A point of clarification.
I take Ochere-Darko’s insults to be sufficiently self-serving as to be anything but stupid. I have no intention of insulting him and have refrained from that effectively. Thus “’Stupid’ Insults” here do not necessarily mean the insults were stupid. That is not what I meant in the title. The “stupid” is there only as a representative of Ochere-Darko’s original insult. Personally, I think that, far from being stupid, the insults helped Ochere-Darko to wriggle himself out of a difficult situation, without needing to concede to the dreadful fact that Danquah was indeed an imperialist agent. For him, it seemed important that any proper debate be sabotaged. Bothering to comport himself in a civilized manner could have been too dangerous. The truth could have come out so easily! So, for me, he is probably congratulating himself and thinks he has been clever for misbehaving in this way.
What is therefore necessary now is, for those of us who think otherwise, to make sure that he does not get away with it! Ochere-Darko cannot decide for Ghanaians which traitors we are allowed to name, expose, and shame, and which ones we may not. Human rights, rule of law or other self-righteous motivations for Democracy or for CIA stipends notwithstanding! We all have a moral responsibility to denounce the agents of imperialist domination of the people of Ghana because it has a direct impact on the quality of our very lives. And the fact that one could have a personal relationship with any traitor, does not accord anyone any right or special privilege to misbehave publicly whenever those dry bones are mentioned in a proverb. So far as there is evidence from a credible source that J. B. Danquah’s wife received stipends from the CIA to which he, Danquah completely felt entitled, to the extent of going to complain about “payment arrears” to the US Ambassador, instead of saying “thank you” to the CIA, the remarks by Dr. Omane Boamah can not be considered “stupid”.
On the contrary, some of us find it to be one of the wisest statements ever uttered on radio or TV in Ghana. This is very important in the light of the increasing lies and spin by the Danquah Institute which attempt to let Danquah pass as a national hero. The Ghanaian media needs to satisfy itself independently with the facts, determine for themselves on the basis of the evidence, whether or not one can safely argue that Dr. J. B. Danquah was a CIA asset. And if this is so, they should uphold the right to say so without being insulted in this way by a fellow panellist! Having satisfied themselves, our media practitioners will have to insist that Ochere-Darko apologized or finds himself ostracised. It would be repugnant enough if, after all this, without proper apologies, Ochere-Darko is to be invited once more to portray such an uncouth and arrogant character in public again. The media must take the bull by the horns and call a spade a spade, a hero a hero, and a spy a spy! He must be made to retract his insults, most especially because Dr. Omane Boamah was not just speaking an ordinary fact but an important truth and therefore did not deserve to be insulted for that.
The insult to person of Dr. Omane Boamah over this issue, is an assault to the persons of all the good people of Ghana.
It is because of “stupid” intimidations such as these that they have managed to cover their evil tracks all these years. We need to fully expose them in order to be free. We need to grab this particularly stubborn cat by the neck and dip its nose into the offending material that is more than just familiar to it, until it learns “to do it” somewhere else! It is a good sign of the re-awakening spirit of Kwame Nkrumah surrounding the third anniversary celebrations of his centenary, to see the final episodes to the ignominious end of traitors, agents, and assets of the imperialists laid to rest. This is time to turn on the heat. I invite every right thinking Ghanaian to join in this campaign in their own creative ways, to put pressure on Ochere-Darko to do the right thing. And it is important that the contentious issues that rose up be settled dispassionately by our media practitioners. It has serious implications on what the Danquah tradition actually represents. Little wonder we see Ochere-Darko, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, at the end of his wits.
It will be an important service our media practitioners will be doing to the good people of Ghana, to help them see the light and steer themselves away from their miserable hand-to-mouth existence. For Ghana to go forward, we need to begin from the beginning and find out what went wrong. It is often not easy to draw the line where one must begin. That is why I personally find this revelation as a key to understanding the modern history of Ghana, and in particular, the kind of forces represented by the Danquah Institute and their Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo. What is going on therefore can only be seen as a part of the very rare and precious historic “moment of truth” that periodically open the eyes of the people. It heralds the beginning of a new era, and a shift of political direction for the country of Teutonic proportions, it is not just a simple shift from the politics of lies and insults, to the politics of integrity and intelligently accounting for one’s position instead of escaping debates through the use of lies and insults, but an irreversible shift independent of arrogant politicians because the public insists on it. This is why the Ghanaian media needs to take on Asare Ochere-Darko.
An important fact that publicly emerged in this year’s celebrations is recent publications that have thrown further light on some of the darker pages of our history. As the new light focuses on their dastardly anti-people activities against the sovereignty and independence of Ghana, we see in the line-up to the entirely orchestrated attempt to reverse all the gains of our independence and to set the clock backwards into neo-colonialism, credible stories that help to figure out the heroes and traitors of this country. On the bloc is J.B. Danquah. As it turns out, a book published by Professor Richard Mahoney, a son of former US Ambassador to Ghana Mr. William Mahoney, 1962-1965. claims that Dr. J.B. Danquah went to the US Embassy, after Nkrumah had pardoned Danquah and other detainees on June 2, 1962, to ask “why the funds his family had been receiving during his imprisonment had been cut after his release.” It is strange that Ochere-Darko claims to have read the book and yet got the nerve to deny the accusations and call it “stupid”. Whatever the motivations of J. B. Danquah must have been is one thing, his closeness to the CIA is quite another thing, and Ghanaians must be able to let Ochere-Darko know clearly that talking about that is not stupid. And that he was wrong in the way he comported himself.
The book at the centre of the controversy, which came out at the debate has the title “JFK: Ordeal in Africa”. In this book, for those who care to add one to two and arrive at the sum of three, it comes out clearly that J.B. Danquah was a CIA asset. Published in 1983, the book confirms what Nkrumah must have known all along and thus explaining not only why Danquah went to prison, but also gaining a deep understanding of the political orientation and the dark possibilities behind the Danquah Institute itself. It is therefore a fitting tribute to the memory of the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, that one of his detractors gets exposed in no uncertain terms as a CIA asset. I am still waiting for a response from the Danquah Institute as regards the claims I made in a previous article: “J. B. Danquah Was A CIA Asset!” In that article, I argued that there is incontrovertible evidence to that effect that he knew and liked the stipends the CIA was paying to his wife, as to go ahead and to complain to US Ambassador William Mahoney, when Danquah was pardoned by Nkrumah on 02 June 1962, when this was cut. What was Danquah’s state of mind, if he did not consider himself as an agent deserving of the stipend? You don’t often see people complaining after such “generosity”, without even saying “thank you!”!
I am not going to go into all that again.
So far as I am concerned, the issue has been settled that J. B. Danquah was a CIA asset. I have given myself enough room to respond to any challenges to this demand for proper apologies in the name of decency. It is not for nothing that this article is labelled “Part One”. I promise that the “temperature” in these series of articles is bound to rise with each subsequent article, until Ochere-Darko swallows his pride and apologizes for those insults. I know what this can do to the Akufo-Addo campaign, so it is fine with me if Gabby remains adamant! We are not going to succumb to insults and intimidations to keep our traitors under the carpet! If one feels very uncomfortable with the emerging facts, for any other reasons such as family ties, or personal estimation, etc., that is no reason enough to transform oneself into a maniac in a fit of temper tantrums during a live TV and Radio public debate. Mr. Ochere-Darko lost total control over his senses, including his sense of personal comportment, courtesy, Parliamentary language, public debate protocols, civil manners, and ordinary decency.
What makes this even more unacceptable is the fact that the allegations put forward have been proven to be accurate, and dead right on the mark! Why should Ochere-Darko get away with this? My focus now is on the uncivilized and extremely uncouth behaviour by Gabriel Asare Ochere-Darko, and the challenges that this represents in our public discourses, and particularly the role of the media. The fact of the Danquah family receiving stipends from the CIA is public knowledge, thanks to Richard Mahoney. Ochere-Darko should fly to the US and scream “stupid” to Richard Mahoney, and not those of us who believe he has no reason to lie. The fact that Dr. J.B. Danquah was a CIA asset comes out clearly enough in the book. That he was most probably abandoned later on by the CIA is not our business. What right has Ochere-Darko to impose limitations on free speech over issues of serious public interest? This is a matter of public interest, and you do not pursue such a national discourse with insults. Now that we know that what Dr Omane Boamah said was not that stupid, but on the contrary, a statement of fact of immense importance to the discussion on the theme of the Founder’s Day. Is it not about time for Mr. Ochere-Darko be asked to render unqualified apologies for comporting himself in a manner that qualified him as a public nuisance?
The media should be invited to put this rude individual’s credibility to comport himself in a civilized manner on the line until he does the right thing. This must be done before they bring him again to comment on issues of national importance being debated live on radio and television. We are not asking him to be silenced. We are asking that Ochere-Darko be compelled to do what is proper. We are asking him to render unqualified apologies for his unjustifiable behaviour. Otherwise, it is the media, and not Ochere-Darko who must justify the inclusion of such a character in their programmes. It is no one’s fault if someone happens to be a grandson of a CIA spy, and it should not warrant the barrage of insults in what Ochere-Darko himself called an “an intellectual programme”. It is precisely because it is an intellectual programme that Ochere-Darko needs to justify his future inclusion, in the light of such awful performance.
The main issue at stake:
The main issue that is at stake is not just whether or not Ghanaians have a right to be allowed to discuss a matter as important as that without being insulted by Asare Ochere-Darko, but whether or not we need to draw the line as we enter in an electoral year, to ensure that irresponsible and uncouth individuals do not get the chance to inflame the already highly inflammable situation with unguarded statements. If he is not even sorry about this, what is the guarantee that he can not do something worse next time? Our media houses need to stand up to their responsibilities and challenge the use of intemperate language, insults, and encourage the appropriate decorum in our civil discourses particularly on live radio and TV discussions. This is fundamental to the peace and security of this country. Ochere-Darko must be made to apologize or face a media boycott. If he is unfit to meet acceptable standards and expectations of decent human behaviour, he must be barred from decent circles where decent humans congregate.
Let’s see how long it takes to get the arrogant Gabby to come to his senses and apologize for his “stupid” insults! I wish to assure Gabby however, that it is in his own interest to do the right thing as quickly as possible, and as loud and as clear! We cannot afford to give up and we will not! Part II follows… And on and on it will go until we see an appropriate apology! I hope that from my own Facebook chat with Gabby in which he arrogantly asked me “Why are you so obsessed with the Danquah Institute?”, he shall not under-estimate the political energy behind such a simple request, in order to cut a long story short. The only way out I saw for Gabby in this predicament was to have honestly admitted the fact that the CIA paid stipends to J.B. Danquah’s wife whilst in prison, explained why this was so, and to have left the public in peace to go and find out for themselves! He could then have added, as he seems to explain so eloquently with his “friend of America” excuses, that even if Danquah was a CIA agent, he did it for the good of the nation but not for stipends. And he could have allowed the public to judge for themselves who is really stupid!
At least, some of us could have understood where he was coming from. As matters stand, he does not only have to acknowledge the fact that there is nothing personal in raising an issue of such immense public interest and did not need to be silenced. The Human Rights that Ochere-Darko claims were championed by Danquah includes free speech. And this includes the fact that whether or not a particular spy happens to be anyone’s grand-father, people must be free to talk about it in public without being insulted by the grandchildren of these spies. One can hold Danquah in high esteem and allow people to read the book and talk about it without the world coming to an end. So far as Dr. Omane Boamah did not err in calling J.B. Danquah a CIA agent, so far should Ochere-Darko retract. He owes us an apology for trying to suppress vital information by unorthodox means. He must be made to say “I am sorry” to Dr. Omane Boamah, in order to purge himself from the political pariah status he has automatically assumed with these insults!
Help move Ghana forward! Please join us in putting pressure on this stubborn individual to do the right thing!
Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
By: Nana Akyea Mensah