In the most recent diplomatic impasse that erupted between Ghana and Nigeria, as I vividly recall, the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for North-Tongu Constituency, in the Volta Region, wanted to sweep matters under the proverbial rug or carpet and fatuously pretend that Ghana was to blame, obviously because Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa was blissfully ignorant about many of the admittedly easily resolvable problems that have characterized and/or mutually impacted the two most significant national economies in the West-African Subregion. It had to take our learned Information Minister, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, to instructively enlighten the former Deputy Education Minister, under the previous John Dramani Mahama regime, about the fact that the Nigerians had given Ghanaians a lot of grief and very painful experiences in the course of our long historical relationship with our Nigerian brothers and sisters.
For the most part, it is us, Ghanaians, who have been the more tolerant. But, of course, we all know that Mr. Ablakwa’s deliberately, if also farcically, staged conciliatory attitude towards the Nigerians was squarely predicated on the fact of the leadership of his own party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) having made a governance avocation of shamelessly, recklessly and scandalously soliciting payolas from the Nigerians, including the $ 5 Million (USD) that the Founding-Father of the National Democratic Congress, the late former President Jerry John Rawlings, publicly confessed to having taken, actually extorted, from Nigeria’s Gen. Sani Abacha, late, in the late 1990s.
Now, we have Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa making the banner news headlines again for all the wrong reasons, primarily because some of his colleagues from the minority of aisle of Parliament just a couple of days ago, as of this writing, voted by consensus to approve the President’s renomination of Ghana’s finest Fourth-Republican Finance Minister, against the vehement protestation of the wet-eared rambunctious political upstarts that Chairman Rawlings once bitterly described as the “Babies with Sharp Teeth,” or political novices who were much too infatuated with their own false sense of self-importance that they would not harken to the good and wise counsel of their far more experienced and intelligent colleagues and associates among the vanguard ranks of the main opposition National Democratic Congress.
One of Mr. Ablakwa’s colleagues from among the ranks of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Alexander Afenyo Markin, put it rather poignantly and shrewdly, when the Effutu Constituency’s legislator, from Winneba, in the Central Region, noted that in so impetuously and jejunely breaking ranks and resigning from the Parliamentary Appointments Committee (PAC), Mr. Ablakwa was fast sealing off his chances of becoming the leader of his party’s parliamentary caucus in the near future (See “Ablakwa’s Decision to Resign from Appointments Committee a Miscalculation – Afenyo Markin” Modernghana.com 4/1/21).
Mr. Markin is absolutely right in his assessment because in throwing the sort of tantrum that Mr. Ablakwa threw shortly after the unanimous vetting approval of Mr. Ofori-Atta, as Ghana’s longest-serving Finance Minister under a democratic dispensation, a portfolio in which the latter has already creditably acquitted himself over the course of the last four years, the North-Tongu NDC-MP has scandalously demonstrated that he abjectly lacks the requisite capacity and psychological and emotional maturity and poise that it takes to become a trusted and reliable team player of the sort of progressive parliamentary political culture that the country has remarkably built and was fast, laudably and assiduously improving by the day.
In the well-calibrated opinion of Mr. Markin or Afenyo Markin, the sort of myopic and parochial principles that Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa claims to override his imperative need for building and forging legislative consensus for the healthy development of Fourth-Republican Ghanaian Democracy, also clearly makes Mr. Ablakwa a personality that woefully lacks the ideal profile of a progressive Ghanaian legislator of the sort direly needed for the kind of good governance most needed in our time. Equally clear is the fact that with the massive approval of the long-anticipated reappointment of Mr. Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister, the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress despondently realize any chance of a Jubilee House comeback to have fast and significantly diminished. This clearly appears to be the foremost worry of the likes of the Okudzeto-Ablakwas and the desperate megalomaniacs of the John “Akonfem-SADA” Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress. It is, of course, something that Mr. Ablakwa and his ilk can do a diddly little about.
On the other hand, NDC leaders like Messrs. Haruna Iddrisu and Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka are shrewdly pragmatic enough to realize that their best chance for garnering public sympathy and political relevance and even clout, is to be seen by Ghanaian citizens and eligible voters as being statesmanlike and supportive of the progressive and visionary government of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, unarguably the finest President of Fourth-Republican Ghana, so far, at least.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
April 3, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]