Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor and Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome in recent times.
And on the preceding score must also be promptly added the name of Justice Kpegah, who recently intimated in a talk-radio program that the electoral victory of any presidential candidate who does not take his marching orders from the Anlo-Ewe Mafia would dangerously position the country on the brink of a civil war. What needs to be addressed, presently, is not the admirably bold and courageous reaction of Mr. Agyepong to the raging onslaught of anti-Akan violence which is being largely engineered by officially placed Ewe members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) like Lt.-Col. Gbevlo-Lartey and their non-Ewe ideological fellow travelers and sympathizers, but the apparently flagrant complicity of President John Evans Atta-Mills in the wanton unleashing of such wave of violence against members of the president's own Akan ethnic majority, largely members of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, in obvious hopes of gaining undeserved electoral mileage in the lead-up to Election 2012.
So far, not only has President Mills shamefully demonstrated his abject lack of enviable leadership skills, but it also eerily appears that the former arch-lieutenant to the now-estranged Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings has capriciously decided to use the otherwise enlightening occasion of the biometric registration of eligible Ghanaian voters, to launch a massive and deftly orchestrated season of inexorable mayhem against his most formidable political opponents. And so, perhaps, it is about time that somebody apprised President Mills, as well as his equally Machiavellian 'vice,' Mr. John Dramani Mahama, of the fact that some 14 million Ghanaians of Akan descent (the figure may well be higher) are hell-bent on ensuring that the country's robust democratic culture is not flagrantly aborted by the characteristic appropriation of intimidation and the wanton savaging of Ghanaians who firmly believe that the time has arrived for the neo-fascist NDC juggernaut to be permanently retired from the national political landscape come December 2012.
In other words, what those of us whose ancestors and relatives led both the epic anti-colonial and post-colonial struggles, and paid the ultimate price in order to guarantee the salutary restoration of democratic governance from the odious neo-fascist regime of the Nkrumah-led Convention People's Party (CPP) are saying, in no uncertain terms, is that, even as Mr. Rawlings rather 'perspicuously' counseled his former mentee and protégé, in the wake of Election 2008, for the dastardly arrest of the likes of Messrs. Kennedy Agyepong and Yaw Buaben Asamoa to 'catch' or gain traction, the Mills-Mahama government may have to import at least 14 million handcuffs and make sure that every Ghanaian of Akan descent is put under lock and key in the lead-up to Election 2012, else, as I observed several days ago, the storm that is about to capture the otherwise placid and cloudless Ghanaian political firmament would dwarf the grisly spectacles of Rwanda, Congo, Liberia and Cambodia into epic insignificance. We all also need to remember that the Anlo-Ewe Mafia has yet to fully answer for the systematically orchestrated assassination of the three Akan Supreme Court judges and the retired Ghana Army major, among a host of other disappeared and unaccounted for Ghanaian citizens of diverse ethnic affiliations.
And let no one be fooled by the clinically unconscionable publishers of 'The Ewe Apologist' newspaper into thinking that the looming crisis on the national political horizon is either parochially or even remotely about the 'NDC World Bank' accolade of the Voltaic/Voltaian voters. Nothing could be so criminally farther from the truth; and, after all, hasn't the Asante Region also been dubbed the 'NPP World Bank'? Rather, what the civilized world is presently witnessing is the bold and courageous attempt by members of the most democratic and enlightened political party in Ghana to let electoral justice and equity become the watchwords of the country's young, albeit ebullient and salutary, democratic culture.
But that the Anlo-Ewe nationalists have, by their pathological, systematic and perennial appeal to the basest instincts of humanity converted the entire Volta Region into a virtual one-party region and a law unto itself, is incontrovertibly the argument at heart of the current political crisis. And, indeed, should the tribal-nationalist leaders of the Volta Region continue to viciously deny active political and electoral participation to our Ewe-Akan kinsfolk, and other non-NDC-inclined eligible voters their bounden and inalienable right to voting for any political party of their choice other than the ruling National Democratic Congress, we the Akan ethnic majority of Ghana and our non-Anlo-Ewe allies will make certain that electoral returns from the Volta Region, as well as other deliberately undemocratic and ungovernable constituencies in the country would not count towards both the election of Ghana's next president and parliamentary representatives from the suspect areas. We shall also ensure, this time around, that no tainted parliamentarian from the Volta Region gets seated in the country's august National Assembly come January 2013!
*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 'Danquah v. Nkrumah: In the Words of Mahoney.' E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.