To hear its rascally founding father tell it, one would think that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) was, indeed, founded on the age-old ideals of justice, probity, accountability and equity in the distribution of our proverbial national cake. Of course, I would rather have the dietary imagery of the latter maxim delightfully replaced with our good, old ofam. Legend has it that this local ripe-plantain muffin was invented by my kinsfolk on the Akuapem scarp. Perhaps it was invented at either Aburi or Akropong in flavorful riposte to its Western-European prototype.
Anyway, time has long been said to throw up and deftly wash ashore whatever is covertly, and even deviously, buried in the trundling bowels of the sea. And so it is that in recent weeks Ghanaians have quaintly been witnessing the real stuff of which the ruling so-called National Democratic Congress is made. And to tell our readers the truth, there is nothing absolutely short of the downright retching about the same.
In other words, unless the spectator just landed at the La(badi) Pleasure Beach last midnight, only wet-eared observers of the Ghanaian political scene would be tempted to envisage that treacherous juggernaut called the National Democratic Congress in terms other than the veritable and immitigably cynical extension of the vaulting megalomania of former President Jeremiah John Rawlings. Which is why it comes as all too predictable for Mr. Rawlings to be brutally and inexorably spoiling for the summary ouster of President John Evans Atta-Mills, in order to make way for the “Third-Coming” of the Rawlings Dynasty, this time around, to be suavely fronted by Her Bloody Majesty, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings!
The curiously unpredictable equation here, as it were, regards the clinically feigned shock of his flunkies and minions, and one that comically reeks of congenital cretinism. In other words, it verges on nothing short of abject stolidity for any NDC apparatchik to claim not to have envisaged the proverbial handwriting on the wall, from the very moment that a seemingly politically spent Togbui Avaklasu abruptly, and expediently, morphed from the veritable strongman that he was into a neo-Pauline democrat by 1990, or thereabouts, even as this human hyena continued to vehemently kick and deafeningly scream against the new transparent and, ironically, accountable political culture of constitutional governance.
And here must also be vividly recalled the fact that upon the official inauguration of democratic rule in January 1992, Mr. Rawlings would emphatically state on the floor of the Ghanaian parliament that he decidedly lacked the requisite fortitude for the “tedious” and “unsavory” process of the ideational deliberation that is the hallmark of democratic governance. And to be certain, of the now-three presidents who have been elected under Ghana’s Fourth-Republican dispensation, Mr. Rawlings’ tenure has been the least democratic, in terms of rampant polling irregularities and state-sponsored acts of intimidation and downright terror.
Anyway, as I pondered the raging internecine wrangling among the key players of the ruling National Democratic Congress, I prophetically thought about Sheikh I. C. Quaye, the former Greater-Accra Regional Minister, and could not stop myself from an involuntary guffaw or two. And, of course, on the latter score may be vividly recalled the fact that on the eve of Election 2008 (actually it was sometime around 11/30/06, see the Ghanaian Statesman), the fast-aging Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye had vowed not to quit politics until the total destruction of the then-opposition National Democratic Congress had come full cycle. Alas, shortly thereafter, the then-ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) would be painfully, albeit understandably, swept off the main stage of national politics back into the dreary wings of both parliamentary and gubernatorial opposition.
What sardonic splendor? Many an NDC party hack must likely have gloated. Earlier on, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia (a.k.a. “General Mosquito”), the gangling and rhetorically acerbic General-Secretary of the then-opposition National Democratic Congress, had plausibly predicted that the metaphorical elephant of the NPP would be driven back into the sylvan thicket of abject political marginality. Needless to say, the ironic twist here is that in the case of the NDC, being swept onto the margins of Ghanaian politics would almost certainly come as a pure act of suicide. For as it must have become eerily and increasingly clear to both the key operatives of the NDC and Ghanaians at large, the National Democratic Congress as an ideological machinery, or political party, is patently no more than a mere extension of the egomaniacal ambitions of Mr. Rawlings and his hermetically loyal and criminal accomplice of a wife, Nana Konadu-Agyeman Rawlings!
The nutritional mainstay of the NDC, of course, has inhered in the ability of Mr. Rawlings to tactically divide the Akan ethnic majority, even while intensely politicizing a hitherto fairly ideologically diverse Ewe ethnic, albeit critical, minority into an ideological monolith. Fortunately, like all artificial and unnatural phenomena, this invidious and divisive Machiavellian game seems to be fast unraveling. And it is in the latter vein in which the raging divisions among key NDC players in the Volta Region must be envisaged (See “Volta NDC Swerves Rawlings, Declares Support for Mills” Ghanaweb.com 4/13/11; and also, “Dissent from Volta: NDC Executives Deny Endorsing Mills for 2012” MyJoyOnline.com 4/13/11).
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author, most recently, of “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011).