56
Opinions Wed, 9 Sep 2009

Rawlings` statement at the University of Oslo - Rejoinder

Speaking on the topic: Achieving human centred development in Africa: Possibilities and challenges, over the weekend in Oslo, Norway, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings` was at it again doing what he knows best; attacking the former NPP government on every forum he founds himself in. The official statement released by the NDC was that the ex-dictator was in town to lecture the students in the University of Oslo on the above-mentioned topic, but the fact of the matter is that the self-acclaimed “Messiah” was invited by a handful of NDC sympathisers/members in Norway in an attempt to project him as a statesman, which by all indications, he is not.

It is always interesting to hear this man speak, hear him: “The experience in Ghana during the rule of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) between 2001 and 2009 clearly indicated that even though the second step – Constitution - was in place, massive influence over both the Legislature and Judiciary by the Executive led to a corrupt and abused system and a breakdown in the value of democracy. Although the NDC won by a large margin, the results were announced as a narrow margin victory. Had the NPP been allowed get away with their thievery in 2008/09, the world might have seen their “symbol of democracy and stability” turn into a “reality of the power of the common good”. This is a man who presided over a government with the worst record ever as far as human rights, rule of law and good governance are concerned, yet has the audacity of accusing the Kufuor government any time he opens his mouth.

The ex-president, after making a mockery of our educational system, sent his children to top universities abroad. The question most Ghanaians asked then, and continue to ask now, is who sponsored his children’s education? The “anti-corruption campaigner” has bluntly refused to provide an answer to this simple question. The man who used to be homeless, now owns mansions and drives in SUV`s. This is the kettle calling the pot black! If Rawlings has nothing good to say about the previous administration, he should spare us the lies. Ghana can no longer tolerate leaders who would sit on the truth and say whatever they like with the intention of tarnishing the image of their opponents. Rawlings should recognise that about 50 percent of the Ghanaian electorate did not vote for the NDC. For this reason, he should be mindful about the lies he throws around and recognise that NDC was voted to power to serve both those who voted for them and those who did not. Respecting the will of those who do not agree with you is extremely important in descent politics.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The eight years of the immediate past government exposed a regime that totally neglected the “common good” by causing hardships through avoidable energy crises, unprepared and ill equipped disaster management units, inability to stem rising crime and open allowance of drug smuggling”, says the man who ruled Ghana for 19 years. Perhaps Rawlings has forgotten so soon that it was during his watch that the country experienced its worst energy crisis ever. Hypocrisy of the highest order. What did he do to prevent the crises from occurring in the future? Nothing. Today this man is telling Ghanaians the problem started only eight years ago. What a funny character! His party is back to power and the government is still struggling to find solutions to the country’s energy crisis. For the first time in many years Ghanaians now queue for hours before they could buy a gallon of petrol. The NPPs plan, like the one to resuscitate the Bue Dam, and the commissioning of the West Africa Gas line will go a long way to solve the country’s energy crisis. In the case of the Bue dam, while the origin of the concept may not belong to the previous NPP government, its adoption constitutes a bold effort. It is a continuation of a good idea and therefore laudable. Let me hit the nail on the head without fear that former president Rawlings does not respect his successor, John Kufuor. I have had the opportunity to hear Mr. Rawlings insult Mr. Kufuor at various political rallies, conferences, interviews etc. Mr. Rawlings has many a times used such harsh words as “thief”, “that guy” and “Atta Ayi”, to describe Mr. Kufuor. These utterances are unfortunate, unacceptable and unbecoming of an ex-president. Sometimes I wonder whether former President Rawlings does not want to be properly regarded as a distinguished elder statesman. His unguarded public outbursts have often been condemned but it appears he is not prepared to listen.

The ex-president thinks the country is his personal property because he has been allowed to get away with all his crimes against humanity. Rawlings` is not a beacon of peace because his utterances are inimical to the relative peace we enjoy in Ghana. It's time we expunge the indemnity clause that he secretly smuggled into the constitution to enable him account for the numerous crimes he unleashed on Ghanaians.

Desmond Frimpong, NPP Norway

Columnist: Frimpong, Desmond
ADVERTISEMENT