If Polluted Waters Really Look Like “Cocoa Drink,” then You Must Be Enjoying It, Auntie Sophie!!!

Feature Article If Polluted Waters Really Look Like “Cocoa Drink,” then You Must Be Enjoying It, Auntie Sophie!!!

She was one of the half-dozen, or so, Legal Advisers to then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the better part of a decade prior to the December 2016 Presidential Election that brought the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the John “The Gentle Giant” Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), before the former Member of Parliament for Akyem-Abuakwa-South was transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then shortly after his cousin Nana Akufo-Addo was duly sworn in as substantive President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana, on January 7, 2017, Ms. Sophia Akuffo was named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. She was the second woman in postcolonial Ghanaian history to be so named.

Now, what we are clearly and unmistakably driving at here is that if then Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, whose niece, Ms. Gloria Akuffo, had also been named to the equally significant and politically powerful and influential portfolio of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, had been genuinely concerned about the jealous protection of our beloved nation’s ecological resources, system and wellbeing, trust me, Justice Sophia Akuffo would definitely have had a significant, if not a seismic, impact on the reversal of the wanton and the predatory havoc being wreaked, perhaps irreversibly, on Ghana’s forestry, waterbodies and environmental resources (See “Galamsey: Our rivers now look like thick cocoa drink we used to do in boarding school; it's sad – Sophia Akuffo” 11/10/23).

Anybody who thinks and/or believes that the vomit-inducing discoloration of an overwhelming majority of our Galamsey-polluted hitherto pristine rivers and waterbodies looks like a rich kid’s chocolate or cocoa drink in boarding school, must be living in the proverbial Fool’s Paradise – Absolutely no apologies will be rendered here! The truth of the matter is that even a remarkable majority of those of us who were relatively privileged enough to be blessed with the socially upgrading incentive of a boarding school system of education, at both the middle and the secondary school levels, did not have the luxury of drinking cups or even tumblers of cocoa drinks made of “about eight spoons of Milo” and an almost equal amount of milk and sugar, as Justice Akuffo is widely reported to have told the host of a Starr-FM Radio interview.

Unless, of course, the ultraconservative retired jurist was making such hyperbolical analogy or comparison as a means of drawing home a picture of the insufferable severity of the Galamsey Menace. Even so, the analogy given by Justice Akuffo was clearly off-the-rail and unarguably way out of touch with the reality of the times and on the ground, as it were. I personally came to have my own reservations about the perspective of the partially Harvard-educated jurist on the progress of our legal system while as Head of the Apex Court and Ex-Officio President of the Judicial Council, or some such legal standards-setting statutory apparatus, Ms. Akuffo stirred up quite a bit of needless controversy by rather scandalously and imperiously claiming that in order to ensure a strict maintenance of an enviable quality of legal and judicial practice in the country, it was imperative for the relevant legal and judicial authorities and institutional establishments in the country to impose stringent limits on the number of legal trainees who got certified to practice law in the country annually, even as the prevailing progressive and expert opinion in the profession indicated that the field of legal practice in the country needed to be significantly and exponentially expanded, so as to level up with an exponential increase in the population of the country, and the resultant increase in the magnitude of legal issues and problems plaguing the country that needed to be promptly and expeditiously addressed.

You see, the very facile premise that the more legal specialists or students that were certified to practice law in the country, the worse would be the general outcome of the quality of legal practice in the country, at once flabbergasted and disgusted this writer. For the simple reason that even pure elementary logic clearly points to the fact that quality assurance is better protected by a significant investment of the requisite professional preparation and/or training resources, and not just a frivolous matter of strictly keeping intake or the number of students admitted to the various accredited law schools in the country strictly under numerical control. Then also, deliberately rigging up legal certification examinations so as to ensure that only a fraction of an otherwise far greater pool of qualified and competent law school graduates got to practice in the field, is just symptomatic of the kind of primitive and neocolonialist elitism that has unnecessarily regressed the robust and salutary development of the country.

At any rate, the existential menace is more of a direct breakdown of our moral and cultural values and the 20 years of Ghanaians being callously and savagely driven through an incoherent wilderness of political experimentation by mentally unhinged and unbalanced kleptomaniacs and State-Capture False and Self-Righteous Apostles of Probity, Accountability, Transparency and Justice who, it turns out, were dead-set on a veritable suicidal mission from sanity to plain insanity. Otherwise, how could a nation-wrecking President who just lost a democratic election be imperiously demanding to be gifted the Official Residence of the Vice-President of Ghana?

It clearly looks as if we lost our common sense and respect for ourselves and human life, when civilization, science and technology collided with our inordinate greed and acquisitive lunacy. Otherwise, how does anybody keep $5 million (USD) in assorted currency notes in their bedroom, instead of investing such clearly stolen and/or laundered money in their bedroom? But really, what am I even saying or suggesting here? Trust me, Dear Reader, we are, each and every one of us, in dire need of a thorough cognitive and psychological overhaul.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
May 18, 2024
E-mail: [email protected]