I read Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah’s rejoinder titled “ ‘African Union Vindicates Atta-Mills [sic] Peaceful Policy on Côte d’Ivoire’; Akufo Addo-Led NPP, Come Again” (MyJoyOnline.com 2/4/11) and found it to be totally devoid of merit. To be certain, the jaded and vacuous stance taken by the writer on his subject curiously presumes Ghanaians to be woefully lacking in both long-term and short-term memory capacities. And this largely accounts for the straw-man’s gimmickry by which the longtime Rawlings envoy is able to risibly arrive at a patently unproven case of foreign-policy “vindication” for President John Evans Atta-Mills.
Anyway, for those of our readers who may have, somewhat, forgotten some of the details involved in the foreign-policy wrangling between the Atta-Mills government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), we briefly hereby recall the fact that President Mills attended an ECOWAS summit last December, during which West African heads of state and government officially resolved on the “legitimate use of force” against Côte d’Ivoire’s President Laurent Gbagbo, should the latter decline to voluntarily relinquish power in favor of his arch-rival, political opponent and the presumed winner of the November presidential election run-off.
And on the preceding score must be emphatically observed that at absolutely no recorded time did President Mills present a divergent point of view on the Ivorian crisis from the common stance and front adopted and ratified by his ECOWAS counterparts.
Maybe President Mills, like Mr. Spio-Garbrah who once called the former “damaged goods,” believes that ethical principles have absolutely no place in the dynamics of international diplomacy, a clearly reprehensible stance which readily calls into question Mr. Spio-Garbrah’s self-vaunted edge on diplomatic protocol.
In sum, had the President gone to Abuja touting a dissenting policy stance of “Dzi Wo Fie Asem,” or the tired and widely discredited principle of “territorial integrity,” as a lone ranger among the ECOWAS leaders, only to shortly thereafter have his unique stance resoundingly endorsed by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, then, of course, one could rationally, logically and unreservedly talk about the foresighted “vindication” of President Mills. But, of course, we all know the exact opposite to have been the case.
Needless to say, it is all-too-embarrassingly obvious that Mr. Spio-Garbrah lacks even this basic appreciation of the infinitive verb of “to vindicate,” thus his rascally attempt to throw dust into the eyes of the Ghanaian people.
Conversely, the firm and unwavering position of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is solidly one of principle, a trait that appears to be sorely lacking in the NDC spearhead and Ghana’s chief-of-state. And it is simply that one ought to put one’s mouth where one’s proverbial money is. In other words, one would expect President Mills’ initial stance on Côte d’Ivoire and the Gbagbo-Ouattara affair to have been pre-informed by an intimate – commander-in-chief’s – knowledge of the state of our national security infrastructure and logistics. What really occurred was a belated post-Abuja consultation with his military commanders and field officers, which prompted the President, then, to do an about-turn on the Abuja accord!
Unfortunately, what readers get by way of his defence of the purportedly informed and foresighted leadership of President Mills from Mr. Spio-Garbrah, is a reckless and sophomoric trotting out of the names of such Rawlings lickspittles as Brig.-Gen. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, Lt.-Gen. Henry Smith and Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, just like a teenage schoolboy would do.
Consequently, Mr. Spio-Garbrah ends up only convincing his audience of his abject lack of wisdom and maturity. In the process, the critical reader and thinker also wonders whether this weight-throwing honorary doctorate holder knows anything worthwhile about the intricacies of our national security apparatus.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
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 of “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011).