Opinion: Thanks for the Correction, Nana Conduah by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jnr., Ph.D.

Following the recent publication of my column titled “On the GETFund Exposé,” which appeared on several Ghanaian media websites and portals, one avid reader of my political commentary pieces by the name of Mr. Bernard Conduah, by his own personal testimony, wrote to correct some factual errors that he found in the same because, as the writer graciously and felicitously noted, yours truly is very likely to repeat these minor but, nonetheless, quite irritating errors over and over again, “since you love to write.” The critic was also dead-on-target to observe that writing is “your passion,” that is mine, of course. Well, the fact of the matter, Brother Bernard, is that I know how to do little else besides writing political and sociocultural commentaries and poetry and an occasional short story. I am very grateful to Mr. Conduah for his positive feedback and corrections and invite other readers who are so positively disposed not to hesitate to e-mail me any constructive criticisms and other teachable pointers that they may find in any columns or articles of mine that they happen to read in the near future.

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It goes without saying that in the Cyber Age, interactive communication is the indispensable norm and offers the necessary balance of opinions and facts that ought to guide the discourse of the proverbial well-informed and well-examined life. Anyway, in the main, the two corrections kindly offered yours truly by Mr. Conduah are, one, the fact that Auditor-General Danial Domelevo spells his middle name of “Yaw” as “Y-A-W,” and not “Yao,” as yours truly had it in his column. Well, my response to the correction of this error is twofold, namely, the characteristic sloppiness of the general fare of Ghanaian journalism and this writer’s own obviously avoidable sloppiness. In the first instance, what I have noticed ever since I can remember is this weird tendency whereby almost no two Ghanaian reporters writing for two separate newspapers – sometimes, even for the same newspaper – would spell the Ghanaian names of their news-making subjects in variant ways, especially if such names also happen to be cross-ethnically appropriated.

For example, the popular Akan day-name of “Yaw” is one such cross-ethnically appropriated label. It is generally widely accepted that “Yaw” is originally Akan in designation, although this name, with certain orthographical variations and/or modifications, also widely appears among the names of other neighboring ethnic polities or groups. Among the Ewe, to which ethnic group or polity Mr. Domelevo belongs, the Thursday-born day-name of “Yaw,” as it is predominantly used and spelled by the Akan, is “Yao,” although as it is predictably to be expected, not all Ewes prefer to spell their Thursday day-name as “Yao.” The subject of discussion here, of course, pertains to the use of Ghanaian male day-names. The same situation prevails vis-à-vis the day-name of “Kwaku,” in Akan-Twi, spoken by the overwhelming majority of the Akan people, including the legendary Akwamu, Akyem and Asante people; “Kweku,” among the Fanti on the Gulf of Guinea Coast; and “Koku,” among the Anlo-Ewe-speaking people of the southeastern tip of the country.

You see, the savvy and simple thing for me to have done ought to have been for this writer to have Google-searched the name of Mr. Domelevo in order to ascertain precisely how Ghana’s Auditor-General spelled his own version of the name “Yaw” or “Yao,” by clicking up Wikipedia whose ubiquitous encyclopedic entries, by the way, oftentimes are as discrepant and orthographically confusing as scanning the Ghanaian newspapers for any such information. But perhaps the real problem comes from the fact that yours truly has authored dozens of columns on Mr. Domelevo in which he has routinely spelled the latter’s middle name as “Yao,” instead of “Yaw,” as a result of the bad habit of stereotypical thinking. The foregoing is further complicated by the fact that until Mr. Conduah graciously sent me his correction, this error had never been called up to my attention by any of my readers.

The second correction brought to my attention by Mr. Conduah was that contrary to my assertion that until his official appointment on December 30, 2016 by a lame-duck President John Dramani Mahama, Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo had been appointed to any Acting Auditor-General of the Ghana Audit Services post; Mr. Conduah says that this was, in fact, really not the case, and that it was, in fact, Mr. Richard Quartei Quartey who had been Ghana’s substantive Auditor-General from 2010 until around the period between December 22 and December 26, when the latter’s tenure ended. Still, I am curious to learn about precisely who had appointed Mr. Quartey to his post as substantive Auditor-General in 2010. Very likely, it was then-President John Evans Atta-Mills, late. If the preceding observation has validity, then it is rather curious that a departing electorally defeated President Mahama should name a new Auditor-General with whom he was not going to be working, thereby seriously raising credible doubts that the real intent here was not to deliberately and effectively sandbag the incoming Akufo-Addo-led Administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

More so, when the current Auditor-General has been widely rumored to be a staunch card-carrying bona fide member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), although from the inception of his appointment as the substantive Auditor-General of the Ghana Audit Services, Mr. Domelevo has publicly assured the nation that he was first and foremost professionally focused on ensuring fiscal accountability at all levels of government and the civil service. So far, the apparent controversy swirling around the job performance of Mr. Domelevo may very well be more one of perception than the practical reality; that is, the obvious perception, at least on the part of his detractors, that Mr. Domelevo seems to be more aggressive and, perhaps, even more hostile in his evaluation and/or auditing of the accounts books of the executive operatives of the present government than his NDC-appointed predecessor had been with the fiscal accountability of the previous John Dramani Mahama-led regime of the National Democratic Congress.

It is, of course, absolutely no fault of Mr. Domelevo’s that the latter well appears to be performing at a more professionally competent and disciplined level than his immediate predecessor. Ultimately, as intimated in a previous column, short of a gross exhibition of incompetence and provable politically vindictive and excessively prejudicial performance, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would do his corruption-fighting administrative agenda and the country at large much better by keeping Mr. Daniel “Yaw” Domelevo at his post. The fact of the matter, as yours truly has maintained time and time again, is that the real enemies of the present government are those key operatives of the New Patriotic Party who deliberately and strategically made his auspiciously historic journey to Jubilee House, in retrospect, a Sisyphean Odyssey. In short, Auditor-General Yaw Domelevo ought to decidedly be the least bit among the worries of Nana Akufo-Addo.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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