12.05.2008 Feature Article

“Lithurism” versus “Yankeyism” and this P/NDC Madness

“Lithurism” versus “Yankeyism” and this P/NDC Madness
12.05.2008 LISTEN

I read the initial report of it on either or; I forget which. Still, what struck me as rather quaint, if also unpardonably ludicrous, is the fact that some lurid gimmick had been, earlier on, used by somebody by the name of Tony Lithur to glibly explain away what Mr. Lithur supposed to be the sinister motive behind the condign judicial disciplining of Mr. Dan Abodakpi by Justice Faakye's verdict of 10 years' imprisonment.

This gimmick may be simply summed up as the deleterious effect of “POST-POWER TRAUMA SYNDROME,” almost the same kind of disease bred by 20 years of P/NDC terrorism that has caused quite a remarkable number of Ghanaians to readily, and literally, accept cowardly stupidity in the face of NDC intimidation, a primitive campaign strategy by which the impudent operatives of the Rawlings Corporation hope to regain power. God forbid!

Just the other day, for example, a “concerned” Ghanaian wrote to me vehemently protesting my mention of the historically verifiable fact that, indeed, Mr. Rawlings and Capt. Kojo Tsikata, among a plethora of others, both masterminded and meticulously supervised the assassination of the three Ghanaian Supreme Court judges and the retired Army officer. I, of course, deemed such protest to be too daft and unworthy of any discursive response. And so I simply referred the unfortunate protester to the SIB Report on the same question. That was several weeks ago, and I have yet to hear from this wretched soul once more. And to be certain, dear reader, I am not holding my breath.

In essence, the main thrust of my argument, here, is the grim fact that many Ghanaians do not appear to fully appreciate the salutary, and quite straight-forward, fact that there can be preserved no peaceful political environment in our motherland, without also ensuring that no deliberate act of injustice goes unpunished. And by so obtusely thinking (need I say?) we have virtually become prisoners of our own destiny. And, of course, our destiny includes the imperative need not to accept imposed political amnesia as being integral to Fourth-Republican democratic culture.

More on the foregoing in due course. For now, suffice it to observe, at least in passing, that this was precisely what the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the so-called National Democratic Congress meant, when Mr. John Dramani Mahama, rather disdainfully, urged Ghanaians to revert to the patently bestial existence of suspended animation, in order to give the NDC a fighting chance at Election 2008. And the shamefulness of it all was for the MP of Bole-Bamboi to presume Ghanaians to be clinical idiots, and thus his scandalous assertion that any attempt to constructively and intelligently compare the political record of the P/NDC against the sterling achievements of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) would be tantamount to a “regressive exercise in mediocrity.” Now, we know precisely why the people of Bole-Bamboi continue to suffer the sort of socioeconomic, cultural and political deprivation that is routinely associated with much of the northern-half of our country.

You see, the P/NDC spent much of its 20-year tenure persecuting and intimidating the rule of law and practice of justice out of so many Ghanaian judges that the most depraved members among their ranks are invariably stunned to discover, once awhile, that not quite nearly all Ghanaian members of the bench – or the judiciary – vacated their intellectual and moral faculties even on the threat of their very lives. And, indeed, it was for the preceding reason why Mr. Tony Lithur, defense counsel for Mr. Abodakpi, had to daftly concoct a P/NDC-like scenario in which Justice Henrietta Abban was supposed to have prejudiced Justice Faakye against his client.

Now comes another proverbial cock-and-bull story from a Dr. Sipa Yankey, a P/NDC operative and former senior officer of Ghana's Ministry of Finance, who spent some two years in prison for the same sort of criminal corruption that earned Mr. Abodakpi a 10-year term at the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison. This time, if memory serves us accurately, Dr. Yankey claims that the verdict, rendered by the late Justice Kwame Afreh, which committed the former to prison, was actually written by President J. A. Kufuor! And such crock of fetid inanity, it is interesting to observe, comes from a member of the same opposition National Democratic Congress that has been persistently and consistently telling Ghanaians that President Kufuor travels abroad so often that he virtually does not seem to have any time left to manage the crucial affairs of our beloved Ghana.

If the preceding observation has validity, then, for heaven's sake, Dr. Yankey, just when did President Kufuor get the time to sit put in the Castle to compose a “verdict” which the late Justice Afreh, either because Mr. Kufuor's “verdict” was so badly composed or the judge, himself, was, somehow, too senile to clearly decipher and confidently enunciate?

Then again, those who know something about Ghanaian history from the CPP days, know fairly well that the “Yankey” name has not always been associated with patriotism, goodwill and honesty. Indeed, legend has it that President Nkrumah once described one of his staunch Nzema lieutenants and confidants, Mr. Ambrose Yankey, as easily the most dangerous man in Nkrumah's Ghana. No one ought to, therefore, be surprised if it should turn out that, indeed, Dr. Sipa Yankey is related to Mr. Ambrose Yankey by blood.

It may also be recalled that in impugning the judicial competence of Justice Afreh, Dr. Yankey claimed that having been the former's student, he (Dr. Yankey), knew the calligraphy of his former law-school professor. Interestingly, as to how Dr. Yankey could have read from Justice Afreh's verdict sheet, short of using binoculars, from the convict's location in the courtroom, was not clarified.

Perhaps somebody ought to inform Dr. Yankey about the fact that judges have access to personnel called “Judicial Clerks,” often brilliant law-trainees, who are routinely asked to take notes dictated by their bosses. And would Dr. Yankey also claim the preceding to be a nonexistent professional protocol in the Ghanaian judicial system?

In any case, if I were a member of the Afreh family, Dr. Yankey could almost be certain of one thing: A lawsuit!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/, 2008). E-mail: [email protected]

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