The goodness of the Ghanaian people is most evident during times of elections when we vote for representatives who, we trust, will have excellent integrity, avoid compromising enticements, are imbued with decent character traits, and will be genetically endowed with the spirit of personal and public sacrifice for the welfare of the wider populace.
We always expect our representatives to also have our interests at heart and avoid all forms of conflicts of interest, tribal and ethnocentric inclinations, and all temptations of bribery, corruption, and all forms of criminal activity.
But, by the virtue of being Ghanaians, we are also dreamers and sometimes just plain na�ve. Knowing very well what comes with the territory of politics, we are still endowed with the good spirit of hope and the expectation of goodness and probity in our fellow man. But over and over again, we get bitten by these wolves-in-sheepskin politicians. We are aware that close to a hundred percent of politicians are crooked and very corruptible, but somehow we stand by them, support them, �have their backs,� defend them, and refuse to see them for who they truly are.
When some of us take our politicians to task for their corrupt nature and their bumbling incompetence and we point out the truths which you are all aware of, supporters with ethnocentric blinders on and filled with boundless disconnect gang up on the critics and are eager to tear the critics to shreds if they could get their hands on them. They would rather have us put our blinders on too and nibble at the periphery of the problems so that their select revered equi-tribal politicians and public figures continue to rob and steal us blind and behave badly with impunity.
So, if you, the reader, take undue umbrage during this delightful holiday season and develop an ethnocentric heartburn for the critical insight into your political tribal idols and you boohoo uncontrollably after reading this and other like articles, you need to stop it, shut up, wipe your tears, and read on. We want peace and quiet this time of the year, not your crybaby snot-flowing loud disturbing sobs.
Not so long ago, at the height of NPP�s self-absorptive and egotistical rule, a magnanimous but criminal �Robbing� Hood from the Brong-Ahafo burst on Ghana�s political scene. He came into public life in order to join in the aimless splattering implementation of NPP�s bunkum by-hook-or-crook tradition of private property ownership. This cool, calm, and cedi-collected slick-like-a-fox �Robbing� Hood was no other person than Eric Amoateng.
Eric Amoateng was magnanimous only for what he did for his constituency. But, not unlike his NPP colleagues, he was an embodiment of a thief and a criminal. He was also a latter-day pseudo-socialist, if you think about it. Consorting with his like-minded NPP colleagues and masquerading as a democratically minded Ghanaian, Amoateng, upon his election into Parliament, joined in the NPP�s practice of underhanded financing of their bogus �tradition.� At the height of his maleficent exuberance, he went international with his criminal activities and was instantly �busted� by the long arm of the efficient unshakeable law enforcement of the United States of America. That was supposed to have served him and his party right. Well, did it?
Let�s reflect a little bit. In his young adulthood, Amoateng educated himself to become a teacher and went on to earn a diploma in religion at the University of Ghana. And as it was meant to happen and comparable to the ingrained nature of his NPP peers and mentors, the religious indoctrination in his youth did little to put the fear of God in him; and his advanced religious education in his adulthood rather infused in him enough cynicism to the point where it expunged any respect and fear he previously had for God and country. Well, did he have any at all?
Amoateng was only four years old when Ghana attained independence. The correct assumption is that the all-important, awe-inspiring achievement on March 6, 1957 did not have any impact on this child. He was too young to learn to hold dear and be honest and respectful to the new country that would someday make him a parliamentarian. Even the oath of integrity and obedience to the laws of Ghana that he swore to in order to become a parliamentarian had little or no effect on him and his �property-ownership� cronies.
As a former chief of the small town of Amoma in the Brong Ahafo region, parliamentarian Amoateng really became a real �Robbing� Hood for his people. Ignoring the larger interests of the country Ghana, he was determined to project an image of magnanimity and charity amongst his Brong people. He used the proceeds from his crooked political deals to educate a few young men in his town. He expanded roads in his town, but acquired personal properties, farm lands, and a few businesses for himself. He also dressed expensively well. But his showy affluent lifestyle soon began to draw the attention of concerned struggling Ghanaians. How he was able to finance such abundant magnanimity and acquire precious possessions in the shortest possible period became the talk of the political and social circles. But with the NPP in power then, who cared? Not the private property ownership practitioners!
As the truism goes that the appetite grows by whatever it feeds on, Amoateng extended his illicit money extraction skills into the dangerous and risky international drug business. He wanted to make more money to finance his showy ostentation and he became overly careless. Disregarding his high level position as a representative of our dear motherland, Ghana, and without care to the consequences of impending shame to his country, Amoateng, the NPP politician, connived with international drug dealers to transship US$6 million worth of heroin to the United States. Whether he had been successful in previous drug shipments and deals prior to that fateful shipment, no one knows!
And, behaving like the crime boss who did not trust anyone, he personally wanted to micro-manage the drug shipment so much that he travelled to the U.S., under the guise of a wrist watch salesman, to oversee and direct the storage, handling, and delivery of the narcotics. When he was caught red-handed, he initially pleaded innocent of the charges, but later recanted and admitted guilt and this convicted Ghanaian parliamentarian was sentenced to ten years in an American prison.
What happened in Ghana during his arrest and trial up to his imprisonment was awful. The NPP that Amoateng belonged to went to all lengths to protect his name as if the guy had done nothing wrong. They held his parliamentary position for him for as long as they could and continued to call him �Honorable� even when the evidence was overwhelmingly stacked against him. Though Amoateng had broken Ghana�s serious drug laws by exporting the heroin through Ghana�s ports, Kufuor�s government shielded and indemnified his farms and other personal properties against seizure by the Ghana government; that is, if any future governments tried to go after Amoateng that they would fail. While other countries do execute drug traffickers, Kufuor and his NPP rather claimed ownership of Amoateng, threw a warm blanket across the Atlantic around him, and wanted to bring him back to Ghana wrapped up daintily like a precious brittle preemie baby into the tender arms of the NPP and as their hero.
Seriously, Mr. Kufuor, Ghana�s one and only astigmatic gentle Cyclops (Mr. One-Tribe President), and the NPP went further and pleaded earnestly with the U.S. government to hand Amoateng over to them to stand trial in Ghana while the NPP was in office. They also tried unsuccessfully to provide him diplomatic immunity so that the U.S government would let go of him. But all the orchestrated arpeggio of discordant pleadings by cry baby Kufuor and his party to let Amoateng go, and the shameful display of self-importance and pseudo-dignity unbefitting even some Third-World ruling nincompoops and bumbling buffoons, had no impact on the serious unwavering American judiciary.
After all the efforts to get back their favorite �Honorable� son proved fruitless, NPP, without the least compunction and sensitivity to the rest of us Ghanaians, went to work to whitewash the shame and present Amoateng to Ghanaians as some upstanding citizen. With the blessing of the party bosses, NPP members went to all lengths to save Amoateng�s ill-gotten properties. They volunteered their time and services to work on and harvest Amoateng�s large maize farm. They named a street after him. And the party held a rally for him where one of the placards read �Cocaine Or No Cocaine Amoateng Is Still Our MP.�
Amoateng, who is a firm believer of the �at-all-costs� or �any-way-you-can-get-it� private property ownership �national economic principle� adopted by his party, is scheduled to be released sometime in the summer of 2014. He should immediately be on his way to Ghana if he is not placed under probationary watch in the U.S. and he is deported right after his release. Apart from his immediate family members who are morally bound to welcome him back, what about the NPP and the rest of us Ghanaians? What should we do with this guy who single-handedly brought an abysmal ignominy and infamy to the whole country?
Considering seriously the attitudes and behaviors of Ghanaians in general, the concern here is that the NPP may plan to throw a red carpet welcoming party and a durbar for their favorite ex-convict son. BUT THEY SHOULD BE WARNED THAT THE REST OF THE COUNTRY WILL BE WATCHING. If they have not been winning elections lately, then they should seriously consider how carefully they handle Amoateng�s return. Images and perceptions are often formed by associations. �Show me your friends, and I can immediately determine your character flaws.�
It is expected that other political parties would distance themselves far, far away from our ex-convict prodigal son, the international drug dealer ex-Parliamentarian, like a plague, but it is the behavior of NPP party members that would determine their viability in future national elections. So, if the NPP insists on hero-worshipping Mr. Amoateng and other questionable characters in their midst, and sweeping under the carpet the party�s well-known systemic blunders, then they are in danger of sinking further in the polls, especially when the upcoming national elections have become so critical, or the final watershed, in determining the party�s long-term competitiveness, sustainability, and survival.
If, upon his return, Amoateng chooses to go into the religious profession because he says he found Jesus and became Born Again in prison, that is, if he becomes one of those fake Ghanaian prophets, Ghana�s gullible Christians better watch out!
Good day and A Happy New Year.
Source: Kobina Antobam/ghanaweb
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