By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
President John Dramani Mahama may well have his party’s General-Secretary in mind, when he opines that Ghanaians are losing their moral values. We shall take up the issue of moral atrophy in a little bit, but for now we intend to spotlight Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia’s rather jaded allegation that the 2004 general election was fraudulently thrown in favor of the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP), because the extant General-Secretary of the then-opposition National Democratic Congress, Dr. Josiah Aryeh, took the piddling bribe sum of $3,000 (Three-Thousand American Dollars) from some key operatives of the then-ruling New Patriotic Party – (See “Mosquito: Josiah Aryeh’s US $3,000 Bribe Cost NDC 2004 Victory” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 12/7/14).
The NDC had been driven into the gray margins of the political opposition for the first time in nearly twenty years in 2000. And Ghanaians had, for the most part, been elated to see the Nigerian-flag looking NDC umbrella logo go into hibernation. It was only a question of how well or badly Mr. Kufuor and his associates administratively acquitted themselves on the national political landscape. In the wake of the 2012 general election, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia is on record to have wistfully but categorically told the host of an Fm-radio talking heads that Nana Akufo-Addo had convincingly won the 2012 Presidential Election, but that it was the abject lack of vigilance on the part of New Patriotic Party polling agents that had ensured that then-Transitional President Mahama would literally snatch victory from the jowls of certain defeat.
And in the latter instance, the Mosquito General has not publicly indicated anywhere that any act(s) of inducement shaped up the final results of the election, as announced by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Electoral Commissioner. In other words, in faulting the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party for having so artlessly fielded polling agents who could not be trusted, one would also have expected Mr. Asiedu-Nketia to have boldly let on about the possibility of some greenbucks having changed hands between NDC polling agents and their NPP counterparts. And there is, indeed, evidence pointing to the fact of deliberately famished NPP polling agents’ having been fed lunches and dinners by their NDC political opponents.
What is not clear from the accusation of the Mosquito General, is just how Dr. Aryeh could have taken the wind out of the sails of an incumbent President Kufuor, who had also by then amply demonstrated that he was a far better administrator of the country’s economic and human resources than Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, the founding-strongman of the National Democratic Congress turned latter-day democratically elected leader. What is more, Mr. Kufuor had as his main political opponent the feckless and Rawlings-imposed former Vice-President John Evans Atta-Mills of the Aveyime Rice Plantation Scandal infamy. Even more poignantly, General Mosquito has yet to inform his audience(s) precisely what role Dr. Aryeh played to guarantee that the now-late President Mills would get severely trounced at the polls for the second time.
The real issue here, but one which the anonymous Starrfmonline.com reporter woefully failed to highlight, was the glaring admission by Mr. Asiedu-Nketia that the overwhelming majority of the candidates who congregated in Wa, capital of the Upper-West Region, to contest for the party’s post of National Women’s Organizer were, almost each and everyone of them, pathologically prone to the ready acceptance of payolas as a primary means of securing their party posts, instead of fairly and squarely competing for the same.
On the foregoing score, this is what the former NDC-MP from Seikwa, Brong-Ahafo, had to say: “Each branch organizer wants to take money from the constituency organizer before they vote, with the claim that they will use the money to pay their campaign expenses. Then the constituency women’s organizers will demand something from regional organizers so that they can also pay their debts. Then the regional organizers will also demand something from the National Women’s Organizers to also pay their debts. If we elect leaders on the basis of how they can pay, when they become leaders they are prone to corruption.”
Nice try, but the fact of the matter is that the key operatives of the Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress were hardcore petty thieves and robber barons and baronesses long before they dropped their guns and machetes and their street-vendors’ trays and learned to grab power via the ballot box. And Dr. Josiah Aryeh had absolutely nothing to do with such PNDC scam-artistry.