Feature Article of Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Receiving a high-powered delegation from the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs at the Flagstaff House on Feb. 12, 2013, President John Dramani Mahama was reported to have assured the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin II, that he intended to abide by any verdict handed down by the Ghana Supreme Court on the hotly disputed outcome of the 2012 presidential election (See “I Will Abide by the Supreme Court’s Ruling – Mahama” Ghanaweb.com).
This, obviously, ought to come as quite refreshing news, in view of the fact that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) is hardly known to harbor any remarkable modicum of respect for any decisions handed down by the Wood court in recent years that have not been deemed to favor the capricious whims and aspirations of the key operatives of the NDC.
Not very long ago, for instance, the chairman of the ruling party, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, obliquely, albeit unpardonably rudely, threatened to either summarily liquidate members of the Supreme Court who were not known to toe the NDC vigilante party line or have them rendered practically ineffective as to make them seem as good as nonexistent. And then in the infamous Obetsebi-Lamptey landed property case, two former junior members of the Atta-Mills cabinet were allowed to contemptuously flout a Supreme Court verdict and readily get away with the same.
In brief, what I am clearly trying to imply here is that President Mahama’s promise to abide by any verdict eventually delivered by the Supreme Court on the results of Election 2012, may definitely not be worth the price of the newsprint on which it was published. And so about the only good news that comes with such curious pontifical promise is the fact that the “undertaker” can be forensically held up to his own public pronouncement on this count.
Personally, I think that Mr. Mahama’s “oath” to the Okyenhene had far more public relations capital than practical substance. And I surely hope to the high heavens that he had not been so fast and forthcoming with the same. I say the foregoing squarely based on the retrospectively spurious peace accord that was reportedly brokered by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace in the lead-up to Election 2012.
You see, I am increasingly coming to the firm opinion that expediently drawing Ghanaian kings and chiefs into partisan politics is volatile and dangerously unacceptable. For instance, since the Asantehene rather unfortunately allowed himself to be inauspiciously drawn into the Election 2012 impasse, are we therefore apt to casually assume his forensic complicity in the fraudulent outcome of the same? I mean, His Royal Majesty cannot claim not to have witnessed Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan’s clearly suspicious and deliberate attempt to rig Election 2012 in favor of the presidential incumbent by inopportunely, albeit strategically deviously, creating 45 additional constituencies with scarcely four months before December 7, 2012?
In sum, these are some of the hard, albeit inescapably relevant, questions that we ought to be asking our traditional rulers, if the country is to be steered in the right direction towards the ideal destination. I also sincerely happen not to believe that the Okyenhene ought to have personally gone to the Flagstaff House to seek an audience with President Mahama. He could have meaningfully taken a cue from the Asantehene by delegating one of his deputies for the same.
I would also like to see the Okyenhene reside more often and perennially in his beautiful traditional capital of Kyebi and also Koforidua, for historical and cultural reasons, than the nation’s capital of Accra, although since 1730, when Akwamu’s suzerainty over the Ga was shattered by Akyem-Mansa, actually Akyem-Manu, Akyem leadership and influence have been heavily exerted and felt in the present-day Greater-Accra Region.
That Nana Akufo-Addo, the main Ghanaian opposition leader and the 2012 New Patriotic Party presidential candidate is a close relative of the Okyenhene, is the more reason why Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin ought not to have put in any personal appearance at the Flagstaff House, so as not to appear complicit in any interpretations that may eventually greet the eagerly anticipated Supreme Court verdict on Election 2012.
And, oh, yes, I perfectly know that I could have picked up the phone and chatted it up with Osagyefo; alas, fortunately or unfortunately, this is a serious national issue about which we cannot risk being cavalier.