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07.06.2019 Feature Article

Akufo-Addo Spoke the Unpleasant Truth

Akufo-Addo Spoke the Unpleasant Truth

Akufo-Addo’s smug and self-serving celebrity critics like Lydia Forson need to seek psychiatric examination at her earliest opportunity, because what the President of Ghana is reported to have said about the generally lethargic or lax attitude of many an elite Ghanaian woman towards her own empowerment in the the political arena was smack on target (See “You’ve Disgraced Yourself Publicly – Lydia Forson Mocks Akufo-Addo” / 6/6/19). We are informed that the President made the preceding observation to a global conference on women’s empowerment themed “Women Deliver” in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to be certain, said absolutely nothing new. It goes without saying that it is a nauseatingly verifiable fact that Ghanaian women in the political arena or public life have always been collaborative with their largely corrupt menfolk, rather than either progressive or proactive.

As well, the foreign woman activist who allegedly heckled the Ghanaian leader while the latter was speaking among a panel of distinguished discussants did so largely out of pure ignorance of the generally lukewarm climate of activism among Ghanaian womenfolk on the ground or in the country. Her attitude was mischievously and hypocritically calculated as an opportunistic claptrap with absolutely no significant reverberation beyond the conference table and forum. We must also highlight the fact that not quite long ago, when the sticky question of LGBTQ rights and empowerment came to the fore of our national discourse, here in Ghana, and the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice called on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community members to ratchet up the level of their activism, if they desired to see their human and civil rights respected and/or taken seriously by the rest of Ghanaian society, Nana Akufo-Addo was virulently castigated by his main political opponents, to wit, the leaders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who saw this call as a prime opportunity to unseat the globally renowned human and civil rights lawyer and democratically elected leader.

Back then, Nana Akufo-Addo was also caustically carped for scandalously promoting sexual immorality and social decadence and downright perversion in an otherwise morally wholesome Ghanaian society. In reality, Ghana’s former Foreign Minister was indisputably right on point, even as the nineteenth-century African American human and civil rights leader and activist, Mr. Frederick Douglass, poignantly and memorably observed as follows: “Power concedes nothing except with struggle; it never did and never will.” In an earlier rough interpretation of the foregoing quote, this is what I wrote: “Power respects nothing unless it is confronted with an equal level of creative resistance. It never did and it never will concede so facilely.” Indeed, it cannot be gainsaid emphatically enough that, generally speaking, it is inescapably true that many of the members of the LGBTQ community in Ghana remain in the closet, as it were, as well as effacingly on the margins of mainstream society because they have yet to be cohesively and formidably organized as a force to be reckoned with.

In much the same manner, Ghanaian women on the political front, as we disturbingly observed during the tenure of the previous Mahama-led regime of the National Democratic Congress, preferred to behave like their scofflaw and chauvinistic male counterparts. We scandalously witnessed this in the form of the overwhelming support massed up behind the three NDC media propagandists who became known as The Montie Three or The Montie Trio, who had publicly and blasphemously threatened to have the extant Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, deflowered or raped in broad-daylight, as well as have some of her associates on the Supreme Court of Ghana summarily liquidated and dismembered for not servilely doing the bidding of the Mahama regime in the leadup to the 2016 general election.

When these would-be perps and terrorists were sentenced to serve four months, each, at the globally infamous Nsawam Medium-Security Prison, it was front-row NDC women politicians like Mrs. Betty Mold-Iddrisu, the country’s former Attorney-General and Chief Justice and former Education Minister; Mrs. Nana Oye Lithur, the extant Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection; and Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, the Arts and Culture Affairs Minister, who fiercely and collaboratively pressured then President John Dramani Mahama to promptly ride roughshod over the constitutionally protected powers of the members of the Supreme Court of Ghana, by immediately revoking the sentences of the Montie Trio pro-Mahama and NDC propagandists. I am also very certain that the foreign woman activist who so cavalierly presumed to lecture Nana Akufo-Addo on progressive activism on behalf of Ghanaian women had either conveniently forgotten the preceding constitutional crisis under the Mahama regime or she simply just couldn’t care less about the same.

Then, of course, there was also the much-maligned decision by then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2008, or thereabouts, to select Ms. Alima Mahama, the current Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, as his presidential-election running-mate which met with a fierce storm of protest, largely based on both raw and crass male chauvinism and fellow-female envy and jealousy, a la crabs-in-a-bucket philosophy. Shallow-minded and bandwagon “passengers” and fellow travelers like Lydia Forson are the ones who really ought to feel ashamed of themselves, and not up-and-doing vanguard and progressive policymakers and implementers like President Akufo-Addo who, by the way, has implemented more women- and gender-neutral quality-of-life-improvement programs than any other government leader in Ghana’s Fourth Republic.

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
June 6, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2019

This author has authored 4607 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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