I have yet to read the so-called Green Book, allegedly published by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), touting the purported achievements of the Mills-Mahama government (See “Volta Residents Fuming Over Mills’ ‘Deceitful’ University Achievement” Ghanaweb.com 4/11/12), but frankly speaking, I am not holding my breath, as many a New Yorker would say. I am not holding my breath because I was a young and naïve cadre of the erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), in charge of Health, with the National Youth Organizing Commission (NYOC), in Kumasi, when the then-Flt.-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings introduced and forced-fed us, his woefully misguided teenage acolytes, with the pabulum of the “original green book” which was authored by the clinically erratic late Libyan strongman, Col. Muammar El-Qaddafy, and made required reading to all demented, idiotic, culturally alienated and inferiority complex-wracked Black African leaders and their followers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And it would take me quite awhile to get over such deftly orchestrated Arab arrogance and plain African stupidity.
Back then, one could not make any head or tail of Mr. Qaddafy’s so-called revolutionary blueprint for development, and so one can only speculate over why a generation later, the Mills-Mahama government would decide to reprise such patent political and ideological fatuity. And we think we know a little bit of the answer: and it is simply that the visibly traumatized P/NDC operatives are still disconsolate over the condign demise of their Libyan hero; some even claim him to be a martyr, thus this lunatic decision to issue a thinly disguised memorial and ode to the old Sirte thug. And to have Vice-President John Dramani Mahama accuse the key operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) of, literally, being too daft to both comprehend and appropriate the nine-day “sterling” achievements of the Mills administration, is all the more asinine.
Predictably like Mr. Qaddafy’s three- or four-volume propaganda pamphlet, the Okudzeto-Ablakwa snake-oil touts are at it again, screaming deceptively over the proverbial top of their voices and insisting against common sense and decency that, indeed, President John Evans Atta-Mills, the genius retired tax-law guru from the College that Danquah Built, otherwise known as the University of Ghana, has actually established two full-functioning university colleges, respectively for the residents of the Volta and Brong-Ahafo regions, called the University of Health and Allied Sciences and the University of Energy and Natural Resources. No doubt the Doyen of Gold Coast and modern Ghanaian politics and his former mentee, the proverbial African Show Boy, must be concurrently turning over in their graves, even as we speak, to think that prime beneficiaries of their yeomanly efforts like Tarkwa-Atta and Salaga-Mahama would so brazenly and imperiously presume to reduce their emulative statesmanship to a chimerical act of electioneering campaign propaganda.
To the self-proclaimed “World Bankers” of the charade of principal NDC con-artists like Messrs. Mills and Mahama, one cannot feel too sorry or even apologetic. Needless to say, these nation-wrecking fanatics deserve every bit of the unvarnished intellectual insult being presently precipitated upon their pates by the two political sit-com acts. Of course, those who have been studiously reading my takes on Tarkwa-Atta and Salaga-Mahama (I hope that market strip in Accra still exists) couldn’t have so soon forgotten my insistence, ever since the faux policy instruments establishing the two make-believe universities were rammed through our National Assembly, that beyond the pure and tawdry act of electioneering propaganda, there is absolutely no substance to this charade. I was also recently amused to read a press statement by IMANI’s Messrs. Cudjoe and Simmons railing, rather ironically against all ethics and common sense, that, indeed, nowhere in our august 1992 Fourth-Republican Constitution is any Ghanaian government mandated to provide a tuition-free pre-K through 12 education for our country’s proverbial leaders of tomorrow!
Anyway, as I noted earlier on, nobody ought to be surprised if it eventually comes to light that Messrs. Cudjoe and Simmons have assumed their current capricious stance as a direct, or even indirect, result of a well-orchestrated NDC attempt to discredit the moral and intellectual integrity of their otherwise quite remarkable think tank; and/or that a handsome sweetheart deal, osmotically emanating from the old slave castle at Osu-Accra to these hitherto hardnosed and hard-punching young men, has been quietly and privately initialed. Else, why have the two gentlemen not issued any tirade or even a “constitutionally tempered” cautionary note against the rather vulgar and at once myopic, albeit vote-getting, decision by the Mills-Mahama government to issue cheap uniforms and exercise books to elementary school pupils, something the parents of the latter are already fairly successfully doing?
As Jamaica’s immortalized reggae musician and political activist Robert Nesta Marley put the matter tersely and more poignantly in one of his evergreen compositions, “There is [absolutely] no smoke without fire.” One is even prompted to wonder whether IMANI has, by such hitherto uncharacteristic decision to caustically carp the Akufo-Addo Tuition-Free Education Plan, not automatically and publicly signed onto the NDC bandwagon for Election 2012.
Conversely and to his great credit, the founder and presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, was quick and commendably harsh in his condemnation of IMANI’s rather mischievous attempt to playing electioneering politics with the future of Ghana’s youth. Needless to say, while there may yet be hope for IMANI, as a think tank, to promptly and ideologically retool its indisputably regressive stance on Ghanaian basic education, nonetheless, it is still doubtful whether Messrs. Cudjoe and Simmons would ever recover any remarkable modicum of the lost sheen of their policy-monitoring organization.
No need for regret on the latter score, for, by and large, such is the growing pains of life in the fast and expedient lane, as it were.
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 “Danquah v. Nkrumah: In the Words of Mahoney.”
The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com and www.africa-forum.net