Unless a free or complimentary reviewer’s copy is availed me, I do not intend to read Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni’s political biography or memoir titled “The Fourth John: Reign, Rejection and Rebound” because TheGhanaReport’s take on the latter does not reveal anything new. Then also, my decision to read the aforementioned book will pretty much depend on any free time that yours truly may have on his hands; for, frankly speaking, I do not consider former President John Dramani Mahama to be a major postcolonial Ghanaian leader and, definitely, not a major African leader in the way that one may deem such epochal agenda-setting postcolonial Ghanaian leaders as Presidents Kwame Nkrumah, John Agyekum-Kufuor and, you aptly guessed it, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Then also, the subtitle of “Reign, Rejection and Rebound” of John Mahama ought to inform anybody familiar with this propagandistic spiel by Mr. Awuni on the post-Election 2016 Mahama, a largely compensatory guilt-tinged ethno-regional thrust, in the wake of the Mahama-Kanazoe Payola Scandal Apocalypse, that short of a woefully belated attempt to sell the self-proclaimed “Presidential Spare-Tire” as a prime leadership material, the author has absolutely nothing worthwhile to offer his readers besides what they already know, first-hand, via the four-and-half-year presidency of the man who has been described by the acclaimed founding-father of his own political party, namely, the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President Jerry John Rawlings, as the most thoroughgoing corrupt leader in Ghana’s postcolonial history.
Indeed, so incurably corrupt, according to Chairman Rawlings, is Mr. John Dramani Mahama that the junta leader of the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) says that he regrets having ordered the summary execution of Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and his associates of the defunct Supreme Military Council (SMCs I & II) for corruption and abjectly incompetent governance of the country. Mr. Awuni has himself recognized the thoroughgoing corrupt leadership of Mr. Mahama, but such unpardonable leadership foible has only been invoked by the “Bongo-Frafra” native – that is author’s own coinage, by the way – as an inalienable behavioral entitlement which Ghanaians are supposed to passively and unreservedly accept as part and parcel of the character makeup of the Akonfem (Guinea Fowl) post-Rawlings boot-for-boot revolutionary.
“We all know that John Mahama is a corrupt politician,” the onetime Ghana Journalists’ Association’s Journalist-of-the-Year once wrote in one of his legion columns vitriolically lambasting the Ghanaian leader that Mr. Awuni most loves to hate, to wit, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. But, of course, in the canonical opinion of the “Bongo Frafra Boy,” perceived corruption among the key operatives of the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) must not be tolerated under any circumstances whatsoever. It is also absolutely no news, whatsoever, to be told that as Second-in-Command to President John Evans Atta-Mills, late, Vice-President Mahama had been afforded short-shrift treatment by the likes of Mr. Koku Anyidoho, the Atta-Mills Communications Director. What Ghanaians really need to know is the fact of whether, indeed, then-Vice-President Mahama was under an Atta-Mills-ordered criminal investigation for a heist related to the purchase of some aircraft from Brazil.
If his 396-page book does not have any answer for this much-rumored allegation, then, of course, “The Fourth John” may not, after all, be worth the acid-free paper on which it was printed. Ghanaians and, indeed, the global community at large, want to know whether Mr. Mahama’s decision to resign his vice-presidency, according to Mr. Awuni, also had something to do with the former’s very public and inescapably meanspirited decision to heartily celebrate the death of his then-boss as an auspicious act of Divine Providence. This may very well have been what he was referring to when, recently, the renowned actor David Dontoh bitterly lamented that Ghanaians were no longer following the normal teachings of their indigenous cultures.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
November 25, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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