Akufo-Addo’s increasingly dangerous, incendiary attacks on Ghanaians who dare to critique his office came to a height when he nailed to the cross all pundits who questioned his government’s outright sale of ancestral lands to a foreign militia (USAFRICOM).
On April 5 this year, the president of Ghana appeared on national television swinging a racket at his critics while extolling the idea that Ghanaians ought rather to be grateful to the United States of America for the following: (1) “Ghana has had defense and security co-operation collaborations with the United States of America,” (2) Ghana has “provided them with facilities for the movement of personnel and equipment to help some of our neighbors who were facing security and health challenges” and therefore (3) Those who question his plan to sell another ethnic group’s ancestral lands to a foreign militia belong to a “fraternity of some frontline politicians, who make a habit of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds, who secretly wallow in the largess of the United States of America, whilst, at the same time, promote anti-American sentiments to a populist constituency.”
The unremitting banality evident in this reckless language has become an anthem, hell, even a weapon to vilify, humiliate and demonize Ghanaians, journalists and critical media outlets who dare to oppose signing the future of Ghana (and all the ethnic groups currently under it) to a militia of the United States Government. An evil banality is also present in Akufo-Addo’s branding of Ghana’s relationship with the U.S. in which Ghanaians must be thankful to be allowed to wallow in American largess. So thankful must Ghanaians become that they should now allow Akufo-Addo to sell the entire nation to the United States. If this reading weren’t the facts on the ground one would be utterly dismayed to learn that many of Akufo-Addo’s officials truly believe in their laziness much to the extent that they actually peevishly admire a time when Ghana becomes a full colony (not the quasi-colony they have made it today) of the United States of America.
Either way, there is more at work here than the use of coarse language or an unprecedented display of incivility by a sitting president of Ghana; there is also a flirtation with colonialism, imperialism, and violence against Ghanaians. The rhetoric of “American largess” speaks to a Ghanaian president echoing into the ears of his African nation the white supremacist ideology of an “American Exceptionalism.” This language of expulsion and elimination of the hopes and dreams of Ghanaians—replaced with the show of American largess in a foreign militia—speaks to Akufo-Addo’s embrace of unthinkable terror in which he alone dines with the Queen of England, Queen Elizadeath, while the rest of the country is set at the foothills of American neocolonial control.
The terrors of three centuries of colonial slave raids and mass, unchecked resource-looting from the West African coasts, by British-American-funded militias, have risen once again on the Gold Coast, but less as a warning about repeating our past mistakes than as a measure of the sheer stupidity (or immaculate ignorance) that a government as Ghana’s can show in the face of the historical facts. Akufo-Addo’s speech on April 5 this year took on an even more onerous tone as the language of dehumanization and cruelty materialized once again into policies that work to expel people (1) from their ancestral lands (2) from any sense of community, and if not (3) from humanity itself.