I read Benjamin Essuman’s article with the stentorian snort that it more than aptly deserves (See “NPP Govt’s Complicity on [sic] Cocaine (1)” Modernghana.com 2/13/12). Under the specious guise of exposing the infamous MV-Benjamin cocaine scandal, the author actually aims at evening out scores between the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Mills-chaperoned National Democratic Congress (NDC). It is almost as if the rather cynical Mr. Essuman (the other “Benjamin,” pun intended) wants to make a legitimate claim for the Wayome scandal, in which one individual Ghanaian citizen of dubious entrepreneurial acumen, with the full and unpardonably nauseating backing of the entire top hierarchy of the ruling National Democratic Congress, including President John Evans Atta-Mills, of course, fraudulently used the country’s judicial system to bilk Ghanaians of the humongous monetary sum of GH¢51 million.
Consequently, rather than cut to the chase by frontally exposing the alleged involvement of some NPP operatives in the epic national outrage that, definitely, was the MV-Benjamin cocaine saga, author Essuman prefers to cast matters in the following terms: “Alfred Woyome’s GH¢ 51 million unjustified payment is a big issue today. But the cost of having 77 parcels of cocaine (33 kilograms each imported into the country to destroy the youth in particular, far outweigh [sic] the GH¢ 51 million.” I am glad that Mr. Essuman is at least smart and honest enough to envisage the Woyome scandal for what it veritably is: an unjustified bilking of the Government and people of Ghana!
Still, I say, not so fast, Mr. Essuman; and please, never ever attempt, again, to compare proverbial apples to oranges. For starters, there is absolutely no available forensic evidence indicating that the money used by the alleged importers of the 77 parcels (or bags) of cocaine in the MV-Benjamin episode was fraudulently obtained under the guise of a judgment debt. You see, Mr. Essuman does not seem to even half-appreciate the fact that Mr. Woyome’s crime is the moral equivalent of attempting to either overthrow a constitutionally elected government and/or summarily attempting to destroy the nation at large. For at the end of the day, it is the judicial system that regulates the pulse of Ghana as a civilized polity. Thus committing perjury and using the latter to defraud the judicial system is veritably tantamount to a declaration of war on our Fourth-Republican dispensation. Needless to say, no such clinically or forensically sustainable claim can be made out of the MV-Benjamin scandal.
Secondly, it is an open secret, verifiable from such United States’ security agencies as the FBI and the CIA, that Ghana is more of a transshipment point, or port, on the international narcotic drugs route than a major consumer market of the same. And so the very notion that the main objective of the MV-Benjamin cocaine importers was to deliberately and primarily flood the country with this contraband and thus destroy Ghana’s youths is simply preposterous. Needless to say, the fact of the matter is that more than 90-percent of all illegal drugs entering the country have Western Europe and North America, largely the United States, as their final destination.
Maybe what the NDC scribal hireling ought to be explaining to his audience is the extent to which the missing 77 parcels of MV-Benjamin cocaine has aggravated or worsened the drug epidemic in Ghana and, in particular, what the Mills government has been doing so far to stem the tide, rather than tilting at windmills.
Readers and eligible Ghanaian voters must also not forget the lurid and apologetic manner in which President Mills responded to the initial revelation of the Woyome outrage. Back then, not only did the retired Legon Law School scholar applaud Mr. Alfred “Gorgormi” Woyome’s willful defrauding of the Ghanaian taxpayer with the glaring complicity of key operatives of the Mills cabinet, the President also went out of his way to publicly promise the felon the maximum level of personal security from the State. And this primarily explains why some citizens have called for the immediate resignation and prompt prosecution of the President. And on the latter score must also be promptly recalled the fact that no lesser Ghanaians like Messrs. I. K. Acheampong, F. W. K. Akuffo, Yaw Boakye, Utuka, Felli, Amedume and Kotei have been summarily executed by firing squad, and by Mr. Rawlings, for “stealing” much, much less of the public dole than Mr. “Gorgormi” Woyome, if at all.
Ultimately, any attempt to retributively revisit the MV-Benjamin episode ought to be envisaged as such: an unreservedly impudent and imprudent propagandistic and criminal attempt by the Mills-led National Democratic Congress to save face, as well as circumvent the rule of law by cheaply attempting to even out scores. And on the latter issue, the question that demands an immediate answer is as follows: Why did it have to take an election year before the Mills government decided to revisit the MV-Benjamin episode? You see, Mr. President, Ghanaian voters are not stupid. Not by any measure, whatsoever!
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 Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008).
The opinions expressed are the author’s and do nor necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com and www.africa-forum.net