By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
I have been listening to the audio clip of Mr. Ivor Kobina Greenstreet’s goodwill/solidarity message to the conferees to the 8th Delegates’ Conference of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and do not feel any particularly passionate one way or another (See “You Are Suffocating Ghanaians – Ivor Greenstreet Slams NDC” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 12/20/14). I also do not agree with Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah that Mr. Greenstreet “spoke for all Ghanaians.”
I disagree with the daughter of Ghana’s first postcolonial premier and chairperson of the rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP), because one only needs to listen to Nana P.S.K. Ampadu’s perennial classic “Ebi Te Yiye” (Some Are Well-Seated Than Others) to fully appreciate the fact that a remarkable percentage of Ghanaians do not feel half the level of “suffocation” that Mr. Greenstreet would have the rest of us believe.
At any rate, for those of our readers who may not know the man, Mr. Greenstreet is the General-Secretary of the rump-Convention People’s Party. He, essentially, believes in most of the same Leftist tenets that the key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress claim to swear by. And to be certain, the NDC and the r-CPP are inseparable ideological twins. Some among the ranks of the r-CPP have mordantly excoriated yours truly for uncompromisingly exposing this plain and simple truth.
What disturbed me quite a bit, though, but that which not many among his audience appear to have taken good notice of, at least not immediately, was when Mr. Greenstreet appeared in his rather terse address to threaten the movers and shakers of the NDC with either vengeance or an imminent visitation of hardship on Ghanaians at large. You see, words spoken in fury sometimes have a way of upending the original meaning intended by the speaker. Dear Reader, take this tirade from the bosom of Mr. Greenstreet, for example: “NDC continue. We are watching you. Ghana is watching. Do what you want to do; we also know what we will come and do.” If the foregoing are not a striking example of “fighting words,” then I sincerely do not know what fighting words are.”
Still, the r-CPP scribe appeared to have put the fingers of his conniption on just the right button when he made the following observation: “Ghanaians are not happy at all. This Bronya [actually he had enunciated the Ga-Language version of the same, which is pronounced “Blonya” and not “Bronya,” as misinterpreted by MyJoyOnline.com reporter Isaac Essel] (Christmas) is dry, too, too dry. The most painful thing of all is that you don’t care.”
In the audiotape version of the Greenstreet address that accompanied Mr. Essel’s story, the r-CPP scribe actually noted that most of the gathered NDC delegates to the 2014 Kumasi congressional primaries had primarily gone to the Baba Yara Stadium to exchange lavish Christmas gifts with their friends, colleages and fellow ideological travelers and truckers, even as the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians went inexpressibly famished and destitute. It is only when one clearly appreciates this aspect of his addresss that the following part of the foregoing Greenstreet salvo begins to hit home with the nightmarish heft of a Tsunami: “The most painful thing of all is that you don’t care.”
I perfectly agree with Mr. Greenstreet that the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress may be the most callous posse of humans to have assumed center-stage of postcolonial Ghanaian political culture. Still, the apocalyptic record of the Kwame Nkrumah-led proto-Convention People’s Party leaves me absolutely no comfortable room to fathom the emergence of a Samia Yaba Nkrumah-led rump-Convention People’s Party at the helm of our national affairs.