I knew right off the bat, as it were, that it was only within a couple of days before Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Alban S K Bagbin’s obviously mendacious and downright mischievous accusation that the Lands Commission and, in effect, the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), had rather scandalously put up his official residence for sale to an unnamed private real-estate developer, even as the longest-serving National Democratic Congress-sponsored parliamentarian for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency, in the Upper-West Region, was still living in the same residence that, by the way, had also been pre-inhabited by former Parliamentary Speaker Aaron Michael “Mike” Oquaye for at least four years prior to the dubious election and the accession of Mr. Bagbin to the speakership, as well as several others well before these two “gentlemen,” at least in the of the Honorable Professor Emeritus of Political Science of the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, would be royally exposed (See “Lands Commission Sets Record Straight on Speaker’s House Being Sold to Private Developer” Ghanaweb.com 11/21/23).
Yes, it was only a matter of days before Speaker Bagbin would be royally exposed, as he was not very long ago, when he teamed up with a horrid pack of some partisan associates to form a National Democratic Congress Lawyers Association (NDCLA), only to turn round a couple of weeks later to flatly deny any involvement in the same. For starters, it ought to be promptly put on record that it was the late Chairman Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings-founded party of self-righteous faux-revolutionary hypocrites who established the treasonable and the kleptocratic tradition of thievishly and piratically expropriating state-owned and taxpayer-funded landed and real-estate properties in Ghana’s postcolonial history. It is an ironic practice because the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), under the specious guise of its immediate institutional antecedent, the Chairman Rawlings-led extortionate junta of the erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), savagely shot its way to power under the pretext of thoroughly ridding the country, then ruled by the F W K Akuffo-led Supreme Military Council (SMC-2) junta, of rank and unspeakable corruption. He would ruthlessly execute his professional superiors and his immediate junta predecessors by firing squad.
Upon its official exit some 11 years later, the PNDC had demonized and thoroughly discredited itself as the most indescribably corrupt, pathologically kleptomaniac and kleptocratic and tyrannical junta in Ghana’s postcolonial history. The PNDC would suavely and strategically morph into the present-day National Democratic Congress, with the now “democratically” elected President Jerry John Rawlings “reigning” supreme for two consecutive electoral terms for a total of 8 years, and a grand total of nearly 20 years on the seat of both legitimate and illegitimate power. The stratocratic history of the Provisional National Defense Council would be seamlessly transferred to the faux-civilianized and faux-democratized institutional establishment of the National Democratic Congress, a patently autocratic and dictatorial tradition that has continued to entangle and dog the leadership of this vestigial feudalist political apparatus for more than 20 years now.
In other words, the leadership of the National Democratic Congress has yet to learn adequately about civilized democratic protocol, especially where the periodic selection of the party’s Presidential Candidate is concerned. Just this past June, for example, the NDC’s leadership, led by the party’s superannuated recent graduate of the Senior-Staff College of the Ghana Armed Forces (SSC of GAF), “Lt-Col.” Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, made it poignantly clear to the party’s rank-and-file membership that under his tenure as National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, the peremptory mandate or sole authority for deciding who got chosen or selected as the 2024 Presidential Candidate of the party fully and unreservedly rested with the wiry-framed and dry-to-the-bone scrawny man who is also popularly known as “General Mosquito.” He would proceed to effectively prevent unarguably the most formidable challenger to the twice-defeated, one-term former President John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama, namely, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, the former Finance Minister in the government of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, and the Rawlings-appointed former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, from fully participating in the party’s 2024 Presidential-Election Primary.
To the preceding effect, General Mosquito would deliberately rig the party’s Delegates’ Voters Register to significantly favor the Serial and the Dynastic Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress, to wit, Candidate-General John “Gnassingbe” Dramani Mahama. Of course, the foregoing application of the so-called "dirty communist tactics” could not have been successfully deployed without a groundswell of support from party kingmakers, that is, the same shameless gang of thieves who masterminded and divvied up the GH₡ 51.2 million Alfred Agbesi Woyome Loot, would publicly acknowledge that, indeed, the party’s Delegates’ Voters Register had been deliberately rigged up to favor the candidate whom the Asiedu-Nketia Gang confidently deemed to be most capable of roundly defeating Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, at the time the widely presumed 2024 Presidential Candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party.
Now, the first step that Speaker Bagbin ought to have taken, if he was genuinely interested in learning the truth regarding the fact of whether, indeed, the officially designated residence of the Speaker of Parliament had been put up for sale, while our subject was still living in it, ought to have been for Mr. Bagbin to have whipped out at least one of his several presumably state-supplied cellphones, or even his taxpayer owned and bill-paid office landline, and simply put in a call through to the Acting Executive-Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr. Benjamin Arthur, to promptly ascertain the veracity of this apparent hearsay that was obviously intended to despicably smear the Bawumia-partnered Akufo-Addo Administration. Instead, Speaker Bagbin decided to do what most of his gallery playing NDC associates and colleagues would have equally done, which was to stir up a storm in his coffee mug by melodramatically choking on an oversized bite of his generously buttered bread during one of his regular Speaker’s Breakfast Forums at the Alisa Hotel, in Ghana’s capital of Accra.
As it turns out, absolutely no such sale of the Speaker’s official residence in the plush Cantonments section of Accra has occurred or is in the process of occurring at all. Rather, we have been reliably informed that the certificate of statute categorically affirming the official status of the aforementioned real-estate property had simply been renewed, which is quite the opposite of what the Speaker informed his audience and/or associates at the Alisa Hotel about. Now, what kind of legally trained Parliamentary Speaker is the Nadowli-Kaleo native? I am not even thinking of an unqualified public apology here. I mean, this is not exactly the same as a soundly defeated and weepy President Mahama publicly and shamelessly pleading with Ghanaian taxpayers to gift him with the official residence of the Vice-President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana, which he had flatly refused to vacate upon his elevation to the status of substantive President of Ghana in the wake of the “mysterious” passing of a sitting President John Evans Atta-Mills.
But, of course, once again, we are here talking about such an egregious and morally inexcusable display of gross professional incompetence in Ghana, where the new professionally fetching qualification for Speaker of The House appears to be just that, abject and gross incompetence.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
November 22, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]