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15.11.2008 Feature Article

“Political Prostitutes” are also Citizens with Rights and Responsibilities

I don't know, and I also don't see, why some Ghanaians feel so abjectly self-righteous as to demand that Ms. Frances Awurabena Asiam march according to their stereotypical, or conventional, notion of what constitutes consistent ideological integrity. In other words, for her most mordant critics, the former National Women's Organizer of the so-called National Democratic Congress (P/NDC) ought to have remained in the pay of Ghana's longest-ruling military dictator, even after the latter had sicced an unconscionable posse of P/NDC campaign thugs on, perhaps, the best-educated woman to have served as that pseudo-party's drum-majorette.

The pertinent question, though, is that even assuming that, indeed, Ms. Asiam were a “political prostitute,” or harlot, as her teeming detractors claim, what ought to prevent her from being the very best political prostitute that she could ever be? And, by the way, has not the glorified mantra always been that in order for Ghana to progressively accelerate as fast as is humanly possible, all her citizens and residents need to exert their maximum efforts at whatever good it is that they do best? In any case, didn't Ms. Asiam offer the best riposte to her critics when she poignantly observed to novices of the trade that those who deem her purely pragmatic decision to truck with the winsome and fetching New Patriotic Party (NPP) “do not understand contemporary politics”? (Ghana Election 11/14/08).

In brief, one's inimitable, or even laudable, ability to serve one's own best interests at all costs and at all times, exactly the way and manner that Ms. Asiam appears to be doing, is, indeed, what the ageless concept of “Realpolitik” is fundamentally about. In any case, what her cynical critics and detractors ought to be asking themselves regards the support which any one of them accorded the former NDC women's organizer when she was nearly lynched by Monsieur Rawlings and his hangers-on three years ago at Koforidua's Hotel EREDEC. In essence, our firm contention here is that it is rather unpardonably obtuse, to speak much less of the outright hypocritical, for those who in the past showed absolutely no regard for her safety, or even basic survival, to be pontifically and self-righteously impugning the right of Ms. Asiam to look after her own best interests. And how better to do so than to truck with the party that has demonstrated by its sterling performance, within just two electoral terms, that it is the best and most progressive of all postcolonial Ghanaian political parties and governments?

Anyway, what makes Ms. Asiam any more of a political prostitute than, say, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the chameleonic flagbearer of the rump-Convention People's Party (CPP), who has not hesitated to shamelessly spotlight his 7 years of service under the tutelage of President Kufuor and the New Patriotic Party, even while also cynically presuming to impugn the performance and integrity of the latter party and government?

What is a little bothersome, albeit quite understandable, regards why it took so long for the former Vice-Chairperson of the Obed Asamoah-chaperoned Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) to rally around the winsome insignia of the Great Elephant. For, it has been indisputably obvious from the get-go, as it were, that the DFP, an NDC splinter group, was headed nowhere. And one knows for certain, largely based on his pontifical and stentorian public proclamations, that if he had his own way, Dr. Obed Asamoah would already be a card-carrying executive operative of the ruling New Patriotic Party. After all, hasn't the former P/NDC Foreign and Justice minister eloquently indicated that it would be unpardonably suicidal for the Ghanaian electorate to return the extortionate Rawlings Corporation to power?

Indeed, what both the publishers of Ghana Election and the Ghanaian electorate at large ought to be vigorously holding forth about is precisely how and why the Afari-Gyan-led Electoral Commission (GEC) could sit mum, like a poodle with its tail tucked in-between its hind-legs, and watch Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills clownishly and criminally use the image of U.S. President-Elect Mr. Barack Obama on NDC campaign posters, with such sloganeering profanity as “Obama Nie, Atta-Mills Nie!” loosely translated as: “Obama and Atta-Mills are kindred ideological souls”!

Ironically, even as he impudently indulges in such “Opianistic” antics, his eternal chaperon and former boss has been trolling the country fatuously claiming that the dubious caliber of the former Legon tax-law lecturer has no equal among the ranks of the ruling NPP. What heresy! Indeed, far, far more than Ms. Asiam, it is Prof. Atta-Mills who is the veritable and shameless political prostitute of Election 2008!

But that he would so shamelessly and recklessly use President-Elect Obama's image on his campaign poster must, by now, have sunk in loud and clear to the Ghanaian electorate that the perennial Rawlings-appointed P/NDC presidential candidate has absolutely no agenda or development plan for the country, whatsoever, short of merely wanting to be called “President” before he dies, and this at the damnable expense of our commonweal, of course. In this, Prof. Atta-Mills bears striking resemblance to Senator John Sydney “McNasty” McCain, the hulking conservative Republican septuagenarian that Mr. Obama irreparably trounced in the most recent U.S. Presidential Election. And it goes without saying that come December 7, 2008, Prof. Atta-Mills is certain to go down as the most soundly and thoroughly defeated candidate in the history of Ghanaian presidential elections. Indeed, Mrs. Gladys Asmah, the incumbent Fisheries minister and NPP-MP for Takoradi, could not have put it better when on a recent campaign tour of her own constituency she described the P/NDC flagbearer as “a sick man” who must not be allowed to gamble with the destiny of 22 million-plus Ghanaians ( 11/11/08).

*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) and “Selected Political Writings” (Atumpan Publications/, 2008). E-mail: [email protected]


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

This author has authored 4775 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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