Mahama Trashed Akyem Lives in the Atiwa-Atweredu Environs
As a bona fide Akan-Ghanaian with Akyem sub-ethnicity and one who was partly brought up at Asiakwa, Kwabeng and Kyebi – of course, I am ethnically and sub-ethnically other things, too, including part of my maternal ancestry that hails from the Peki-Blengo Royal Family – I feel implacably incensed by the hypocritical protestations of the Parliamentary Minority of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the recent “barter” trade agreement initialed between the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Sinohydro Corporation of China, in which the latter firm is to construct infrastructure projects worth some $ 2 Billion in Ghana (See “Kojo Yankah Fears Ghana Will Lose Atewa Forest to Sinohydro Deal” 3News.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/19/18). I must quickly point out that the mineral bauxite is the most common and cheapest raw material in the world. Of course, we also know that the Atiwa-Atwiredu Mountain Range or Scarp is richly endowed with mineral gold and was a major mining center between the late 18th century and throughout much of the 19th century.
Indeed, if I have any grave misgivings about the aforesaid agreement, the details of whose contents I have yet to familiarize myself, they have to do with the duration or temporal span of the contract, which I also do not know, and the fact of whether the nominal price-tag of $ 2 Billion is a fair exchange. We must also quickly point out that the NDC Parliamentary Minority may be livid with envy because in the leadup to the 2016 general election, some funding solicitation overtures made by the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress’ regime for a $ 2 Billion loan advance by Messrs. Mahama and his Finance Minister, Mr. Seth Terkper, was promptly and roundly rebuffed by the Chinese. These two Abongo Boys were told that they had not satisfied their prospective lender or creditor that they intended to use such a humongous amount of money for any meaningful and/or constructive purposes. Chances are that the odd-couple intended to use such loan for the purchase of votes and other forms of bribery. The Chinese had seen through such cynical ruse long before these shameless professional beggars touched down at the Beijing International Airport.
I am also implacably incensed by the hypocritical protestations of the NDC minority because for most of the past 20-odd years when the entire Okyeman, in particular Akyem-Abuakwa, sub-region was effectively laid to waste and our hitherto potable waterbodies poisoned by the unconscionable use of mercury and other deadly chemicals and literally rendered undrinkable, it was these same National Democratic Congress’ leadership that led the charge by inviting Chinese miners with excavators to wantonly peel away the hitherto largely pristine and undisturbed vegetation cover of the land. And to add insult to injury, the Gonja-born then-President John Dramani Mahama had the temerity to disparagingly call Kyebi, the traditional Royal Capital of Akyem-Abuakwa, as “The Galamsey Capital of Ghana.” I vividly recall that Mr. Mahama, who is currently desperately fighting to regain the post from which he was democratically and legitimately ousted by the Ghanaian electorate in December 2016, leaving Kyebi by helicopter for the Central Region, where he promised to employ some Galamseyers or small-scale illegal miners in a land-reclamation project. The hitherto environmentally destructive energies of these small-scale illegal miners were to be constructively rechanneled towards the plugging up of the deadly mine-pits and craters left in the wake of these Galamseyers.
This was during the heated runup to the 2016 general election. No such promise had been made to the residents and citizens of Okyeman whose lives the then-President Mahama clearly envisaged to be cheap and expendable. It is hoped that plugging up the deadly mine-pits on the Atiwa-Atwiredu Mountain Range is part of the agreement signed between the Sinohydro Corporation and the Akufo-Addo Administration. Some of these death-traps date as far back as the mid-1800s. In the leadup to the 2016 general election, I emphatically observed in several of my columns that it was only a bona fide son of the sacred soils of Okyeman, in particular Akyem-Abuakwa, who could put a definitive end to the wanton and criminally predatory destruction of the vegetation cover and waterbodies of both Okyeman and the country at large. And true to my prediction, and against the vehement protestations of former President Mahama, the civilized and salutary reclamation and preservation of our lands seem to be fast becoming a practical reality.
I also find something insufferably hypocritical about the very public and morally grandstanding protestation of Mr. Kojo Yankah, the ministerial appointee under former President Jerry John Rawlings, in particular his rather condescending impugnation of the credibility and integrity of the Sinohydro Pact as one that slavishly undermines our collective African moral and cultural values. So if one may humbly ask of the founder-proprietor of the Accra-based African University College of Communication: Which major political party in Ghana is infamous for providing paid security cover to foreign miners, including small-scale illegal Chinese miners, to literally lay the country’s forestry resources and waterbodies to waste? I rather prefer the very savvy and constructive manner in which President Akufo-Addo is presently engaging the far more technologically advanced Chinese in the rapid and rational development of the country than the kleptocratic NDC approach, in which Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, the younger brother of former President Mahama was illegally offered a concessionary carte-blanche to mine most of the mineral resources in the country and fill up the private bank accounts of these pathologically theft-prone political scam-artists and their scofflaw cronies and associates.
As well, what those NDC politicians who sold Ghana to the neocolonialist IMF-World Bank operatives ought to be asking themselves is precisely why they think and believe that the very predatory institutions that rascally and unconscionably colluded with the Rawlings-led regimes of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to literally destroy Ghana’s industrial base, by scandalously and savagely liquidating the Nkrumah-established Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC), could be any better than our clearly well-intentioned Chinese development partners. That is what is the slavish and uncivilized aspect of the heated debate raging over the Atiwa-Atwiredu Pact with Beijing.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 19, 2018
E-mail: [email protected]