I personally have followed the no-nonsense political career of Mr. Daniel Bugri-Naabu over at least the past four years and find him to be quite admirable. And so I was pained and very disappointed to learn of his recent public spat with Ms. Otiko Afisa Djaba, the admittedly and healthily feisty former National Women’s Organizer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (See “Otiko Djaba Must Shut Up – Kennedy Agyapong” Abusuafmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 5/11/17). Ms. Djaba, of course, is currently the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, while Mr. Bugri-Naabu is the Northern Regional Minister. I greatly admire both of these two cantankerous personalities for pretty much the same reasons.
Of course, the much older Mr. Bugri-Naabu casts a remarkably longer shadow on the Ghanaian political landscape. But Ms. Djaba was also born of a father, Mr. Henry Djaba, who acquitted himself quite creditably in both the Ghanaian business industry and the patronage and promotion of sports, in particular what is popularly known as soccer or association football. I first became familiar with Mr. Bugri-Naabu’s name when I was in secondary school and he was, as I vividly recall, a prominent member of the Rawlings-led government of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC). He may very well go down our history books as one of the key figures who facilitated the massive and resounding defeat of former President John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general election.
Several weeks before the latter landmark poll, Mr. Bugri-Naabu revealed a deftly orchestrated albeit dastardly attempt to prejudice him against then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by the Mahama Posse. It was a payola scheme in which Mr. Bugri-Naabu, who is also a businessman, was to be handsomely paid in exchange for his withering character assassination of the most formidable NDC’s political opponent. The scheme, thankfully, fell through, but it revealed something instructive about the hard-nosed or unscrupulous dealings of the Mahama Brothers. I was, however, personally not surprised by his no-nonsense swatting of the NDC’s would-be-character assassins.
Actually, anybody who has been following the Machiavellian political careers of the NDC apparatchiks is well aware of the fact that character assassination is what these Abongo Boys do best. But even as I hinted a little while ago, even prior to the seismic revelation of the Mahama Brothers’ character-assassination plot, the New Patriotic Party’s Northern Regional Chairman had given his fullest assurance that he was determined to fight tooth-and-nail against any mischievous attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC) to rig Election 2016 in favor of the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress, as had been widely perceived to have been the case with the hotly disputed 2012 general election.
What I find equally admirable about both Ms. Djaba and Mr. Bugri-Naabu, is the seemingly immitigable vengeance with which these two personalities are resented by the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress. For Ms. Djaba, this is primarily because as a close relative of the former President, she was not expected to have crossed party lines, let alone presume to publicly denounce her very powerful first-cousin for recklessly and callously derailing the development of the northern-half of the country. Indeed, we witnessed perhaps the most striking example of NDC animus for the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, when each and every one of the minority members on the Parliamentary Appointments Committee (PAC) adamantly refused to vote for the approval of her cabinet appointment.
I shall fully deal with the rather flabbergasting decision by these two proud and stubborn personalities to trade barbs on the question of party protocol recently in due course. For now, however, suffice it to tangentially observe that it is wholly not accurate that unlike the Akufo-Addo cabinet appointee, Mr. Bugri-Naabu could not be fired from his job of Northern Regional NPP Chairman, as Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong would have his audiences believe. Indeed, the man could very well be expelled from the party, if the inescapably damning charges of bribery and influence peddling levelled against Mr. Bugri-Naabu added up, as it were.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York