Happy 75, President of Ghana! – Part 3
While, indeed, it is significant to pay heed to your critics, even your most virulent critics, all the time, nevertheless, sometimes, actually oftentimes, it is best to let some of these morbidly self-obsessed critics to blow all the hellish steam they want or are capable of letting off and then simmer off and vanish, literally, into thin air as evanescently as they had emerged out of the proverbial woodwork. You see, those who would thoughtlessly have you mold your career after our beloved country’s first postcolonial President, often lose clear sight of the unforgivably embarrassing fact that under the tenure of Mr. Kwame (Nwia-Kofi) Nkrumah and his so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ghana’s foremost trading partner on the African continent was Apartheid South Africa.
Yes, Dear Reader, you read me loud and clear: under the 15-year tenure, you may even decide to go with the 9-year postcolonial tenure of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, the most vociferous of the continent’s anti-Apartheid leaders, Ghana traded with the white racist regime of South Africa more than any other country on the proverbially primeval continent. Is this what your Belgium-based hypocritical critic would have you emulate, so as to earn the patently dubious accolade of the “Greatest African Leader” after Kwame Nkrumah? I unreservedly declare: “God Forbid!” You see, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a role model here and there once awhile; but it is also unimpeachably true that genuine statesmen and women look, first and foremost, sedulously towards the religious fulfillment of the primary needs, desires and aspirations of their people. This is what any critically-thinking Ghanaian readily espies when they reckon the visionary and democratically progressive path of nation-building which you, Uncle Kay, clearly seem to have charted for yourself.
Then, again, isn’t it rather heretically presumptuous for any Belgian-resident half-Ghanaian citizen-journalist – for that is what that cynical fella is, not a professionally trained journalist like yours truly – to presume to determine, beforehand, for you, what sort of leader you ought to be and also what kind/kinds of political and ideological role models you ought to be looking up to? Uncle Kay, the fact of the matter is that your all-too-honorable National Cathedral Project far exults the spirits of responsible and progressive-thinking Ghanaian citizens than the sea-water-cracked Peduase Lodge Resort, constructed with the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money for the exclusive pleasure of the deposed dictator and his select gang of kleptocratic cabinet appointees and their political associates and cronies and, as I have come to understand, their “Hee-Haw” bevy of fellow foreign “dignitaries” and locally resident members of the diplomatic corps.
We even learn that Peduase Lodge, which has since undergone major renovation, was routinely used by some of these CPP officials to indulge in trysts and rendezvous with their minor or underage high school girlfriends and, some say, married paramours. Thankfully, your proposed National Cathedral has a functional objective that is far more noble than the lurid image and reputation that widely came to be associated with Peduase. And what is even more, indisputably, noble is the fact that your proposed National Cathedral is being fully funded by the voluntary monetary contributions of ordinary citizens and philanthropists from all corners of the globe, as it were, with the initial seed-capital having come out of your own wallet and the fruits of your own sweat and toil. Indeed, I would not be surprised if proceeds from your most recent Harvard University lecture go into the funds earmarked for your proposed National Cathedral.
And unlike the Yamoussoukro Roman Catholic Vatican-lookalike Basilica of St. Peter’s erected by the late President Felix Houphouette Boigny (Offei-Boahen), your proposed National Cathedral will not be located in either Kyebi, the Okyeman traditional capital, or Abomosu, the town in which your navel cord was severed. Ghana’s capital is also not being moved from Accra to Kyebi. So what is all this crap about? Now, if this is not what true statesmanship is inescapably about, I don’t know what else it is. You see, Uncle Kay, some of your most ardent detractors falsely believe that pressuring you to give up your proposed construction of the unimpeachably noble project that is the National Cathedral, would instantly, like some “Open-Sesame” magical trick, culminate in the immediate resolution of all the material problems confronting our beloved nation, including the age-old problem of the so-called Schools-Under-Trees and the high and rampant incidence of massive and wanton carnage on our roads and highways. How absurd and fatuous!
No such facile presumption could be more preposterous. Actually, what I wanted to ask this most noetic and at once logically vacuous and quixotically unrelenting critic of yours is the fact of whether President Nkrumah’s woeful failure to construct a Northern Regional Health Center or Major Hospital, even as the same “visionary” and “foresighted” President Nkrumah pumped millions of dollars of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money into the old edifice of the erstwhile Organization of African Unity (OAU), presently the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, was more emulative than your proposed multipurpose and cross-religious and interdenominational use National Cathedral. You see, Uncle Kay, the problem with a remarkable number of your most ardent political detractors and critics is to invariably remove their thinking-caps before caustically and cavalierly presuming to call your integrity and common sense into question.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
March 30, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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