By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
In the nation’s capital with a delegation of chiefs for a lecture on democratic political culture and governance, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, was reported to have paid a courtesy call on the 2012 presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and admonished Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his supporters to abide by any decision handed down by the Atuguba-presided panel of Supreme Court jurists hearing the NPP petition, vehemently challenging the legitimacy and integrity of both President John Dramani Mahama and the 2012 general election as a whole (See “Otumfuo Counsels Nana Addo to Accept Petition Outcome” JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 5/17/13).
Needless to say, the Asantehene was preaching to the wrong crowd and audience. First of all, the institutional sponsor of the democracy lecture being attended by Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), was founded by Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, one of the three pillars behind the ideological tenets and agenda of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and not by either Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, the founding father of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), or Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first postcolonial Ghanaian premier and founder of the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP).
But even more importantly, the Asantehene ought to have conferred with the judges hearing the Election 2012 petition and admonished them about the fact that their conduct and decision were being sedulously watched by the global community; and also that the youths of today and posterity would not judge them kindly if their judicial performance is found to lack the highest level of integrity and professionalism. And maybe the operatives of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ought to dispatch a delegation to monitor the judicial proceedings, if they are not already doing so.
In other words, prevailing on Nana Akufo-Addo and the main opposition New Patriotic Party to preempt their righteous craving for justice, by vacuously undertaking to abide by any decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Ghana is grossly ill-advised. It is grossly ill-advised because the Asantehene has yet to significantly and publicly comment on the incontrovertible evidence of deliberate rigging of Election 2012 by Messrs. Mahama and Afari-Gyan. He needs to comment on this because he is the most powerful traditional ruler in the country and, therefore, cannot pretend to be totally unaware of the kind of political corruption and government-sponsored acts of mayhem and downright brutality that are the daily fare of the existence of the proverbial average Ghanaian.
Secondly, the sanguinary history of the National Democratic Congress and before the latter, the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (P/NDC) must not be either condoned or appeased, and the members and supporters of the P/NDC ought to be made to fully appreciate the fact that theirs is an unpardonably bloody political heritage.
Indeed, Nana Akufo-Addo demonstrates his enviable patriotism when he pledges to put the peace and political stability of Ghana above all else. Nevertheless, the NPP leader ought to be also reminded of the fact that the imperative need for democratic justice and accountability cannot be facilely sacrificed on the altar of bankrupt peaceability and/or tranquillity. The latter quality-of-life existential feature is what differentiates a civilized polity or society from a half-enslaved nation.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
May 17, 2013