The Akan have a saying that oftentimes, your closest associate is the one you ought to fear the most. I suspect I have translated the original maxim, as well as any reasonably well-educated person, would, so I need not quote it in the Akan original. What is most important is the theme and/or subject of this column. It has to do with what the former Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (D-G of GMA) had to say about his decision to resign from the GMA, after he had budgeted for an end-of-year party that had been generally agreed upon by the senior staff of the GMA for some 500 people, although the official strength of the Authority was approximately 200. He says that he had budgeted for 500 party attendees and celebrants because the organizing committee that took the decision had decided to make allowance for the participation of “stakeholders, wives, girlfriends and dependents of GMA employees.”
Mr. Kwame Owusu, who was recently reappointed, this time as the Chairman of the Board-of-Directors of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), says that it was a fellow member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in dire need of his job who had a studious habit of leaking memorandums/da that he had either personally written or to which he had appended his signature to the media (See “My Fellow NPP Man at Ghana Maritime Authority Destroyed Me – Former Maritime Boss” Kasapafmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/9/19). But what ballooned matters out of proportion, according to Mr. Owusu, was his decision to expand the GMA D-G’s official two-bedroom residence into a four-bedroom house fitted with 11 air-conditioners, because the new house also contained other architectural and administrative essentials such as a library and a conference room, that engendered the public firestorm of protest that culminated in his savvy decision to resign as D-G of the GMA.
Even so, Mr. Owusu notes that the execution of his official request for the well-needed and long overdue expansion of the official residence of the GMA’s Director-General had been approved by the Director of the Prestige Division of the Public Works Department (PWD). In other words, it was not as if Mr. Owusu had either unilaterally or furtively decided on the same. Well, the good news is that the malicious backbiter who engineered the ouster of the GMA’s D-G may not have gotten his ungodly wish of being promptly named to the job vacated by Mr. Owusu. I thought about two things after reading the news story being presently discussed, both of which I found to be equally interesting. The first of these thoughts that flashed through my mind was that, perhaps, it would not be out of order altogether to have the newly renovated and healthily expanded official residence of the GMA’s D-G renamed “Kwame Owusu House” or simply “Owusu House,” in order to aptly memorialize or immortalize this visionary administrator who had so wisely recognized the need to significantly cut down the invariably prohibitive cost of having a guest or two of the D-G of the GMA put up in an expensive five-star hotel, as had been the long-established practice.
Then I also thought about what readily appeared to me to be the scandalous naivety of Mr. Owusu, for the latter to have so casually presupposed that the possibility of any potential or real threat to his job and/or professional success would have to, perforce, come from one or some of his main political opponents among the disappointed and desperate ranks of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Indeed, had he been studiously following events on the ground, as it were, Mr. Owusu would have long realized that the most vicious and malicious detractors of the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, heading for the Presidency, at least since 2007, as yours truly vividly recalls, were some factional anti-Akufo-Addo operatives of the New Patriotic Party. For instance, the widespread accusation that then-Candidate Akufo-Addo was hooked up on hard drugs or had been advised by his doctors not to gun the Presidency because he did not have long enough to live, came from paid internal detractors of the New Patriotic Party, and not the equally maliciously slanderous operatives of the National Democratic Congress.
What all this means is that no matter the level of comfort perceived by Mr. Owusu, based on the sheer fact of him working among his own, ideologically speaking, that is, nevertheless, Mr. Owusu, like the rest of his ilk – and here, I am talking about the so-called Burgers, pronounced “Borgers” by many Ghanaians at home, I suppose from the original German pronunciation – must be perpetually on the lookout for party associates and even “friends” whose sole reason for existence or survival is to perpetually ensure, if not engineer, the total destruction of others. Be warned, Senior Brother. But always do rest assured that you simply cannot feel too comfortable among the political wolf packs among the ranks of both major political parties.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 26, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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