22.02.2024 Feature Article

Was Freddy Blay Bribed Out of His Conscience by Akufo-Addo?

Freddy Blay
Was Freddy Blay Bribed Out of His Conscience by Akufo-Addo?
22.02.2024 LISTEN

I like the man like Dunkin or Twin Donuts – or in local Ghanaian speak or parlance, “Bofrot” or “Togbee,” not exactly the same; the sound of “Togbee,” in the Ga-language of the Greater-Accra Region, sounds rather coitally ticklish – for those of our readers who know just what Yours Truly is talking about. Now, what I sincerely don’t like is for any of these party bigwigs to have kept “cemetarily” silent while all the chaos and confusion were raging in the government, most especially at the Presidency, and then only to go public in the manner of what American-Football Fans call “Monday-Morning Quarterbacking,” that is, come public and tell those of us avid sympathizers of the present government what ought to have been done to avert such clearly avoidable chaos and confusion.

Anyway, as I was saying, I like the man like caramel toffee, that is, what we used to call “wape” or “waape” while we were growing, you and I 60-plus-year-olds, buddy. I vividly remember even penning and publishing a couple of articles in the heat of the very public and inexcusably distastefully wrangling that the Almighty Togbe Afede, XIV, Paramount King of the Constitutional Monarchical Republic of Asogli (tongue-in-cheek, of course), had with my pal over some 300 commercial minivans that the then National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had personally purchased as his yeoman’s contribution towards both easing up unemployment among diehard party foot-soldiers and as a means of decently raising income for the party. It was one of the several pieces of advice I had been peddling to some of the NPP bigwigs. That was sometime in the late summer of 2018, while I was vacationing in Ghana with my wife and two teenage sons. Actually, the younger one was not even quite twelve yet. The older one, majoring in chemical engineering, presently, at Macaulay College, as a gifted student, in my old CUNY alma mater of The City College of New York (CCNY), was just 12 going on 13.

An obviously jaundiced and passionately partisan National Democratic Congress’ stalwart Mr. James Akpo, as Togbe Afede is officially known in private life, as it were, would petulantly demand to know from whence my buddy Big Brother Blay had sourced or come by the money for such a ginormous purchase, imperiously, egocentrically and conveniently forgetting the fact that none of the leaders of the New Patriotic Party had raised any critical or suspicion-laden questions vis-à-vis precisely how Big Brother Jimmy Akpo had secured funding for his equally ginormous purchase of the Accra Hearts-of-Oak (Phobia) Soccer Club, the oldest of its kind in the erstwhile Gold Coast. Now, that is quite good material for another interesting story on another day and time. I mean, it is not as if one only has to attend Yale University or any of the other Ivies or Ivy-League academies right here in the United States of America before one could figure out how to use one’s gumption to secure humongous credits or loans to run any successful business Ghana.

For the present, the focus of our conversation is on whether or not the President of our august Republic, as many a Ghanaian citizen is wont to say, ought to have reshuffled his cabinet some two years ago or that, somehow, it is rather darn too late for “The Little Man from Akyem-Abomosu and Kyebi” to be reshuffling his cabinet, with barely 10 months to the watershed 2024 Presidential Election (See “Akufo-Addo Needed to Do His Reshuffle Two Years Ago; It’s Too Late Now – Freddy Blay” 2/14/24). The politically mercurial and ebullient proprietor and/or co-owner of the Daily Guide newspaper, easily the finest publications of its kind in the country, further reminds the general Ghanaian public that not very long ago, more than 100 Parliamentary Majority Caucus’ Members swarmed Jubilee House and demanded a cabinet reshuffle, in the wake of the then badly listing national economy that seemed to be fast and dangerously threatening to run our proverbial ship-of-state aground.

Actually, contrary to what Big Brother Freddy is now claiming, there was absolutely no such vehement or blanket demand for a cabinet reshuffle as such. Rather, the aforesaid Parliamentary Majority Caucus’ Members simply wanted the “Agyapa Racketeering” Finance Minister Cousin of the President to be promptly and summarily removed from office, because Mr. Kenneth Ofori-Atta clearly seemed to have other ulterior motives and intentions for this cardinal and politically most sensitive cabinet portfolio than clearly defined by his professional terms of reference.

At any rate, our main concern here, presently, has far less to do with the fact of whether, indeed, the apparent delaying tactic employed by the President, in an obvious bid to buying more “Trumpian” staying time for Cousin Ofori-Atta till the very end of his tenure, was really the savviest thing to do for a President who claimed to be studiously mindful of his legacy over the long haul. Rather, we avidly crave knowledge of precisely what such party heavyweights as the Daily Guide Board Chairman and/or Executive-Director and, presumably, co-owner with his wife, Gina Blay, who has been laudably using his very powerful multimedia establishment to literally go to bat for the supreme interest of the New Patriotic Party, more than could be truthfully and objectively said of any other party stalwart or bigwig, personally said or hinted to the President about the prompt and the imperative need for the former John “The Gentle Giant” Agyekum-Kufuor-appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and, later, Minister for Foreign Affairs and ECOWAS Integration to effect the change that was at the time being heatedly or hotly demanded by the overwhelming majority of the New Patriotic Party’s democratically elected Representatives of the People.

We all know and have heard a countless number of times that the dauphin of Ghana’s Second Appointed Ceremonial President tends to be obstinate and too narcissistic for his own good sometimes. But what really matters here, more than anything else, is the fact that party bigwigs like Big Brother Freddy knew about this darker side of the man and still insisted on breaking ranks with his old and longtime friends and associates and vanguard operatives of the rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP), in order to tread the rough and the unevenly paved political highways and alleyways of an Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party, and even succeeded in securing a plum job for his “Missus” as Ghana’s Ambassador to Germany, no mean feat or minor achievement, were the Dear Reader to ask Yours Truly.

Yes, no mean feat for a diehard Rawlings’ supplicant and clanswoman “noncommittal” card-carrying member of the National Democratic Congress who, nonetheless, rather archly claimed that for the sake of the revered paterfamilias of the Blay Clan, “I guess you would be perfectly right on the money to call me ‘an NPP sympathizer.’” That was when, as I vividly recall, Big Sister Gina came under heavy criticism for publishing a lavishly designed electioneering-campaign centerfold ad in the Daily Guide, of which as the mastheaded Managing-Editor, she claimed, quite honestly and matter-of-factly, being able to put food rich in protein and vitamins in the familial dining table necessitated a blind promotion of the cheese-rotten 2016 Presidential-Election Campaign of an incumbent Candidate John “The Ouagadougou-Nkonfem Flying” Dramani Mahama.

Well, as a mummy-wagon driver once tersely wrote as a legend on the back of his truck: “Better Late Than Never.” That mummy-wagon owner and driver was none other than my own dear late Uncle Yaw Gyeemi of Akyem-Asiakwa and Asante-Juaben. I once dated his daughter, Mother or Maame Amma Korang, as she was popularly known, even after Wofa Yaw had threatened to blow off my head. Me and my ill-luck with Juaben girls!

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
February 17, 2024
E-mail: [email protected]