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14 November 2017 | Feature Article

Could Akufo-Addo Be Afflicted With The “Mills-Woyome Syndrome”?

Could Akufo-Addo Be Afflicted With The “Mills-Woyome Syndrome”?

The tirade was rather unnecessarily long, intemperate and sententiously self-righteous. As usual, there was in the mix, this rather disgusting northern-Ghanaian male, largely among the intellectual class, obsession with the male genitalia. This time around, though, it came in the form of the quite deftly deployed metaphor of “the circumcision blade.” But calling the President a liar amidst a quite poignant and insightful quote from my late old teacher, Prof. Chinua Achebe, was beyond rhetorical overdrive and one which, were he present with us, Prof. Achebe, who had his own Ibo-Nationalist tendencies to deal with, in his time, would have vehemently begged to differ with or even take umbrage with, especially had Prof. Achebe followed the political career of the firebrand civil and human rights subject of this column. Well, it has been said, somewhere, that pretenders to the thrones of the mighty often assume the mantle of authority with longevity. And that is, after all the eyewitnesses have either left town or passed on to the logical destiny of this life.

Other than the preceding observations, I generally thought that the young award-winning Ghanaian broadcast journalist was dead-on-point. The decision by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to pay a visit to the garbage-recycling plant of Mr. Joseph Siaw-Agyepong, owner of the Jospong Group of Companies, in of itself, was not remiss. Not the least bit, because the management of waste products in the country, especially within our cities and towns, is a horrid mess. And since the Jospong Group of Companies appears to be the biggest game in town, warts and all, it was all too logical for Nana Akufo-Addo to have put the latter establishment and its owner and associates on the itinerary of his most recent working-tour of the Greater-Accra Metropolitan Area.

What was patently unethical, even downright immoral, even as the young, energetic and quite talented and intelligent broadcast journalist pointed out in his characteristically rancid tirade, was the decision by the President to wade so publicly and apologetically into the legal battles confronting Mr. Siaw-Agyepong from operatives of Nana Akufo-Addo’s own New Patriotic Party-constituted government. Doing so gave the poisonous odor that the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House was utterly displeased with the perfectly legitimate investigations being presently conducted into the widely alleged corrupt practices and activities of the Jospong Group. It also sent the rather chilling and politically counterproductive signal to operatives of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Criminal Investigations Division of the Ghana Police Service (CID) that, somehow, they were on a legally and morally unacceptable witch-hunting expedition against Mr. Siaw-Agyepong and his business partners and associates. But, of course, it can also not be gainsaid that ours is a country and a people who are widely known to be fatally allergic to the hardworking and prosperous.

The foregoing observations notwithstanding, coming from the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House, this bizarrely personal and public commiseration with the Jospong proprietor left much to be desired, as it inexcusably prejudiced the eventual outcome of the Jospong-related investigations. To be certain, the savvy thing for Nana Akufo-Addo to have done ought to have been to casually commend Mr. Siaw-Agyepong for his work and soberly encouraged him to significantly improve upon the same, even while steering clear of any legal infractions or misconduct that may not redound to the benefit of both the Jospong Proprietor and the nation at large.

Behaving, as he did, like a pathetically apologetic President John Evans Atta-Mills, in the wake of the seismic fury that greeted the Woyome Mega-Heist, made Nana Akufo-Addo sound and appear like another run-of-the-mill politician who could care less about the allegedly neck-deep and largely self-inflicted involvement of Mr. Siaw-Agyepong and his Jospong Group of Companies in such scandalous acts of proven criminality as GYEEDA, SUBAH and SADA. If, indeed, the World Bank has placed a 2-year embargo against Jospong for scamming the Liberian government, then Nana Akufo-Addo’s publicly confessed intimacy and/or acquaintance with Mr. Siaw-Agyepong, only confirmed the apparently well-founded anxieties and fears of those among his critics who seriously question the integrity of Ghana’s former Justice Minister and his publicly stated determination to fight crime and corruption in the country.

The Flagstaff House needs to quickly issue an official statement clarifying the President’s real and true position on the investigations being conducted into the allegedly corrupt and criminally freeloading activities of the operators of the Jospong Group of Companies. I, however, could not care less about the Joseph Whittal-chaired Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). CHRAJ and its leader, as we all had occasion to witness in the Mahama-Kanazoe Ford Expedition Payola Scam, is as good as nonexistent.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

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