Old Age Plays Tricks With The Memory of KB Asante

I am not here to argue pointlessly about whether the letter dismissing the Mahama-appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the former Ghana Cocoa-Marketing Board (CMB), presently renamed Cocobod – for whatever the latter re-labeling may be worth – could not have been written in a more diplomatic or “polite” language, as preferred by Mr. K. B. Asante, the renowned journalist and sometime aide to the country’s first postcolonial leader. My argument here is that old age – for Mr. Asante is about 92 years old – may well be playing games or doing mischief with the mnemonic faculties of the former President of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

If I am not grossly mistaken, Mr. Asante may be either a staunch member and even sometime key operative of the Rawlings-founded main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), or he may be an ardent sympathizer of the party that promulgated a statutory act making the official birthday of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah a National Holiday (See “KB Asante Angry Over Opuni’s Dismissal” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 1/13/17). It is rather interesting for a man who was quite a significant player in unarguably the most intemperate, extortionate and disrespectful postcolonial regime, with the possible exception of the Rawlings-led Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to be lecturing the newly elected and appointed operatives of the Akufo-Addo Administration on the use of diplomatic and polite language.

Needless to say, his authority on what constitutes the most appropriate mode of “Ghanaian Cultural Behavior” would be phenomenally enhanced, if the former Secretary to President Nkrumah could produce a single instance of epistolary politeness in a letter written by his late boss to Dr. J. B. Danquah, which could be held up as a model of “Ghanaian Political Politeness” to be cherished and religiously emulated. We must also promptly highlight the fact that while he was vindictively incarcerated at the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison, twice, in the Condemned Cell Block, during the 1960s, the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian Politics wrote more than a few letters to President Nkrumah whose well-known most polite responses to nearly each and every one of these letters, mainly petitions for justice and polite demands for trials, to bear out the same, were promptly rebuffed with deafening silence.

We must also significantly note here that upon the death on Dr. Danquah, via a systematically orchestrated assassination, on February 4, 1965, President Nkrumah would issue an edict giving the Ofori-Atta Family and its allies a “polite” 6 hours to organize the funeral of this indisputable giant of the anti-colonial African liberation struggle and the former mentor of the proverbial African Show Boy. We must also not fool ourselves over the fact that Dr. Opuni was fully aware of the effective end of his widely known checkered tenure as CEO of Cocobod, when the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress lost its popular mandate, with the landslide victory of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the third time around.

Mr. Asante may also vividly recall for his own moral edification, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings’ “polite” description of Nana Akufo-Addo as “That Dwarf” in the Manhyia Palace’s courtyard of His Royal Majesty, The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, I. Is this the sort of “Ghanaian Politeness” that Mr. Asante is referring to, when he caustically lambastes Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Executive-Secretary to President Akufo-Addo, for simply telling Dr. Opuni to do what the latter ought to have done more than a month ago?

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