GHANA:Does Ya-Na’s Ghost Haunt Aliu Mahama?

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The naivety of some Ghanaians is rather staggering when it comes to discussing our national cohesion in the face of growing inter-ethnic tensions. Thus recently, a gentleman with whom I had a brief conversation on contemporary Ghanaian politics proudly asserted the impossibility of a civil war erupting in our beloved country anytime soon. I asked him why he felt so cocksure of his stance, and his answer was simply that extensive intermarriages have virtually rendered us one people. Then I pressed him further to explain to me how it came about that such close-knit relatives and kinsfolk as the Abudus and Andanis, of the Dagbon/Yendi paramountcy, went at each other’s throats just a little under 10 years ago and ended up literally butchering Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II and some 40 others. I wouldn’t bore my dear reader with the mental acrobatics pathetically indulged by my interlocutor.

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Anyway, I wasn’t going to come this way anytime soon, but for the quite interesting story of the early-morning raiding of the private residence of Ghana’s immediate-former vice-president several days ago by the Upper-East regional police. The Regional Crimes Unit of the Ghana Police Service had apparently ransacked one of the homes of Alhaji Aliu Mahama on a tip-off received from the Service’s Accra headquarters that a suspect in the murder of the late Dagbon chieftain, by the name of Zechariah, had taken refuge in the ex-veep’s residence (See “Veep Aliu’s House Raided” Modernghana.com 7/8/10).

What is quite fascinating about the story is that the Bolgatanga police, which undertook the dawn raid, claims not to have known that, indeed, the residence of criminal-investigation interest belonged to former President Kufuor’s longtime administrative lieutenant. Needless to say, this is in no way to imply that Mr. Mahama himself is under any cloud of suspicion, whatsoever, although in the past the detractors of the former vice-president have rudely indicated that the latter had not maintained warm relations with the Andani Gate of the Dagbon “diptych.”

The raid, however, failed to net the prime suspect, although the butler of the residence, a Mr. Shaibu Sulemana and another by the name of Mohammed were picked up and shortly thereafter granted bail. What the preceding, of course, implies is that detectives may well have been convinced that the two men likely have had some criminally culpable dealings with Mr. Zechariah, the suspect, at some point between the 2002 Dagbon regicide and the time of the raid. Still, the foregoing does not in any way indicate whether Messrs. Sulemana and Mohammed are, in fact, implicated in the death of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II; at least not until a legitimate and competent court of law has so determined.

What is quite unusual about this case, particularly that aspect of which we are primarily concerned with in this story, regards the apparently uncanny temerity of a criminal suspect in such a high-profile case as the murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II to attempt to seek refuge and/or protection in the private residence of an equally prominent Ghanaian political figure as Alhaji Aliu Mahama. I mean, the usual pattern would have been for Mr. Zechariah, or whatever his full identity is, to have distanced himself as far away as possible from places where he is most likely to be discovered and picked up by law-enforcement agents in absolutely no time at all.

Anyway, among the Akan, there is a maxim that: “It is only water that loves a potential/prospective drinker that pours itself into that intended drinker’s cooler/drinking pot.” Conversely, another maxim which seeks to establish one’s integrity beyond the proverbial shadow of a doubt goes as follows: “Whoever told you that when the idiot was being driven out of town s/he took shelter in my backyard?”

Well, dear reader, there is a motor-mouthed pseudo-journalist somewhere in the British Isles who keeps talking the bloody talk of a Mafia capo, such as the revolutionary need to expeditiously DE-AKANIZE the New Patriotic Party by massively DAGOMBAIZING the same, I suppose; and who even accuses yours truly of being woefully incapable of dialing the correct phone numbers to his Abudu section of Little Yendi, London. Maybe the chap saw a picture of me on Face Book reading Braille!

How I wish this clinically addled SOB could get on the line with me. For I keep ringing his “cell” number; alas, all I get is this deafening static and trundling Atlantic waves. And then some prerecorded arrant nonsense and gibberish about how Mr. Achilles Socrates, or some such name, is the best political counsel that ever rented himself out, gratis, to the Akufo-Addo Campaign!

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 a former poet on “Variety Ahoy!” (GBC-2), hosted by Mr. Godwin Avenorgbor.

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

The opinions expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of AfricaNewsAnalysis.