Sunyani -- A Development Consultant and former DCE of the Asunafo District in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mohammed Kwaku Doku, has observed that the present NPP-led government has not been fair to former President Rawlings, hence the call for reconciling the two may be difficult.
He was reacting to the recent publication of the Daily Graphic, captioned "Reconciling Kufuor, Rawlings, cry out children" in an interview with The Chronicle in Sunyani.
Mr. Doku emphasized that, "it would be difficult for anyone or group to think of patching up the differences between the two statesmen with a partisan attitude."
The former DCE described the situation as a serious indictment on the reputation of Christendom in general and the Catholic denomination, in particular, to see the two statesmen who belong to the Catholic Church live in acrimony.
He was of the view that, the Clergy, Ghana Bar Association, Traditional Authorities, Civil Society Organization and the Media, should rather be playing leading roles in mending the deteriorating relationship between the President and the former President and not the children.
Mr. Doku noted that this was not the first time the country is having a president who is being opposed constructively, citing the late Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah, Dr. Hilla Limann, Flt Lt. Rawlings and now President Kufuor as examples. He said during the term of Dr. Nkrumah, there was strong opposition from the United Party (UP) tradition, which criticized, insulted and even threw bombs at him.
The former DCE said arrogance has been the hallmark of the UP, which gave birth to the Progress Party (PP) and now the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that overthrew Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
He rhetorically asked, "After the overthrow of Nkrumah, what happened?"
He added that: "the statues of Nkrumah were destroyed and his pictures burnt. It was even a crime to mention his name."
He pointed out that the former president cannot be blamed for disrespecting the presidency because according to him, that has been the trend which was started by the UP.
Mr. Doku cited instances where the former president was insulted by a gang of 30 NPP members, led by Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe at the Heathrow Airport in 1995, during an investment trip to London, where they bombarded him with eggs. He asked, "Was that not an insult to the presidency?"
He again recalled that Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, on a political platform with then candidate Kufuor said, 'I am holding the shoulders of my uncle and together we are going to drive away the Satan of Ghana who goes by the name JJ Rawlings.' "Was that not an insult," he again asked.
Mr. Doku referred to the 9th April, 2000 edition of The Statesman captioned, "Kufuor warns of major explosion", in which the then candidate, Kufuor heaped insults on the former president and his cabinet for increasing petrol prices from ?6,000 to ?6,400, calling him a vampire, criminal and an insensitive person!
On another issue, he asked, was it not an insult to the presidency when by the stroke of a pen of a Minister, all privileges enjoyed by the Former President as per the 1992 constitution were taken away from him?
He ironically said President Kufuor's statement: "undesirable element found their way to the presidency" before the moderator of the Presbyterian Church Rt. Rev. Frimpong Manso at the castle was not an insult.
The former DCE said Flt. Lt. Rawlings needs to be commended for demonstrating a high level of magnanimity upon all the insults and especially during the celebration the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Brong Ahafo Region where the former President gave the seat of the then Deputy Minister of the region, the late Kwadwo Mahama to Mr. Kuffour.
He again cited an example where the former President invited the then opposition leader, Kufuor to the castle to be introduced to the Queen of England during her visit. When the car of the current president broke down on his way, the former president was kind and honorable enough to offer him a new one and asked the mechanics at the castle to service the broken down car, which was later sent to Kufuor.
Mr. Doku, in conclusion, asked the populace to judge from these gestures and decide between the two, who had been fair to the other.