By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The Akan have a saying that the noble and yeomanly are a great source of irritation to those outside their league.


These were the exact words that filtered through my mind when one of the rambunctious Trokosi Nationalist Critics (TNC) recently lit into the Okyenhene, because Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin II had been reported in a media article to have said that constructing roads need not occasion any stentorian bragging rights for any ruling political party in the country. Interestingly, the article which was originally sourced to was rather sensationally captioned “Constructing Roads Is ‘No Achievement’ – Okyenhene To Gov’t” 6/29/15).

What the Okyenhene had actually said was that it was about time the two major Ghanaian political parties did away with the inordinate politicization of such infrastructural projects as road construction; and that any sitting government that embarked on such basic, albeit crucial, projects needed the cross-partisan – he had actually used the less politically charged terminology of “non-partisan” – support of all Ghanaians. Dear Reader, take this reading: “Let us help everybody because President Mahama is doing the work for Ghana. He is not doing it for NDC or NPP. It looks like everything in this country is NPP and NDC. Whatever development project any political leader undertakes is for Ghana, not for NDC, NPP or any other political party.”

The Okyenhene also went on to observe that, historically, most governments had not satisfactorily met this basic obligation of constructing good roads across the country, and that when private individuals had supplemented the woefully inadequate efforts of the government, these private individuals had been taken for granted by the government. Indeed, in the latest of such politicization of routine government business, President Mahama effusively commended the ruling party for initiating several road works in the cocoa-growing regions of the country. That self-back-patting was clearly not deserved because in primarily targeting the cocoa-growing areas of the country, the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress was luridly being exploitative like the erstwhile British colonial administration that primarily concentrated on getting the country’s mineral resources and cash-crop produce out of the country.

For Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin, much more needed to be done by the central government to move the nation healthily along. Among the salient items that needed to be at the top of the national agenda, according to the Okyenhene, were employment or labor development, education and health. In particular, Osagyefo-Amoatia II highlighted employment development because the latter avenue stood to broaden the tax base of the government for national development. His main concern with the unsavory politicization of development projects in the country was that such partisan approach to development was patently unhealthy and decidedly unsustainable in the long term, as successive governments, in order to score cheap and quick political points, chose not to continue with important projects started but unfinished by their predecessors, for fear of not being properly credited for their contributions to these already existing projects.

But, of course, if you are a Trokosi Nationalist Critic and are rabidly anti-Akan and anti-monarchy, the trend and depth of your analytical skills – for want of a better term – tend to be predictably hollow and shallow and petulantly off-tangent. For the TNC often hears and reads into texts what s/he wants to hear and fabricate his/her own tendentious interpretations of texts – both oral and written – that are otherwise straight-forward in meaning and unmistakably lucid and limpid.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]


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