By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Alan John Kwadwo “Quitman” Kyerematen’s argument that a more viable and sustainable method ought to be devised to ensure that New Patriotic Party administrators at the regional and district levels are able to perform their duties as full-time employees of the party machine, rather than being “employed” as volunteers, as is presently the case (See “Alan Kyerematen’s Proposal Ambitious But Doable and Sustainable” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/14/14).
My beef, or qualm, with the proposal, at least as articulated by Kyerematen aide Chief Obosu Mohammed, is that it is “hand-to-month” dependent on the goodwill and generosity of diehard and card-carrying members of the NPP. For my part, what I would like to see occur is the establishment of a staff-funding proposal that is squarely dependent on the creative ability of key NPP operatives to fashion out sustainable investment avenues as sources of reliable and permanent funding for full-time party employees, rather than simply depending on monthly contribution of $1 (One U.S. Dollar) from registered party members, both at home and in the Diaspora.
I would also like to see part of such funds used for the periodic payment of gratuity-stipends to party volunteers and foot-soldiers. For instance, during the 8 years that the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party government occupied the helm of affairs, the NPP did not establish a single radio or television station to both promote the activities of the party as well as serve as a fund-raising enterprise for the effective and long-term administration of the same. Neither did the party establish a for-profit newspaper (cum newspaper website) for the same purpose.
Instead, the key operatives of the NPP preferred to use their clout and stranglehold on the government machinery as a means of awarding themselves no-bid and sweetheart contracts and filthily lining their pockets, and wallets, at the expense of the Ghanaian citizenry and electorate at large. In the latter context, the NPP has not operated any fundamentally differently from the ruling National Democratic Congress.
Well, let me inform Chief Obosu Mohammed, the Kyerematen aide and media operative, that key NPP operatives like Alan Cash, as Mr. Kyerematen is popularly known, have absolutely no right to presume to take the party’s membership for granted, particularly those resident in the Diaspora. For instance, during the 8 years that President Kufuor governed the country, absolutely nothing constructive and/or favorable was done to make it economically worthwhile for those of us Diasporans interested in shipping some of our properties home, as well as doing business in Ghana. Indeed, this is the one area – properly speaking, Import Duties or Cusotoms and Excise “Tariffing” – where the NPP is decidedly and functionally indistinguishable from the NDC.
On the dual-citizen question, also, the half-hearted response of the Kufuor administration was as insulting as that of the NDC. In other words, party stalwarts – and flagrantly cynical quitters – like Alan Cash need to do something more palpably concrete before any of us can be convinced to contribute to the furtherance of the interests of obstreperously ambitious and smooth-talking politicians like the former Trade and Industry Minister.
As for Mr. Mohammed’s gab about Mr. Kyerematen’s supposedly remarkable achievements as Kufuor cabinet appointee, even as Mr. Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori has eloquently and repeatedly adumbrated in recent times, the legion and epic failures of Mr. Kyerematen, including the infamous Presidential Cassava Initiative (PCI/PSI), cannot be so lightly swept under the proverbial carpet. Those on the ground know far more about the blotchy track-record of Mr. Cash, and so I feel no necessity for rehashing some of these epic failures in this write-up.
Nonetheless, it is absolutely heretical, to speak much less about the downright nonsensical, for any Kyerematen shill or gofer, to so cavalierly claim that his/her boss has any use and/or respect for the integrity of both the NPP and its membership, besides Mr. Kyerematen’s morbidly shameless and smart-alecky attempt to cynically exploit the two entities for the promotion and fulfillment of his individualist political ambitions.
Once again, must be poignantly and painfully recalled the fact that in 2008, when he rudely walked out on some of the most revered party leaders, pontifically backed by a widely publicized resignation letter, Mr. Kyerematen emphatically noted that his personal political ambitions far outweighed, as well as superseded, the collective interests of the party; and also that he was far more interested in the non-partisan, and non-ideological, affairs of Ghana than the parochial interests of any one political party.
Of course, what the preceding means is that Mr. Kyerematen ought to be running for president as an independent candidate, rather than on the ticket of a party whose tenets and membership he clearly does not respect. And what is even more interesting, Alan Cash has yet to significantly revise his immitigably arrogant disdain for the NPP and its membership. In Chief Obosu Mohammed’s afore-referenced propaganda piece for his boss, the writer slyly echoes the Kyerematen mantra of being personally superior to the NPP, its tenets and membership.
Dear reader, take this reading from the Kyerematen shill and decide for yourself: “Ghanaians must believe in us, we must also be credible in their eyes and present ourselves as a better alternative by executing new creative ideas that will shape our party and to a larger extent, our nation Ghana. It is appropriate and necessary that the demand for change and transformation begins [sic] from home.”