Oftentimes in the past, he had pointed out the reprobate and ever-scheming characters of the dangerous and crooked politicians to me. This time around, though, my avuncular friend and regular informant, Mr. Kwabena Ohemeng Akyeampong, did not have to veer that way at all. The scurrilous baldness of Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah’s abject opportunism was more than stark enough for all who cared to see. And about the only other baldness that readily rivaled the crass kookiness of this congenital opportunist was that of the ruddy butts of a caged baboon. And I am perfectly in the know about the latter because, you guessed right, I attended Okwawu-Nkwatia’s St. Peter’s Secondary School when Ghana, in retrospect, was run by relatively far more creative and foresighted citizens.
These days, the hoodlum pack often tend to position themselves in what in soccer parlance may be termed as “off-side” positions. It is a “monkey-work-baboon-chop” sort of shameless situation in which to find oneself. And, of course, for cynical, rascally and hard-nosed opportunists like “Oguaa Spio,” this is the ideal position in which anyone poised to breaking a neck or two in order to vault and vie for the presidency ought to be perpetually scheming for.
It is ironic, though, that the quite well-meaning and good-natured man who made it possible for Mr. Spio-Garbrah to perennially and tentatively position himself in exile while also desperately scheming to become President of Ghana is none other than former President John Agyekum-Kufuor, who recommended “Oguaa Spio” for the quite prestigious job of Chief Executive Officer of the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization. These days, though, “Oguaa Spio” snarls and sneeringly observes that it was, indeed, his own impeccable credentials that recommended him for the job; and also that, indeed Ekwow Spio-Garbrah did ex-President Kufuor an un-repayable favor when he accepted the quite remuneratively handsome job of CEO of CTO. He would, in due course, couple the latter job description and title with an honorary doctorate conferred on him by Santa Claus in some obscure college located somewhere in the American mid-west and suavely pretend that it is 1947 all over again and Spio-Garbrah, the reborn African Show Boy come out of the blue, literally speaking, to rescue Ghanaians and ferry them to the neo-Biblical Canaan. In reality, though, it is absolutely all about “Oguaa Spio.”
And it goes without saying that one of these “1947” days, “Konongo-Fante” will also pen a vainglorious and self-congratulatory rags-to-riches memoir titled “Ekwow Spio-Garbrah: The Autobiography of Ghana.” Or even more mellifluously, “Ghana: The Autobiography of Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.”
Anyway, as soon as he jumped off the plane and scurried off the tarmac at Kotoka at the height of the most recent and embarrassingly public hostilities between the Rawlingses and sitting President John Evans Atta-Mills, I knew immediately that such near-apocalyptic return to “Antsville” had absolutely nothing to do with either the failing health or even the death of his mother. It had to be about “Oguaa Spio’s” rankly and woefully mistaken suspicion that, somehow, Tarkwa-Atta was gasping for breath and in the irreversible throes of “Death’s Rattle.” Then, of course, his most predictable gut-reaction was to pitch camp and tents with the Rawlingses, the metaphorical Dzelukope/Sogakope Mafia, against the group which a now increasingly diffident and desperate Ekwow Spio-Garbrah calls the “Fante Confederacy,” whose clearly non-Fante core members, viz., Messrs. Ato Ahwoi and Kofi Totobi Quakye, “Oguaa Spio” claims had viciously dissuaded Tarkwa-Atta as far back as January 8, 2009, the very day on which the latter took the oath of allegiance as the third-elected President of Fourth-Republican Ghana, from naming him as Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Of course, nobody expected a pathologically cynical and myopic Ekwow Spio-Garbrah to fully recognize the fact that, indeed, a “long-term-memory-endowed Jew” like Tarkwa-Atta did not need the likes of Messrs. Ato Ahwoi and Totobi Quakye to remind him of the indescribably nasty extent and level at which “Oguaa Spio” had luridly attempted to character assassinate the man from whom Mr. CEO of CTO now shamelessly expected the generous portfolio benefit and virtual boondoggle of Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
One can almost be certain that with Judas Ekwow Spio-Garbrah so dangerously and uncomfortably seated beside him on the same couch, Tarkwa-Atta had no other alternative than to promise “Oguaa Spio” a job that he absolutely had no intention of ceding him, if he were to extricate himself from the Devil’s Love-Seat in one whole piece and actually live down the job description for which he had been campaigning for eight years and three seasons! (See “Spio: Mills Promised to Make Me Foreign Minister, But…” Ghanaweb.com 5/20/11).
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).