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07.11.2008 Feature Article

Chief Lizard on the Stumps

Those misguided Ghanaians who still believe that he bequeathed our country with an enviable democratic culture ought to have heard the Chief Lizard tell the good people of Ghana's heartland of the Asante Region how he has painstakingly remained faithful to the tenets of our present democratic dispensation in the dubious name of “national unity and cohesion” (Ghanaian Chronicle 10/26/08). “I will continue to remain faithful to the democratic dispensation because I believe in national unity and cohesion.”

Perhaps somebody ought to have reminded the Chief Lizard of that sweltering and arid January morning, in 1993 or thereabouts, when the former Ghanaian strongman stood before the National Assembly and bitterly snarled about a democratic political culture being such a drag on government; and also the fact that he could never be expected to respect constitutional democracy.

In essence, anyone who does not respect constitutional democracy cannot also credibly claim to be a respecter of the same, not even in the dubious name of national unity and cohesion. Indeed, such a person cannot even seriously understand what s/he is talking about. First of all, while, indeed, the need for the preservation of national unity and cohesion cannot be intelligently gainsaid, nonetheless, a democratic culture is fundamentally about the unfettered observation of human rights and the rule of justice and fair play; and the Chief Lizard would be hard put to claim that in the preceding realms of governance the P/NDC has been exemplary in a manner that ought to put the ruling New Patriotic Party to shame.

And when the Chief Lizard vacuously asserts that “The upcoming elections [are] not about whether one is an Ashanti [sic], Akyem, Ewe, Fante or a Dagomba, but an opportunity for the electorate to show the NPP the [inglorious] exit into opposition, after [supposedly] mismanaging the affairs of the country in their almost eight years of governance,” our simple riposte is that it takes overweening pride and abject arrogance for the criminal mastermind of the Cash-and-Carry health policy to accuse the inimitably welfarist and incurably progressive government of the New Patriotic Party of gubernatorial mismanagement.

And while it is unpardonably criminal enough for the man whose bloody accomplice of a wife used the so-called 31st December Women's Movement to illegally acquire the Nsawam Cannery, as well as assume proprietorship of a cocoa-processing factory in Tema township, to heretically claim never to have stolen from our national coffers, the criminal conviction of a slew of his staunchest associates – among them Messrs. Selormey, Abodakpi, Peprah and Tsikata – in of itself is adequately telling about the type of personality that our Chief Lizard is. Maybe Dzelukope Jeremiah needs to be reminded about the following dicta: “Birds of similar feathers flock together” and “Show me your friend and I'd show you who you are.”

It is also rather interesting that to-date, Mr. Probity and Accountability has yet to credibly explain to the Ghanaian public precisely how he managed to ship his children abroad for expensive schooling, even as our Chief Lizard set our national system of education alight. Then also, Flt.-Lt. Yor-Ke-Garri has yet to explain to the longsuffering Ghanaian electorate how his name and governments came to be associated with the SCANCEM-GHACEM scandal. If anything at all, Election 2008 is incontrovertibly about the imperative need for the Ghanaian electorate to consign the so-called National Democratic Congress, permanently, to the Stygian margins of postcolonial Ghanaian politics where it definitely belongs.

It is also amusing to hear our Chief Lizard rant about Election 2008 not being about an inter-ethnic showdown. Exactly when did this pathological Ewe nationalist arrive at such curious and flabbergasting decision? And precisely upon what cross-cultural grounds did he come by his invidious doctrine about the Volta Region constituting the immutable electoral preserve of the Ewe-dominated so-called National Democratic Congress? Or it is just that Dzelukope Jeremiah presumes the fabled tolerance of non-Ewe Ghanaians, especially those of Akan descent, for congenital foolery? And on the latter score, we are forced to remind our readers that in the wake of the Anloga intra-ethnic disturbances exactly a year ago, our Chief Lizard threatened to conflagrate our entire country, on the specious grounds that the Kufuor administration had, somehow, constituted itself into the inveterate enemy of the Anlo people. The Chief Lizard also asserted that having fled political repression in Notsie – wherever in the world that is – in order to settle in their present abode, the Anlo-Ewe were, yet again, being subjected to the imperialist domination of the Akan people. And so it takes a lot of chutzpah, obviously, for the man who systematically cleansed the Ghanaian Supreme Court of Akan judges to be lecturing the rest of us Ghanaians about the need for cross-ethnic unity and cohesion.

One also wonders why he would exuberantly and seemingly comfortably pitch his party's patently vacuous manifesto to the very people of the Asante heartland, whose legitimately elected national leaders our Chief Lizard accuses, without any forensic evidence, whatsoever, of the regicidal demise of the Ya-Na and some 40 of his lieutenant and/or subjects. Perhaps if he studied just a little bit more of Ghanaian history, particularly that aspect regarding the centuries-old kinship between the Dagomba and the Akan, particularly the Asante, our Chief Lizard would be humbled enough not to traipse the Akan heartland sophomorically and fatuously espousing such tripe.

It was also quite fascinating to hear our Chief Lizard vaunt about the P/NDC maladministration having “created an enabling environment for all Ghanaians to develop their God-given talents by providing electricity, good drinking water, roads and hospitals across the length and breadth of the country.” Maybe somebody ought to have asked our pistol-packing Chief Lizard why Professor Atta-Mills continues to make regular runs to South Africa for medical treatment, if, indeed, the P/NDC-built hospitals and clinics were half as good as he is claiming them to be. He had also better be reminded that the days of Re-diffusion Radio Politics have long receded into the backwaters of Ghana's Dark Days.

In the past, he had publicly smoked what he now cavalierly claims to be SM cigarettes, though those of us avid students of Ghanaian politics have absolutely no doubt that they were, almost certainly, spliffs of Mary Jane. These days, however, our Chief Lizard also appears to have begun snorting cocaine, else he could not have been seriously bragging about the P/NDC having generously provided Ghanaians with “good drinking water,” while at the same time sneeringly accusing the Kufuor government of supplying the people with water that is far less potable than that which runs through the cisterns of his WCs.

It is also not quite clear what our Chief Lizard means, when he asserts that “None of the NPP men could match the qualities of Prof. Atta-Mills.” Precisely what “qualities” is our Chief Lizard talking about? He, obviously, is not talking about academic or professional prowess, or flair, since Dzelukope Jeremiah himself is not well-educated enough to seriously make such judgment call. At the end of the day, though, what bears highlighting is the fact that scarcely any seasoned and principled Ghanaian academics readily sold off their consciences in order to become bootlicking lackeys of Dzelukope Jeremiah.

*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 18 books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (, 2005). E-mail: [email protected]

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2008

This author has authored 4777 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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