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General News Wed, 9 Sep 2009

Rawlings, Acting Foriegn Minister

Former President Rawlings is enjoying another spell in government, albeit unofficial. By any stretch of imagination, his deep involvement in the current administration brings nostalgic memory of his PNDC era where he ruled by decree and could enact any law possible to suit his personal whims.

Rawlings has represented the country on four major events outside of the country and a recount of how he made those representations shows that he has a de-facto role in the Mills administration.

He gave indication of running a parallel diplomatic envoy outside of the country by choosing his own entourage refusing to travel with people selected by government or the President. One specific occasion where Rawlings exhibited that he is a government on his own, he side-stepped the official entourage that was supposed to have accompanied him to the recent inauguration of Mr. Jacob Zuma, as the new South African President.

Obviously included in President Mills’ team were people that Rawlings has openly described as people “who want to get at Rawlings”, as he recently disclosed in an interview, and therefore did not find it prudent to include them in entourage.

Shockingly the former President attended the South African event with family members, including his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings; security guards and Chief Aide, Herbert Amponsah Mensah. He was accompanied on all the other foreign tours by virtually the same people, with his Spokesperson, Kofi Adams making it on the Libyan trip. A cursory look at the countries that he has represented the Ghana government shows they were countries that he enjoyed special relationship with when he was President.

The former President has so far represented Ghana at the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa; was at the Congo Independence Day celebration where he re-united with his personal friend, President Dennis Sassou Ngueso; conferred with Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbe in Togo and recently attended the 40th anniversary of Libyan Revolution that brought Brother Muamar Gaddafi to power.

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It is not just co-incidental that he had been diplomatically linked-up with these countries in his surrogate administration headed by President John Evans Atta Mills. It has been his desire to renew his personal relationship with his friends and the President had no choice than to oblige his request.

With his revolutionary fervor, Rawlings has a special association with former South African President Nelson Mandela, who he believes he shares similar disposition with. Mandela exhibited such militant valour during the Apartheid era and will therefore continue same with the others like Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, who were all integral part of the anti-Apartheid struggle. Dennis Sassou Ngueso remains a Rawlings ally and saw the occasion of the Congolese anniversary as a period of re-union on the big stage and although his relationship with the Libyan leader during his reign was consistently inconsistent, the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Gaddafi as the leader of the Green Revolution in the Magreb country offered the best opportunity yet, to help thaw that frosty relationship.

Rawlings might have his personal grudges with late Gnassingbe Eyadema, the former Togolese President, but the disposition of his son and the current Togolese President are just direct opposite to that of his father.

The opportune time to mend those bridges was now and perhaps Rawlings understood the peculiar Togolese issue with Ghana more than the sitting President. And a way of curtailing what looked like the continuation of the flourishing relationship that the NPP had with the Senior Eyadema under the Junior Eyadema, was prudent for him to go and muddy the waters.

After all he had not sparred former President Kufuor the flak anytime he went out of the country to attend meetings and one should not struggle to haggle a guess what he might have told Faure about Kufuor and his party the NPP.

Source: The Ghanaian Journal
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