05.09.2020 Feature Article

Like Sam George, Like Nii Lante

Like Sam George, Like Nii Lante
LISTEN SEP 5, 2020

I was not the least bit flabbergasted to learn about the physical assault allegedly unleashed on Mr. Edwin Nii Lante Vnederpuye, the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for the Odododiodio Constituency, in Central Accra, by some personnel alleged to be operatives of the National Security Secretariat (NSS) or National Security Agency (NSA), whichever the reader deems to be the most valid or appropriate designation. We are also informed that the alleged assault took place in front of the James Town Police Station, where the former Sports Minister and Deputy Local Government and Rural Development Minister had reportedly gone to bail an arrested journalist whom Mr. Vanderpuye had allegedly rented or hired to take pictures of his purported development-project achievements in his constituency, presumably to use as his reelection campaign material (See “Photo: Nii Lante Vanderpuye Allegedly Assaulted” 9/1/20).

I was not the least bit flabbergasted because Nii Lante Vanderpuye is not known to be a disciplined or a decent politician. He is arguably the most violent among the National Democratic Congress’ Members of Parliament, with the possible exception of the Ningo-Prampram Member of Parliament, Mr. Samuel George Nartey (aka Sam George), the former John “Airbus-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama Presidential Staffer who recently attempted to stop a workshop scheduled for the preparatory orientation and training of Electoral Commission (EC) supervisors and staffers in the leadup to the commencement of the Voter Registration Exercise at a hotel in Mr. Nartey’s Prampram constituency.

But what I really wanted to highlight here is the illegal riding by Mr. Nartey at the head of some dozen, or so, armed motorbike goons unleashed by the operatives of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress to terrorize voters during the Ayawaso-West-Wuogon Byelection a little over a year ago. On that occasion, as well, Mr. Nartey was alleged to have verbally assaulted an officer of the National Security Agency by the uncouth spewing of ethnic slurs and been promptly disciplined with a couple of dirty slaps by his target of abuse. The rather strange thing here is that the members of the Short Commission, charged with investigating the Ayawaso byelection hostilities and make recommendations to President Akufo-Addo, had called for the verbally denigrated NSA official to be severely disciplined, possibly by being promptly fired from his job.

Thankfully, Jubilee House rightfully saw through this travesty and ignored such gratuitous recommendation which, by the way, was clearly largely based on the social and political status of the alleged “victim of instant discipline” rather than purely on the merits of what had actually precipitated the verbal confrontation and logical physical assault. Which is why I have been slow and cautious to comment on the alleged assault on Mr. Vanderpuye. It is quite highly likely that Mr. Vanderpuye’s alleged assault at the James Town Police Station by a dozen, or so, agents from the National Security Secretariat was personally invited by an act of insufferable provocation, the details of which need to be first sorted out before any reliable or definitive conclusions can be reached.

In the meantime, we also need to highlight the fact that Nii Lante Vanderpuye was widely alleged to be the mastermind behind the brutal physical assault on Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the ruling New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Ablekuma-West, in the Greater-Accra Region, on the crudely nativistic grounds that the assault victim had crossed geographical and/or constituency lines to “illegally” campaign for a fellow parliamentary candidate of the New Patriotic Party, who was fiercely contesting an opponent in the same constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress. Even worse was Mr. Vanderpuye’s assertion that Akan-descended bona fide Ghanaian citizens and longtime residents of the Greater-Accra Metropolis, had absolutely no constitutional right to run for office or Parliament from any of the constituencies within the geographical confines of the Greater-Accra Region.

In essence, this is the unsavory and politically divisive personality and character profile of the man who deservedly got put in his place by the operatives of our National Security Secretariat at the James Town Police Office some 24 hours ago, as of this writing. It is also not clear to me what the anonymous rented journalist was doing this late in the electioneering campaign game taking pictures for the MP who, during the last parliamentary election, stood in the way of dredgers sent to the Chorkor-Mamprobi area of the Accra littoral to both desilt the Odaw River and demolish illegal residential shacks and structures erected in the bed and flood plains of the Odaw River, as I vividly recall. The measure was to significantly reduce the high incidence of deadly flooding in the Greater-Accra Metropolis.

For the man who egocentrically and smugly supervised the open defecation on our beaches and in our city streets and gutters, as Deputy Local Government and Rural Development Minister, getting re-elected to Parliament and securing the perks and privileges that came with the same was far more important than the health and safety of his constituents.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

September 3, 2020

E-mail: [email protected]

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