Raymond Atuguba and the Legacy of Ruins
Last week’s article by Dr. Raymond Akongburo Atuguba, Senior Law Lecturer at the University of Ghana and astute practitioner with deep knowledge in issues related to governance, policy and development, insinuating that President Akufo-Addo and a section of the Judiciary are embarking on an ‘ethnic cleansing agenda’ of a sort against people of Ewe (or Volta) descent in Ghana is rather appalling.
It is unspeakable, not because he does have the right to speak his mind on issues that are dear to his heart, but because of the impression the article seems to be creating that some cases in our law courts are being handled largely along the lines of ethnocentricity.
This is part of what he wrote:
“When a change of government occurred in January 2017, a certain cabal (for lack of a better word) that is associated with Winneba saw this as an opportunity to change principal officers of the University of Education, Winneba. After acting as Lawyer for the victims of this move, I can only conclude that the only real reason for their removal was ethnocentric. So Vice Chancellor Avoke, Finance Officer Akorlie, and bearers of similar such names had to go.
“Note that this is not an isolated incident. At the moment, I am also lawyer for VC Dzisah of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, who, like Avoke and Akorlie bear names that are not quite “right”. I must say that the whole enterprise was so revolting, distasteful and crude that I constantly had mental and tummy convulsions in conducting the cases…..”
His claims have, however, been watered down in a media response by the Progressive Lecturers of UEW.
According to them if there is anybody who really perpetuated ethnocentric tendencies at the university then it was the former vice chancellor whose interest Dr. Raymond Atuguba was pursuing.
The former vice chancellor, the group explained stocked key positions in the institution with his cronies even when there was clear evidence of inefficiencies on their part.
THE PUBLISHER is of the view that, while Dr. Atuguba may have one or two concerns regarding the handling of a particular case on his hands, claiming that these were not isolated instances, and that there is an ongoing ‘grand enterprise’ to alienate ‘Voltarians’ in Ghana is sad.
Opinions, they say, are like onions, and can grow anywhere. But for the learned lawyer to, out of frustration, dive unto the slippery road of such hasty generalization is damn unfortunate.
By his article, the learned lawyer may be soiling his hands in the muddy pool of politics. Having served as the Protocol Director to the late President John Evans Atta Mills, and later as Executive Secretary to President John Dramani Mahama, the paper wonders why he is now ‘sleepless’ about so-called ethnocentrism.
Dr. Atuguba had won many legal cases in this country for his clients, and nobody heard him point a finger. Could it not be that he is now holding on to the weak straw of ethnocentric bias because he smelt the cases he referred to were not going is way?
THE PUBLISHER disagrees with Dr. Raymond Atuguba on the contents of this article, and is worried about whether this single act, if not condemned, it would not become an unfortunate path employed to fragment our dear country.
This is our take.