I did not find it necessary but it was quite a teachable moment for President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to underscore the longstanding sociocultural, economic and political bonds between the Akyem and the Ewe when the President recently paid a working tour of the Keta, Anloga and Aflao areas of the Volta Region (See “I’m Not Leading a Tribalistic Govt – Akufo-Addo” ClassFM.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/27/20). Recently, I watched a videoclip that was dispatched to me via WhatsApp by a relative in which some octogenarians and septuagenarians were confessing to the quite well-known fact that during the tenure of former President Jerry John Rawlings, citizens of the aforementioned Ketu-South Constituency and Ketu-North Constituency, as well, liberally and recklessly facilitated the swamping of our National Voters’ Register (NVR) by some of their Togolese relatives during both the Voters’ Registration Exercises and the quadrennial general election season.
The reason that these mature and elderly citizens gave for criminally facilitating the contamination of Ghana’s National Biometric Voters’ Register (NBVR), was simply that Mr. Rawlings was one of their own, a son of the soil, whom it was incumbent upon his Ewe clansmen and women to ensure that Jerry Agbotui hanged onto power come hell or highwater, rain or sunshine, the Dear Reader may choose his/her own pick. But what was even more instructive about what these morbidly “ethnocentric” elderly Ewes had to say was that since the official recession of Mr. Rawlings and his Abongo Boys and Girls of the National Democratic Congress from active national politics, these mature and elderly Ewe-Ghanaian citizens had come to the sobering realization that engaging in the unsavory and morally blind politics of ethnic nationalism had not been very helpful towards the cause of their socioeconomic uplift.
Consequently, these yesteryear’s National Democratic Congress’ passionate partisans had decided to promptly desist from the practice of swamping our National Voters’ Register with their “foreign” relatives and were, instead, actively engaged in discouraging the grossly misguided youths of both the Ketu-North and South constituencies from blindly toeing or hewing to the vacuous ideological propaganda of the National Democratic Congress. Henceforth, these elderly citizens intended to be focused on helping the youth to making savvy and critical political judgments and decisions primarily based on the comparative economic development records of Ghana’s two major political parties, namely, the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party, on the one hand, and the John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress.
So, it was very much in order for Nana Akufo-Addo to highlight some of the all-inclusive projects and policy initiatives that his Administration had implemented or was in the process of implementing in the Ketu-North and South districts of the Volta Region, such as the fee-free Senior High School System, the elevation of Anloga to the full status of an administrative district, and the establishment of several Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutes (TVETs). Nana Akufo-Addo also highlighted the construction of the Keta Landing Beach Project, the Keta Harbor Project, and the € 65 Million Keta Water Supply Project. He then challenged any morally credible critic or political opponent of his government to identify any political party or previous government that had done as much as his government or even better.
On the question of the deployment of soldiers to the border areas of the Volta Region, the former Foreign Minister pointedly observed that this national security operation, deftly executed during the most recent Voters’ Registration Exercise, was not peculiar or restricted to the Volta Region. Rather, it was a nationwide operation that was aimed both at safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era. It is quite obvious that the exceptionally but characteristically vehement protestations by politicians from that region against the deployment of military personnel on Ghana’s border with Togo had more to do with the perennial electoral shenanigans of these predominantly National Democratic Congress’ politicians that have not redounded to the collective benefit of the Voltaians themselves and the rest of the citizenry at large.
These self-proclaimed victims or political repression also conveniently forget that for some twenty protracted years, the Rawlings-Tsikata Diarchy militarized the country and traumatized the Ghanaian citizenry, especially the overtly and deliberately targeted and morally and socially bastardized Akan ethnic majority.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 28, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]