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30.11.2021 Feature Article

What Has Been Really Revealed

What Has Been Really Revealed
30.11.2021 LISTEN

Following the 2020 General Election, during which the country’s main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), came within the proverbial skin of a tooth to taking over the majority of parliamentary seats in our National Assembly, the party’s Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Kumasi-Asawase Constituency, soberly let on to the rest of the country that the one great weakness of the movers-and-shakers of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), was that the latter political establishment was cursed with a leadership that was woefully bereft of viable consultative and managerial skills. Mr. Muntaka did not specifically use the verbal noun of “curse,” but it was strongly and unmistakably implied.

The Asawase NDC-MP highlighted the fact that while it was inescapably obvious, heading towards the election of the Speaker of Parliament, that his side of the parliamentary aisle did not have the numbers to shoo-in Mr. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the NDC stalwart who eventually got the nod, nevertheless, they knew that forging the strategic path of consulting with their colleagues across the aisle was likely to deliver the choicest parts of the veal on a diamond platter for them. Which, it goes without saying, it definitely did. But what was even more significant, the Asawase NDC-MP pointed out, was that in Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the NPP’s Parliamentary Majority Leader, they had a man who seriously lacked the sort of gravitas that would have made their work next to impossible. Mr. Muntaka also wistfully recalled the fact that during the break-neck battle for the virtual tossup election of the Speaker of Parliament, not once did Mr. Mensah-Bonsu reach out to any of the leaders of the main opposition National Democratic Congress to solicit any collaborative assistance.

In sum, what Mr. Muntaka clearly meant by the foregoing was that the Parliamentary Majority Leader scandalously lacked the requisite diplomatic skills for the job. Even more disturbing, Mr. Muntaka told Ms. Dzifa Bampoe, the locally renowned broadcast journalist, that he was well aware of the fact that not once had the Parliamentary Affairs Minister called a meeting of the members of his own party to strategize on how to retain the Parliamentary Speakership. We see the same problem with the otherwise highly unlikely rejection of the 2022 Budgetary Statement prepared and presented to Parliament on November 17 Instant (See “Revealed: The Three Concessions Bagbin ‘Stopped’ Ofori-Atta from Presenting” Ghanaweb.com 11/28/21). I have said times without number that just as it is widely alleged that it was curiosity, or rather excessive curiosity, that killed the cat, in the tragicomic case of the leadership of the New Patriotic Party, it was the woeful lack of viable diplomatic and consultative skills that effectively ensured that even with a clear, albeit a slim, majority of just one vote, the New Patriotic Party would still lose the very powerful and strategic post of Parliamentary Speaker.

Already, some “amateur,” that is, absolutely voluntary, pundits who have been staunchly supportive of the New Patriotic Party have indicated with wistful reluctance that they have no intention of writing or rallying in support of the party in the leadup to the 2024 General Election. They are not saying this in plain language, but it is pretty obvious that these pundits have had enough of either being cavalierly taken for granted or being woefully and totally underappreciated. What is most significant to highlight here, though, is the fact that if he had not been inadvisably cavalier in his working relationship with the Energy Minister, the Finance Minister, that is, Mr. Kenneth Ofori-Atta, would have since long hashed out any kinks that had to do with the Aker Energy Agreement well in advance of his plenary presentation of the 2022 Budgetary Statement before the august House of Parliament.

As well, the issue related to the Blekusu Sea Defense Wall would have been resolved well before Mr. Ofori-Atta’s admittedly masterful presentation to the House. But you see, Dear Reader, “Masterful Presentations” are one thing altogether and the practical reality completely another. I shall shortly come to this aspect of the grotesque parliamentary circus act that supposedly culminated with the rejection of the 2022 Budgetary Statement by slightly less than 50-percent of the parliamentary membership. It is a grotesque act because this is decidedly antithetical to the operations of a civilized and functional constitutional democracy. I bet my proverbial bottom-dollar that even the 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress, namely, Mr. John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama, would have flatly rejected this kind of Apartheid-type democracy, where it is actually the Parliamentary Minority, and not the Parliamentary Majority, that carries the vote.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

November 28, 2021

E-mail: [email protected]

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