The demand by the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for North-Tongu Constituency, in the Volta Region, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, for a record of expenditure on the President’s most recent two-leg official tour of Johannesburg, South Africa, and Paris, France, has absolutely no basis in historical precedent and ought to be treated with the utmost contempt that it deserves and not be entertained under any circumstances whatsoever. For such demand to be entertained, if at all, as one of relevance and a procedural imperative, Speaker Alban SK Bagbin would have to also demand the travel expenditure records of all the four Fourth-Republican Presidents who preceded Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
You see, we cannot make one set of rules for the four preceding Presidents of Ghana’s Fourth Republic, namely, Messrs. Jerry John Rawlings, late; John Agyekum-Kufuor; John Evans Atta-Mills, late; and John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama and then another for President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. And then a comparative analysis of the number of all the foreign trips undertaken by each and every one of these leaders can be undertaken, factoring into the equation the rate of inflation at the time that such trips were undertaken and, especially, the proportionate and/or relative benefits accrued to the Ghanaian taxpayer from these trips. Short of the preceding, it is blasphemously insolent and downright heretical for a dyed-in-the-wool criminal scofflaw like the North-Tongu NDC-MP to so cavalierly presume to reduce Nana Akufo-Addo, a man who may very well be older than Mr. Ablakwa’s own parents, and much greater in status, to the level of this wet-eared political diaper wearer.
But, of course, this is all the more to be expected. After all, didn’t Monsieur Ablakwa, once upon a time, together with Dr. Edward Kofi Omane-Boamah, imperiously defy a Wood Supreme Court order to return the legitimately acquired real-estate and landed properties of the late Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, at the time the National Chairman of the then main opposition New Patriotic Party? And, of course, what is equally significant to note here is that Mr. Ablakwa, then a deputy minister, was strongly, shamelessly and publicly encouraged to defy the decision of the highest court of the land by then-President John Evans Atta-Mills, an internationally recognized and respected legal scholar and former tax-law professor on the staff of the Faculty of Law at the nation’s oldest and foremost tertiary academy, to wit, the University of Ghana, Legon.
Equally scandalous and hypocritical is the decision by Mr. Vitus Azeem, the retired Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) Executive-Director, that is, the local branch of global good governance and corruption-fighting establishment Transparency International (TI), to staunchly back the North-Tongu National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament in Mr. Ablakwa’s downright malicious and farcical demand for a record of President Akufo-Addo’s most recent travel-abroad expenditure (See “What Is National Security about Telling Ghanaians How Much [was] Spent on Akufo-Addo’s Foreign Travel? – Vitus Azeem to Finance Minister” Modernghana.com 7/21/21). If, indeed, Mr. Azeem sincerely cared about fiscal discipline vis-à-vis presidential travel expenditures, he would be equally demanding the travel expenditures of all Fourth-Republican Presidents who preceded the country’s most efficient, dynamic and visionary leader, relatively speaking, in the postcolonial era.
Not only that, Mr. Azeem would also have since long ago demanded the prompt and rigorous prosecution of the Mahama cabinet appointees, including Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, the NDC’s Parliamentary Minority Leader and Professional Plagiarist, who were caught in the double-salary drawing scam that was gleefully supervised by a hopelessly payola-addicted President John “Akonfem-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama. It is also rather fascinating how all of a sudden, with the historically auspicious accession of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the Presidency, hitherto comatose anti-corruption campaigners like Mr. Azeem appear to have found their antennae for snooping around and ferreting out patchy pockets of what they selectively perceive to be striking examples of rank and insufferable levels of official corruption under the watch of the most transparent and fiscally responsible of all Fourth Republican Ghanaian leaders.
We also need to point out that a politically cynical Mr. Ablakwa got exactly the kind of response that he deserved from Mr. Kenneth Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, who asked the North-Tongu NDC-MP and the Parliamentary Spokesman on Foreign Affairs to consult with Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, the National Security Minister, on the imperative need for Nana Akufo-Addo to use the most efficient and cost-effective means of transportation whenever “The Little Man from Kyebi,” who also doubles as the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has to respond to official duties and commitments abroad.
Maybe somebody needs to seriously caution Mr. Ablakwa against disrespectfully and recklessly crossing the proverbial boundary in his apparently zealous and politically misguided desire to deliberately imperil the life and safety of the President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, perhaps in the grossly mistaken hopes of having his prime benefactor and the hopelessly and incurably incompetent Kwame Gonja returned to the Presidency or Jubilee House, which an equally criminal scofflaw Mr. Mahama prefers to illegally call the Flagstaff House.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 22, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]