In the past even when he was minding his own business, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, was mordantly accused of being a New Patriotic Party (NPP) drum-major. This, of course, largely stemmed from the massive Asante regional support garnered by then-President John Agyekum-Kufuor, a bona fide son of Manhyia, the august seat of the Asante Federation. And then when Mr. Kufuor was not gunning for the presidency, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II was widely accused of being the ringside corner man of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the two-time presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party.
Significantly, in both cases, such accusations have come from the largely anti-Akan/-Asante camp of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). We must also, promptly, add that Mr. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, are widely known to be frequent guests of the Asantehene, including just recently when the bloody couple were reported to have “stolen the show” at an Otumfuo birthday bash hosted by His Majesty at Manhyia.
Nonetheless, we hasten to emphasize the fact that such perennial hospitality has not, in any way, prevented the founding patriarch of the ruling National Democratic Congress from accusing former President Kufuor of attempting to impose Asante imperialism, whatever species of animal the latter may be, on the Anlo-Ewe.
And so, really, it cannot be taken in good faith that, indeed, the reportedly “high-powered delegation” composed of National Democratic Congress operatives seeking the intervention of the Asantehene with the hope of dissuading Mrs. Rawlings from contesting President John Evans Atta-Mills’ re-nomination bid as presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, could be doing so for purposes other than primarily seeking to flagrantly and opportunistically exploit the august institutional standing of the Asantehene for purely personal ends (See “Otumfuo to Stop Konadu from Contesting Mills” Ghanaweb.com 5/13/11).
For starters, already the Asantehene has both hands full with the downright hypocritical request of President Mills for Otumfuo to rekindle an abruptly abandoned earlier attempt at reconciling both the Andani and Abudu gates of the Dagbon royal family, in the wake of the 2002 brutal murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II. In the latter instance, curiously enough, efforts aimed at thwarting such crucial familial reconciliation were unconscionably spearheaded by Messrs. Jeremiah John Rawlings and John Evans Atta-Mills and the National Democratic Congress constabulary at large, as part of a major campaign scheme aimed at perpetually marginalizing the Danquah-Busia-Dombo camp on the national political landscape.
And so, really, it clearly amounts to nothing short of unpardonable insolence for some of the members of the NDC to be so presumptuous as to virtually envisage the Asantehene as an institutionally underemployed figure with absolutely no cares of his own, whatsoever.
Then also, any attempt on the part of Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II to intervene in the purely internal affairs of a legitimately constituted political party, such as the ruling National Democratic Congress, would be inexcusably tantamount to extra-monarchical interference in the fledgling democratic political culture of Fourth-Republican Ghana.
Needless to say, as a major political party and the current engine of national stewardship, the NDC is replete with several organizational structures focused on conflict resolution. And the latter pretty much explains the fact that when Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings strongly felt that her supporters and followers were being intimidated by party members with sworn allegiance to President Mills, it was to the NDC’s National Executive Committee that the career First Lady appealed, and not Manhyia or Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, for that matter.
It is also rather strange that if, indeed, most of the alleged incidents of intimidation and bribery of Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings’ supporters have occurred in the Eastern and Volta regions, that a delegation of party leaders poised to finding an effective solution to such problems would be largely composed of NDC operatives drawn from Asante and Greater-Accra regions. Something just doesn’t add up here, as it were.
I also find quite laughable the implicit idea that, somehow, the fate and fortunes of Ghana are inextricably intertwined with the purely individual and corporatist interests and ambitions of NDC operatives. Nothing could be farther from the truth. And the sooner the delusional likes of Alhaji Iddrisu Bature and the Rawlingses came to limpid realization, the better it would be for all stakeholders of our collective national destiny.
Needless to say, the auspicious overthrow and defeat of the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP) did not spell the doom of Ghana; and neither did the collapse of the Danquah-led and seminal United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) precipitate the end of postcolonial Ghanaian history.
If anything at all, the NDC and the Rawlingses have overstayed their welcome and value in postcolonial Ghanaian politics. And the sooner they accept political defeat and exit with grace and dignity, the better, before the raging Tsunami of the proverbial “Arab Spring” turns southwards to thoroughly sweep the bloody couple off the shameful tablet of Fourth-Republican Ghanaian history.
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 the author, most recently, of “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011).