“They have few lawyers who are only good at writing,” Mr. Alban SK Bagbin, the longest-serving career politician in Ghana’s Parliament, was reported to have told a gathering of visibly crestfallen members of the main-opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the party’s headquarters on the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Rawlings-minted faux-revolutionary political machine. The third-person plural pronoun “They,” in the Bagbin quote above, of course, referred to the leadership of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Now, this is funny because it was the leading lawyers of the National Democratic Congress who, in their bid to scoring cheap political points over the assassination of Dagbon Overlord, Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani, II, in 2002, paraded before the court trying the alleged criminal suspects a young man who was only 4 years old at the time of the brutal murder of Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani, and the equally brutal massacre of some 40 royal courtiers and princes, as one of the conspirators and prime suspects of that globally infamous act of regicide of the most heinous order.
And so, yes, the New Patriotic Party leaders may be composed of a handful of lawyers who are only good at writing. But in court on that historic day, not a single one among the teeming ranks of the purportedly crackerjack lawyers of the National Democratic Congress proved either himself or herself to be worth the description or label of professionally trained and competent legal practitioner. And this, of course, included the Nadowli-Kaleo Methuselah. The extant NDC Attorney-General and Minister of Justice who handled the case, handled it so scandalously and amateurishly that Mr. Martin Amidu, her successor, would later bitterly complain that he had inherited a poorly prepared case against the alleged prime suspects in the Ya-Naa cause célèbre.
That abjectly incompetent Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, of course, was Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu. The fact of the matter is that almost none of the lawyers on the NDC’s side of the ideological divide may either be good at writing or the finer points legal practice. They are, namely to a person, only good at blowing hot air on radio and television talk-shows. Mr. Bagbin is also obstreperously risible when he calls on party apparatchiks to unite in the lead-up to Election 2020.
Here again, the Nadowli-Kaleo Methuselah, as some of his most ardent political opponents and critics label him, after the oldest person recorded in the Christian Holy Bible, proves himself to be too out of touch with the reality of Ghanaian politics to realize the all-too-glaring fact that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress massively lost Election 2016 not because the rank-and-file membership of the party was disunited, but primarily because the party had absolutely no meaningful and substantive achievements, by way of concrete national development projects, to showcase to an increasingly highly sophisticated and results-oriented Ghanaian electorate.
The preceding notwithstanding, Nana Obiri-Boahen may be grossly mistaken to facilely assume that an NDC government is highly unlikely to emerge within the next 8 years on the national political landscape. The dream of the Deputy General-Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party could only hold steady and true, if Nana Obiri-Boahen remains circumspect, levelheaded, unassuming or humble and stop using his new-found power on the public property-retrieval task force, as well as his so-called Invisible Forces vigilante organization, to insolently and inordinately harass his main or prime political opponents. Indeed, complacency has always been the bane of the key operatives of the New Patriotic Party in the recent past; and it could come back to haunt people like Nana Obiri-Boahen and, indeed, the ruling party as a whole, once again.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York