It is the beginning of summer along with the sweltering heat, stench, insects and the unbearable conditions it brings. It is quite poignant that, the advent of the sunny and lively but sometimes uncomfortable summer season can be aptly compared to the political situation that is unfolding before our eyes in Ghana.
As I sit behind my laptop to compose this piece, I am reminded of the beauty of free speech, and democracy as we know it best in the Ghanaian context. This is all the more reason for every well-meaning Ghanaian home and abroad to be concerned with the cat-fight going on in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) party. Why should we be concerned you may ask? Well their leader or at least their elected leader happens also to be the President of the Republic.
He is my president, even though I don’t share his or the NDC ideals and vision. To have President John Evans Atta Mills undermined constantly, both in public and behind closed doors does no one good. So basically for two plus years of his presidency, we, Ghanaians have experienced what I term pseudo-leadership emanating from the Castle. Who are the antagonists, some may ask? No other personalities than the larger than life Rawlings family. I say larger than life, because that is exactly the way JJ Rawlings and to a lesser extent his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, see themselves.
They are gods or so they like to think. They think the Rawlingses are the greatest thing to happen to us foolish Ghanaians since the invention of slice bread. And oh, without his Excellency, his lordship Jerry John Rawlings we Ghanaians will still be a bunch of corrupt savages, drifting and quite possible we might have gone the way of Ivory Coast, or Liberia or perhaps Sierra Leone. I am sure you are quite getting my drift with all the sarcasm. It is a sad reflection and with that said, I have a word of advice to The Three Musketeers (French: Les Trois Mousquetaires), to borrow the title of the famed Author Alexandre Dumas or better still we shall them The Three stooges. I am just not quite sure who fits as whom: Athos, Porthos and Aramis.
With the introduction out of the way, let’s delve into the issues bedeviling the NDC congress which will take place in Sunyani in July 2011. We now know that Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings will contest the President for the NDC leadership mantle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the former first lady exercising her democratic right to challenge the President.
As to whether it is prudent to challenge a sitting President, to this author, this is a mute point and without any basis. Whether there has been any precedent in our country or not, just doesn’t cut it. Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has broken no laws. With that said, my issue with this whole saga is , why should the rest of the country, admittedly a sizeable proportion be subjected to daily bombardment of nonsense and cacophony of noise from this party and more importantly from the seat of government in Osu? Where is the rationalization of using State apparatus like the Police, BNI, and all the shadowy security groups masquerading as fools-soldiers to intimidate opponents of both camps in the NDC?
Yes you read that right, fools-soldiers. These are not foot soldiers; they are a bunch of small town pimps, robbers and law breakers. A day does not pass by without hearing from FONKAR (Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings) and now as I write this there is a new group called G.A.M.E (Get Atta Mills Endorsed). I mean what the hell is going on in this country? Our Children our falling behind in Science and Math, our roads are in tatters; these roads have become killing machines. Get this people, the second quarter of the year had not elapsed but accidents on our roads claimed almost over 600 lives!
Think about it for a minute. I can go on and list our priorities from health care delivery (NHIS) to Malaria cases ravaging our children, infant mortality rates as high as they could have been, AIDS, lack of employment etc. This is what President Mills should have been focusing his energy on and not useless children’s tactics, “wey akami, mensu me kani bi” loosely meaning it is an all out scratching and biting games like what we used to do as children. Governance is by no means a game, especially when you have the livelihood of millions depending on your every act. This is a collective failure of leadership from President Mills. There is no beating about the bush on this issue.
President Atta Mills as a law professor himself cannot sit idle and allow events like June 4th and 31st December so-called revolutions to be celebrated at state facilities like the Flag Staff House. You can imagine the horror and the revulsion that I experienced seeing pictures of the Rawlingses lighting up a torch to rekindle in their words “the ideals of the revolution.” I mean who do they take us for? I know from the record that 31st December was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, yet it now celebrated openly and with state resources. You have a whole state security minister partaking of this unlawful gathering and on state premises. This is spitting in the faces of every law abiding citizen and in this regard our President has failed us completely. I just wish Ghanaians will be bold and organize and disrupt such acts that have been deemed unconstitutional. Where are the N.G.Os when you needed them?
Oh I forgot they are in their air-conditioned jeeps going about ripping off poor village folks. I suggest that next time NDC celebrates, violates and breaches any order from the courts, they should be served with subpoenas for contempt of the laws of Ghana and subsequently arrested, whether they be ex-presidents or first ladies or security capos or part big Whigs. No one is above the law. This might serve as deterrence to any so-called June, God know what celebrations. A repulsive and disgraceful act of defiance of the laws of this land and President Atta Mills needs to be blamed.
Having said all of that, shall we turn our attention on the almighty Rawlings family? They are the royal family of Ghana right? Or so they want us to believe. Ex-President Rawlings (beats my mind how he became a President for that long in this beautiful land) has been the main antagonist. One wonders what goes on in his thinking and those shameful, childish, accusations, threats, and denigration of other characters. Since he left power, it’s been a litany of disgraceful outbursts, claiming to have security tapes of one crime after another, insulting a much respected former Statesman of this land President John Agyekum Kuffuor, calling him all manner of names and trying to drag his name through the mud. In all of this you have the next to good for nothing media, singing his praises and trying to push him on to issue more Booms, as they call it.
Is it how low this small but mighty nation of the Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah has sunk to? I refuse to accept this as the norm. As I listen to the swarm of good for nothing Radio stations, I always shake my big head in disbelief. These journalists or presenters or whatever they call themselves never ever bring JJ to any semblance of accountability. Never! He is always given a pass. I often listen to Adom FM and to have the morning host Adakabre Frimpong -Manso and his cohorts, dissect political issues, just leaves too much to be desired. Either he lacks the pre-requisite background knowledge (which I doubt) or he is simply and by a larger extension all the media house, doing a great disservice to our democracy by not calling a spade a spade. The Rawlingses have never been held accountable. For all his childish utterances, it is high time we Ghanaians sit up and say enough is enough, Togbe Rawlings!
We should stand up to the Rawlingses once and for all and break that myth of his supposedly charisma, which is nothing but a charade and expose him for what he is; lawless and double-faced liar. After all we know the Rawlingses modus operandi, keep telling lies long enough and it becomes the truth staple for the masses. It has become the opium for the NDC masses. This is what we have been subjected daily to from the royal family of Ghana and their mouth piece Kofi Adams, a spokesman who knows no low in the “telling lies” game.
JJ is slowing sowing seeds of destruction into the young minds, slowing eroding trust in the institutions that we need to help build our society. When you have a man of his influence, going around claiming Judges are corrupt and then you have NDC cohorts and law breakers actually going to Judges offices and threatening them and the police stands by idle, folks we have a ticking time bomb on our hands. This is plain wrong and every well-meaning Ghanaian must not follow this son of perdition to the road that leads to Hell. How we easily forget about the unsolved murders of the 3 High Court Judges in the early 1980’s under the rule of this same man. A nursing mother was abducted and murdered in cold blood. We have never caught the true assailants, who knows, they might be among the living today, but justice will be served one day, whether this life or the next, justice will prevail.
Next on the stage is Nana Agyeman Rawlings, a woman whose ambition knows no boundaries. That is good in itself but she should be the last person to ever talk about corruption. She was lucky she got of the hook in the Nsawam Cannery case. If things had not fallen the way they did, she would be in Nsawam prisons. So please spare us little minions about the evils of corruption under this NDC government or the NPP government. For 19 years you ruled together with your husband, so for the crimes you shot people in 1979, you could have equally met that fate were it not for the indemnity clause in the 1992 Constitution.
The former first lady thinks she is a presidential material, whether she is or not, that is first for the NDC to decide and the electorate of Ghana to have their say. She has been nothing but a divisive figure and I highly doubt she can garner enough votes. But then who am I and what do I know? After all we had JJ rule over us for close to 2 decades. I can by no means read the minds of Ghanaians but there is one thing I know, Ghanaians are no fools. The wisdom, discerning attributes passed on to us from the generation of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is still with us and we will not sit idle and watch any group of people destroy what we hold dear.
I just have this inclination and that is not based on just a gut feeling but from observing the Ghanaian political landscape. We have the culture of try again and again and again until you win office. Look at our President, how many times did he run for office? I lost count, now you have Nana Akuffo-Addo doing the same old recycle politics. The politicians are bereft of big and bold ideas and visions but they do not lack in ambition and satisfying their massive egos. Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings knows she has no chance this time around but here real prize is on the 2016 elections.
From the way she has battered poor old Atta Mills, if the wounded lion survives in 2012, he will be heavily indebted to the Rawlingses and guess who comes to save the day? Nana Agyeman Rawlings and we Ghanaians are left to suffer as these greedy folks recycle the same old talking points: fight corruption, accountability, build schools, roads, hospitals, on and on goes the nonsense talk. When will someone run for office not because he or she wants to be served but rather to serve the common man? My heart bleeds as I see no leader with the true love of the nation in their heart. None and to have another second run from the Rawlingses will be a disaster. Rawlings Episode I was brutal and a complete failure and next come Episode II, the next generation of law breaking and total disregard for anything resembling law and order. Ghanaians should be spared this agony.
If there is any consolation in all this lurid character assassination drama and comedy that is unfolding in the NDC, it is the fact that at core and at heart President Evans John Atta Mills is a man of integrity. I say this even though I did not vote for him nor am I planning to do so anytime but one thing I can vouch for him is his character, honesty and his down to earth demeanor. He is just surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves within and a pride of lions without. I can only wish him the best and if indeed he slowly separates himself from all his snake-tongued advisors and the Rawlingses, some of us independent voters might consider voting for him come 2012, regardless of the threat from the Rawlingses.
In conclusion I will like to admonish my fellow Ghanaians to eschew all sorts of divisiveness that hinders our progress, we have a lot of work ahead of us, and we are not a nation defined by NPP or NDC or CPP. We are a nation of decent, hard working, respectful people. A people who have a grand vision of seeing Ghana take her seat among the nations as equals not subservient. We should strive to strengthen our institutions like the Judiciary, the Police, Army and all the branches of Government.
There is no room for tribal sentiments, unfortunately from what I read on this site, ghanaweb.com, leaves much to be desired. We should never think what happened to our brothers and sisters in Ivory Coast or Sierra Leone or Liberia can never happen here. To be lulled into this false sense of security will be our greatest undoing. And this advice goes to the three musketeers or the three stooges as some may describe them. There is a saying that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers.
In this case, the 3 stooges openly waging a war of words, we will tell them to take it into the bedroom of the NDC, and have their pillow fight there. Let the seat of the Presidency be revered and respected and not dragged through the mud as the situation is now. That is the least the Ghanaian citizen deserves from the least to the greatest, from the North to the South and from every tribe in this beautiful Land.
Source: Ebenezer Hayfron-Benjamin
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