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31.07.2008 Feature Article

Doing a Goebbels

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There is a troublingly significant subplot to the ongoing Tsikata judicial circus that seems to have been lost on many Ghanaians. And, to be certain, the Ghanaians in reference are those who have vehemently impugned the presidential ambitions of Nana Akufo-Addo in the past; and the subplot to the Tsikata circus is quite curious, because it squarely hinges on the abject hypocrisy of these anti-Akufo-Addo critics who shamelessly pretend to predicate their dissension on purely moral and ethical basis.

Now, as the Tsikata circus moves from one judicial level to another, it has become all too glaringly clear, if also unforgivably embarrassing, that these ardent detractors of Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo are brazen charlatans and public moral-court poseurs who would fain be deemed to reside among the vanguard ranks of patriotic Ghanaians.

For instance, much has been made about the purported fact of the New Patriotic Party Presidential Candidate, while he served as Attorney-General in the Kufuor Administration, having "unpardonably" botched an air-tight government felony charge against Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

And for the bulk of the time that this writer has followed the raging presidential campaigns, for some two years now, perhaps the most salient political cudgel held over the head of Nana Akufo-Addo pertains to the Tsikata case, a case whose initially unfavourable outcome, on the part of the Kufuor Government, has been liberally, albeit flippantly, used to impugn the legal credentials of the incumbent New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Abuakwa-South.

Some of the most stentorian critics of the NPP Presidential Candidate for Election 2008, have even pontifically suggested that the sole reason for his abrupt transfer from the Justice Ministry to Foreign Affairs was because of the supposed bungling of the Tsikata case by the dauphin of former President Edward Akufo-Addo, the latter himself a former Justice of the Ghanaian Supreme Court.

On the other hand, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata has been accorded a lot of legal capital out of the same case, a kind of legal capital which he may very well not even half deserve.

The now-convicted former CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has even been widely dubbed "a legal wit," largely because of the outcome of the government's plaint brought against him while Nana Akufo-Addo served as Ghana's substantive Attorney-General.

Interestingly, however, the very same people who not quite awhile ago had demanded that President John Agyekum-Kufuor bring his employer's axe down unto the head of the former Attorney-General, because Nana Akufo-Addo had purportedly bungled a facile open-and-shut case, as it were, are now up in arms vehemently decrying Justice Henrietta Abban's recent judicial sentencing of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata to a piddling 5-year prison term.

What is more, almost everyone of the stentorian newspaper and other media operatives who only yesteryear self-righteously impugned the legal credentials of unarguably one of the finest and most successful Ghanaian lawyers, for having let a "judicial whale" like Mr. Tsikata, literally, off the hook, are now also vehemently calling into question the fact that the Tsikata-Valley Farms docket was ever brought into the fast-track courtroom at all.

We have said this before, and now we have another auspicious occasion to repeat the same, that, by and large, those Ghanaians who tend to scream the loudest in the name of justice, are also the type of Ghanaians who are the least in favor of the impartial and unfettered administration of justice.

We witnessed the same pathetically ironic attitude on the part of these pathological cynics in the Abodakpi case. Perhaps we had better advise these cynics to forever bow their heads in shame, unreservedly apologize to Nana Akufo-Addo and stay the hell out of any and all national affairs over which they reserve absolutely no moral authority whatsoever!

The thrust of this article, though, regards another one written by a Mr. Henry Acquah and titled "Akufo-Addo - The Artful Dodger" ( 7/17/08). Perhaps the author is still pitifully stuck with his rudimentary high school reading of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist." And "twist" matters is exactly what the writer does in his article.

Like the celebrated Reformation era's Cardinal Martin Luther, Mr. Henry Acquah has meticulously compiled a humongous number of theses regarding all the thinkable reasons why the NPP flagbearer ought to be resoundingly denied Ghana's presidency at the polls.

The problem here is that, unlike Cardinal Luther's objective and scholarly theses against the insufferably tyrannical rule of the Vatican of the Fifteenth Century, Mr. Acquah's theses lack substance and cognitive puissance, for they appear to be wholly made up of unsubstantiated allegations. And so the logical question becomes: Exactly when did it become legal, in Fourth-Republican Ghana, for any citizen to simply tabulate largely unsubstantiated allegations and simply dare any distinguished public official, or public servant, to address the same, almost as if these allegations have either been issued by a court of law or the Ghanaian parliament?

For instance, Mr. Henry Acquah pontifically alleges that Nana Akufo-Addo has no moral authority to outline a narcotics drug-combating policy agenda by, literally, likening the NPP flagbearer to such known drug pushers or dealers as Tagor and the late Kiki Djan. But the critic does not seem to be intelligent enough to shore up his rather serious allegations with objective and verifiable facts, and so in the penultimate paragraph of his article he rather obtusely remarks: "As they say, Talk is cheap. Walking the walk is the real deal! If it were possible, Tagor could equally be convincing about the need to combat drug trafficking in Ghana."

And just exactly who, would Mr. Acquah claim or suggest, has prevented Tagor from being able to convince Ghanaians "about the need to combat drug trafficking in Ghana"? It is also rather lame for Mr. Acquah to claim that Prof. Atta-Mills has convincingly laid to rest verifiable allegations emanating from inside his own party, by the way, that he is not in the kind of health condition to be able to effectively handle the hectic office of the Ghanaian presidency. Neither has Prof. Atta-Mills been able to deny verifiable charges that as a twice-rejected presidential candidate (the very words of leading NDC guru and former cabinet member Mr. Spio Garbrah, by the way) fielding the retired Legon tax-law lecturer as NDC flagbearer leaves the main Ghanaian opposition party with absolutely no fighting chance in Election 2008.

On the question of his poor health, could the frequent visitor to South African doctors have selected Mr. John "Dramani" Mahama as his running-mate, partly because of latter's Zulu-sounding middle name, so that Prof. Atta-Mills would garner more sympathy and solicitous care anytime that he visits his doctors in the nation that Nelson Mandela built? The latter is just a cognitive grist, something for the creative-minded to ponder at leisure.

Needless to say, it would be rather silly for anybody to presume that Nana Akufo-Addo is the first cabinet minister, or secretary, in the world to have, allegedly, supported the drafting of laws that seek the extradition of Ghanaian citizens convicted of crimes abroad, in order to ensure that these bona fide Ghanaian citizens get to serve the rest of their prison terms in a more familiar and hospitable environment. Maybe Mr. Acquah needs to take basic lessons in civic education, particularly regarding the responsibility of any efficiently functioning government to its citizens, both at home and abroad.

Indeed, if Mr. Henry Acquah sincerely believes Nana Akufo-Addo's moral character to encapsulate even half of the list of his grievances against the Presidential Candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), by all means, let the critic grieve his case in a legitimately constituted court of law, preferably a fast-track court, and duke it out with Nana Akufo-Addo, or he should shut up and stop pretending as if he has a right to determine for Ghanaian electors whom they ought to elect as their President, come December 7, 2008.

The Statesman
The Statesman, © 2008

The author has 33 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: TheStatesman

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