Well, well, well…. Fellow countrymen and women, the Twenty-Million-Dollar Question has, at long last, come up again! I all along expected it to rear up its proverbially ugly head, once more; that was shortly after the people of Tain decided that the certified criminals that they knew, who had been blindly and voraciously plundering our national coffers for two decades and more, were far, far better to have at the helm of our beloved nation’s affairs, than those overfed and greasy “property-owning democrats” who complacently and naively thought that political power could be handily retained by merely supplying the people with ample goodies and guaranteeing them a respectable modicum of freedom.
No wonder, then, that these days, the Kyebi-Wenchi boys and girls of the mansion that Danquah-Busia built find themselves sitting high and dry on the narrow margins of the very society they ingeniously rendered the envy of continental Africa and beyond, even as the Aveyime punks and pranksters perform their usual “agbadza” sleight-of-hand. For, really, that’s exactly what mainstream Ghanaian politics is all about – abject gimmickry, propagandistic prestidigitation.
You see, what the shabby operators of the not-so-new New Patriotic Party (NPP) failed to learn from hindsight, is that most Ghanaians love their dictators much more than they love their own spouses, parents, children, grandchildren and paramours. Which is why even after forty-four years of dispatching their Ali Baba and his Forty Thieves to the fiery mountains of the Futa Jalon, many Ghanaians still believe that the most apocalyptic tragedy to ever befall our nation was to have boldly chucked off the neocolonialist yoke with which we were both saddled and caparisoned by our pan-Africanist Ali Baba Nana of Show-boy-dom.
Well, as we hinted at the very beginning of this missive, the Aveyime boys are back and in charge once more; they are back with a vengeance. And this time around, they have deftly decided that Monsieur Mahama Ayariga would purchase the Aveyime tractors at giveaway prices, and at the damnable expense of the diligent but indigent Ghanaian farmer through his notoriously inimitable spokesmanship at the Oguaa Kofi Presidency, secretly transport them to Bawku where some hooky-playing rice farmers would rent them for a few machete nicks at the throat and then a year on, exactly on the first anniversary of Oguaa Kofi’s accession to Kofi Antubam’s Praetor’s Chair, theatrically announce to a morbidly credulous Ghanaian populace the unprecedented revival of Aveyime.
Meanwhile, the ever cantankerous smart-alecky Koku Anyidoho would stage the traditionally elaborate Aveyime carnival in F-minor, with diversionary chants from the chorus pretending as if Juliet Renee Woodward Cotton, the smashing chocolate-colored protagonist, was stealthily and wickedly planted by the Kumasi boys of Kosmos.
Meanwhile, Oguaa Kofi’s chief-of-staff, that codger with the dramatically ironic name of John Henry (Martey) Newman, would make sure while everybody was drunkenly celebrating the centenary birthday anniversary of the African Show Horse, to have the Aveyime rice harvested in that other Aveyime located in the Indus Valley between the Ganges and the Bramaputra; and while everybody was busy and excitedly gorging up on news of the oil find, and pretending that the deftly concocted deflationary trend has, indeed, put a slew of chum change into their wallets and purses, Dubai-sneak the rice harvest from the Indian Aveyime into Port Dzelukope.
Folks, it is déjà-vu all over again! The Twenty-Million-Dollar Question ingeniously reworked into an unprecedented revolutionary exercise. And maybe, just maybe, it is true that “Someone Used Mr. Chief-of-Staff’s Name to Import Rice” (Ghanaweb.com 2/10/10).
Still, my dear countrymen and women, an imported rice is still rice, or am I missing something here? For Aveyime by any other Indian name, is still Aveyime! You may Okudzeto it or even Ablakwa it; still Aveyime by any other Indian name is still Aveyime!
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 also a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI), the pro-democracy think tank, and author of 21 books, including “Selected Political Writings” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008).