Kwesi Pratt flawed

I had my own misgivings about the recent appointment of Mr. Ernest Owusu-Bempah as the Communications Director of the Ghana Gas Company (Ghana Gas), but this was primarily more ideological than having anything to do with the fact of whether the Communications Director of the National Democratic Party (NDP) was qualified for his new job or not. My reservation was purely ideological because the National Democratic Party is owned and operated by Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, wife of the founding father of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Ghana’s longest-reigning dictator, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings (See “Pratt Questions Akufo-Addo’s Appointment of Owusu-Bempah to Ghana Gas Company” / 5/13/17).

The Rawlingses are widely known to have intermittently, albeit obliquely, flirted with the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) and may very well have significantly contributed to wearing down the image and integrity of the NDC leadership, especially under the rankly corrupt and chaotic tenure of former President John Dramani Mahama, the man who was politically mentored by Chairman Rawlings and once served as the latter’s Communications Minister. But this was clearly and largely by default, because the Rawlingses claim not to have trusted the Bole-Bamboi native even while the latter was a bona fide cabinet member of the Rawlings-led government of the National Democratic Congress.

Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jr., who has benefited massively from his relationship with the post-Rawlings leadership of the National Democratic Congress, obviously must be in the jitters, because the appointment of Mr. Owusu-Bempah as Communications Director of Ghana Gas effectively brings the National Democratic Party into the political ambit, and orbit, of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). This cannot be good news for ardent supporters and sympathizers of the NDC, like Monsieur Pratt and Mr. Ben Ephson. It, of course, means the loss of a small but critical mass or percentage of citizens who would have been more inclined to vote for the NDC than the NPP come election time.

I have also been reticent in my comment on the recent appointment of the NDP’s Communications Director as Communications Capo of Ghana Gas, because I am politically experienced and savvy enough to fully appreciate the fact that politics makes for strange bedfellows. In other words, if drawing in the Konadu camp stands to strengthen the hand or support for the Akufo-Addo Administration, then it would be strategically unwise for me to disapprove of the same. What is more, I am not on the ground at home to be able to fully appraise the political dynamics and the precise strategic reasons that factored into the appointment of the NDP tout as the communications go-to-man at Ghana Gas, although I am also inclined to suspect that the appointee may, in some way, be related to Prophet Owusu-Bempah, one of the trusted spiritual advisers of President Akufo-Addo. I am, however, not the least bit suggesting any streak or hint of nepotism here; the man may very well be qualified for the job.

What I deeply resent here, though, is the imperious self-arrogation by Mr. Pratt on the question of who best qualifies to be appointed to Mr. Owusu-Bempah’s new post, instead of the appointee himself. Mr. Pratt claims that it is the Energy Minister and/or the executive operatives of Ghana Gas who ought to have appointed the company’s new Communications Director, and not any operative at the Flagstaff House, being that the job is of middle-level status, whatever that means. In other words, to the editor-publisher of the Insight newspaper, the President is guilty of political and/or administrative micromanaging.

Now, Mr. Pratt has an alienable right to express his opinion on any national public issue of moment. But he has absolutely no right, whatsoever, to instruct Nana Akufo-Addo on how to govern. More so when in the recent past, Mr. Pratt has publicly and categorically stated that it would be unpardonably absurd for him to be publicly envisaged to be promoting the political and ideological interests and concerns of the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party. Mr. Pratt made this comment in the lead-up to the 2016 general election.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York