It is absolutely much ado about nothing! I am referring to the news report captioned “Accra FM Reporter Hits Hard at Dan Kwaku Yeboah Over Astroturf Claims by NPP Government” (Ghanaweb.com 9/17/23), in which an Accra-based radio news reporter by the name of Nana Ama Agyarko was reported to have caustically lambasted popular sportscaster Daniel Kwaku Yeboah, for “inaccurately” commending the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for having constructed more state-of-the-art astroturf facilities in the country than the previous Mills-Mahama-led tandem government of the populist and faux socialist National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Actually, the implicit observation by the Head of the Sports Department at the Despite Media Communications Network, corporate parent of Peace-FM radio, was that the present Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party government has done far more to develop and promote sporting activities in Ghana than any of the four previous Fourth-Republican governments. Now, the main problem for Nana Ama Agyarko, presumably, a staunch supporter and/or sympathizer of the John “Ford Expedition Payola” Dramani Mahama-led main opposition National Democratic Congress, is that Kwaku Yeboah has, somehow, wildly exaggerated the exact number of astroturf facilities in the country that were or have been developed under the two-term tenure of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Evidently, Kwaku Yeboah had gone on-air earlier on to claim that the government of the New Patriotic Party had constructed about 150 astroturf facilities in the seven years, so far, that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Administration had been occupying the helm of our national affairs. According to Nana Ama Nyarko, on the other hand, a brochure published by the Office of Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia lists approximately 80 astroturf facilities or just over half of the figure given the general public by the popular Peace-FM sportscaster. Now, what is significant to highlight here is that Kwaku Yeboah’s point still makes perfect sense, when one also recognizes the fact that by the end of the tenure of the twice-defeated, one-term former President John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama, in 2016 or January 2017, a negligible number of only three (3) astroturf facilities were in existence in the entire country, a figure that Nana Ama Agyarko does not dispute.
Now, in the afore-referenced news report on which the present column is based, we are not informed about precisely where these three Mahama-constructed astroturf facilities are located in the country. But, nonetheless, the import of Kwaku Yeboah’s argument is all too loud and clear to allow any room for argument with this generously talented and inimitably comedic sportscaster, as South Africa’s immortalized literary artist and Nobel Literature Prize Laureate Ms. Nadine Gordimer once said about Nigeria’s globally renowned novelist, essayist, thinker and educator equally immortalized Mr. Chinua Achebe, Yours Sincerely’s old City College of New York’s African Literature Professor. In simple terms, all that Mr. Kwaku Yeboah is implying here is that when it comes to the serious development of sporting activities in the country, especially Association Football, the present Akufo-Addo Administration has absolutely no rival or competitor among any of the four previous Fourth-Republican governments.
Nana Ama Agyarko did not really need to nitpick by perusing the brochure titled “Bawumia Outlines 100+ Achievements of the NPP” to arrive at the quite obvious and patently pedestrian conclusion that in terms of sports development in the country, the present Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Administration has absolutely “no classmate” in the postcolonial history of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana. Indeed, not much would change, even if it turns out that, indeed, under the seven-year-old Akufo-Addo/Bawumia-led New Patriotic Party government, 80 astroturf facilities have, so far, been constructed around the country and not 150 astroturf facilities, as allegedly claimed by the Despite Media sportscaster. The incontrovertible message here is loud and clear. And it is that in the runup to the watershed and the epochal 2024 General Election, all patriotic and progressive-thinking Ghanaian citizens and voters will be better off retaining the New Patriotic Party at Jubilee House, warts and all, rather than unwisely risking a return of the Mahama-led “Dumsoristic” economy demolition squad of the National Democratic Congress, the very same kleptocratic gang of robber-barons that criminally and genocidally caused the total destruction of the Kwame Nkrumah-established Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC) in the 1990s.
Indeed, if any newscaster or media operative has a good reason to be ashamed of peddling lies and whole cloths of agitprop mendacities, it is definitely Nana Ama Agyarko who looks and sounds more like the woman in the mirror in front of her and not Mr. Dan Kwaku Yeboah, who has an inimitable penchant for telling it as it veritably is, in the memorable and the immortalized words of African American human and civil rights spearhead and slain Muslim Minister Malcolm X. As well, the fact that most of the astroturf facilities in the country are privately owned and operated or regularly rented out for the use of needy soccer teams or clubs is decidedly beside the point here. What matters most here is the fact that it was the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Administration that created a conducive entrepreneurial climate for the construction of such historically unprecedented number of astroturf facilities as presently exists under the watch of President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Bawumia.
In other words, creating a hospitable climate or an environment for the socioeconomic development of the country is integral to emulative governance, that is, precisely the kind of role-modeling leadership that Ghanaians have been criminally denied anytime that the National Democratic Congress’ Looting Brigade has held reins of governance. It is also far more likely than not that a sporting specialist like Daniel Kwaku Yeboah would know precisely what he is talking about than a politically cynical critic who merely argues on the basis of an NPP national development brochure, even a reasonably authoritative brochure put out by the staff of Vice-President Bawumia that may not be necessarily accurate or up-to-date on some of the most recent national development projects on the ground, as it were.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
September 17, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]