When he died on March 9, or thereabouts, this year, I had wanted to write a brief tribute in memory of the man called Dr. Kwabena Adjei who, for nearly a decade, was the National Chairman of the presently main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). But hard as I tried, I kept drawing blanks, as it were. Then, shortly thereafter, I came to the sobering realization that, indeed, I was far less interested in writing a tribute to the memory of the man than the fact that I simply wanted to show off, to let my readers learn and appreciate the fact that Dr. Kwabena Adjei hailed from Nkonya-Ntsumuru, the very township in which my own niece, by my first cousin, Yaa Grace, or Grace Ateaa Agyeman Sintim, was the Queenmother.
The funny thing here is that, to-date, I really don’t know the name of my own niece the Queenmother of Nkonya. Part of the problem is that she wasn’t born when I departed the shores of Ghana for the United States in July 1985. But I have been told her name several times by my immediate senior sister, Mrs. Abenaa Baning (aka Abenaa Yeboaa Okoampa-Ahoofe) of Worcester, Massachusetts. But for some reason yet to be demystified, I keep forgetting it time and time again. And pushing dangerously towards my three-score existential milestone does not seem to be helping matters one bit. I also couldn’t recall any of the many lifetime achievements presumably notched by the late National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, because I left the country quite a while before Dr. Adjei came into the national political limelight and well before his could be fairly well classified as a “household name.”
Anyway, I was inspired to write this present column by something that happened serendipitously yesterday, when the commercial shredders came to the residential apartment complex where I have been living for the past two decades to take care of our junk mail and other waste-paper products. I had this huge stack of computer printouts of news reports on Ghana, largely from the websites of Modernghana.com and Ghanaweb.com, the two leading media websites in the country. I had to quickly sort them out, in case I found a new subject or topic that was both interesting and quite worthwhile to write about. It was during this sorting out process of what may be aptly termed as Dead News that I happened to come across a piece that was seemingly instructively captioned “I’m Not Surprised NDC Lost 2016 Election – Kwabena Adjei.” The piece was dated almost exactly two years before the passing of the fairly locally distinguished psychologist and former lecturer or senior lecturer at such notable institutions of higher learning as the country’s flagship academy, to wit, the University of Ghana, Legon, the University of Cape Coast, and the University of Maiduguri, in northeastern Nigeria.
You see, about all that I could vividly recall and that which stuck high my mnemonic bank or memory was the patently unflattering and even near-blasphemous threat by Chairman Kwabena Adjei to then-Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, to the damnable effect that the NDC’s Chief Party Administrator had many ways of killing a cat. It was an obvious expression of deep-seated annoyance on the part of the then National Chairman of the then-ruling Mahama-led National Democratic Congress to the widely perceived fact that in staunchly holding the Mahama-appointed then Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (GEC) to account, Chief Justice Wood and her associates of the Supreme Court of Ghana were sinisterly and dangerously standing in the way of the electoral victory of the extant ruling party. This patently repulsive and intemperate abuse of language against members of the highest court of the land, may very well have pushed party founder and former President Jerry John Rawlings to swiftly, sharply and effectively end the political career of Dr. Kwabena Adjei, who had been desperately scheming to be retained at his national chairmanship post, by staunchly backing the candidacy of Mr. Kofi Portuphy, my Akyem-Asiakwa homeboy – I had not known this at the time – who was then the National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
Interestingly, in telling his version of the story of how he seismically lost his reelection bid to be retained as his party’s National Chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei blamed everybody, in particular the party delegates who voted to staunchly and massively support the candidacy of the NADMO boss, except the man who almost singularly engineered the epic but all-to-be-expected defeat of the former NDC’s Member of Parliament for the Biakoye-Jasikan Constituency, to wit, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings. Indeed, going into the party’s congressional elections in 2014, or thereabouts, Dr. Kwabena Adjei had lost much of the massive popularity that vaulted him into the party’s National Chairman’s seat at Koforidua’s EREDEC Hotel in 2005 or thereabouts.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
May 19, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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