He says “Ghanaians” like everybody else. But when it comes to the citizens and residents of the Volta Region, Candidate John Dramani Mahama calls them “Voltarians” instead of smarter and more linguistically logical “Voltaians” or Voltaic /Voltaics, as a Francophone African would say the same (See “Voter Registration: Mahama Accuses Akufo-Addo of ‘Ethnic Discrimination’” Modernghana.com 8/1/20). The man who once stood at the center of the Tamale municipality, in the leadup to the 2016 Presidential Election, and asked all northern-descended eligible Ghanaian voters not to vote for “Kabonga” now has the nerve to accuse the man who seismically defeated him at the polls with more than One-Million Votes of being an ethnic chauvinist.
You know, Dear Reader, “Kabonga” means any non-northern-descended Ghanaian citizen. It has a more derogatory meaning than the term “Ntafo” – people who walk/travel in pairs – or “Opepeni” or “Mpepefo,” day laborers who migrate Down-South during the dry season, usually around December and January, looking for work. “Obepe Adwuma Ope Bereso.” “Kabonga,” on the other hand, means an uncircumcised and an uncivilized person. So, when in 2016, the then-incumbent President John Dramani Mahama stood at the center of Tamale, the largest city in the North, and smugly and haughtily declared, “Don’t Vote for Kabonga,” the Gonja native from the Akufo-Addo-created Savannah Region meant wholesale that absolutely no Non-Pepe Ghanaian citizen deserved to be voted for by an “Otani” or “Opepeni.”
If such crassly arrogant exhibition of anti-Akan chauvinism – even as publicly and sorrowfully attested by former Second-Lady, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, at her state-sponsored funeral – is not inexcusably discriminatory, somebody tell me, what else is it? The legion videotapes and audiotapes are there for all to readily access the same, so there is no need for me to revisit the irredeemably political criminality of the leaders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who have been routinely using Ewe-Voltaians – by the way, there are more Akans resident in the Volta Region than there are Gonjas – to swamp the country with Ewe-descended non-Ghanaian citizens, largely from Togo, to corrupt and bloat our National Voters’ Register (NVR) so as to enable the morally reprobate likes of Messrs. John Dramani Mahama and, in the past, John Evans Atta-Mills, late, win the presidency without breaking a drop of sweat or working hard to clinch the same.
Naturally, one expects prime beneficiaries of Voter Register Nullification (VRN) like the Savannah native to cry foul about the salutary deployment of security agents from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) detailed to defend the civil and national integrity of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana. Candidate Mahama has every right to voluntarily renounce his Ghanaian citizenship and opt to live with Mr. Faure Gnassingbe in Togo and leave the rest of us in peace. And if he so decides, it would be a copacetic idea if Candidate Mahama takes his equally nation-wrecking Presidential Running-Mate, Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, along with him. In her inaugural outdooring address to the nation, the former Mahama-appointed Education Minister fatuously declared that since Ghana’s national boundaries were originally demarcated by European colonialists, it made imperative sense for our national security personnel to be thoroughly withdrawn from our territorial boundaries, so that nationals from Ghana’s neighboring countries could freely barge into our country to exercise their inalienable franchise.
This is the woman who saw absolutely nothing evil, when former First Lady Lordina Mahama was collusively facilitating the demonization and summary lynching of elderly women in the North, by building “Witch Villages” and segregated settlements for these bona fide Ghanaian citizens whose sole crime was having contracted such age-related diseases as acute dementia and Alzheimer’s, among a plethora of others. One wonders, even as Mr. Sekou Nkrumah recently did, if any palpable benefits ever accrued to the ordinary Ghanaian from the great government-subsidized education of Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the former Education Minister, who callously withdrew the long-established Teacher-Trainee Allowance. Very likely, a diddly little. Or maybe this was also one of the Montie-Trio type of “clemency” or humanitarian gestures that were aimed at making our Teacher Trainees learn how to lift up themselves by their proverbial bootstraps, while the Mahama cabinet appointees took home double salaries for absolutely no remarkable work done towards the quality-of-life uplift of the Ghanaian people?
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 1, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]