Opinions Sun, 18 Sep 2011

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WikiLeaks: Kwesi Pratt's Insight On The Fall of Rawlings


Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

Reading Wikileaks on the Akufo-Addo wee saga, my attention was drawn to a

completely unrelated but very interesting revelation. I remember that when

Kwesi was seen openly supporting the NDC candidate, many were those who

accused him of inconsistency. How could the same person who had been jailed

several times by the PNDC of Rawlings, who has been a vocal critic of the

Rawlings' dictatorship, turn around and support a political party founded by

the same Jerry John Rawlings? It was considered as an unpardonable blunder

by the NPP and unthinkable.

Consequently, Mr. Pratt was given all sorts of names. Prominent among them

was "opportunist", " a Rawlings spy", "stomach politician" "naive" and so

on. Well, it turns out that the guy is far smarter than he looked to his

critics! From the WikiLeaks accounts, Mr. Pratt displayed an extra-ordinary

insight into the workings of Ghana's politics, and never gave up his

struggle against the Rawlings dictatorship. We now understand why his

support for President Mills was far from being inconsistent. Like the

Romans, Mr. Pratt's support for the NDC candidate was clearly the best way

to kill fire with fire.

With brilliant analysis and a rare display of political insight, the

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper correctly predicted the fall of

Rawlings under an Atta-Mills Administration, and feared that the Rawlings

dynasty could prosper better under an NPP win in the 2008 Presidential

election. Thus by supporting the party founded by Rawlings, Mr. Pratt was

actually helping in the political demise of Jerry John Rawlings! What is

interesting is the fact that this was a time that most analysts were seeing

a perpetuation of the Rawlings era under President Mills.

Kwesi was one of the few Ghanaians who saw through the lie that President

Mills was a Rawlings Man and not "his own man". I am sure that at that time,

even if President Mills had come out to say, in his characteristic manner,

"My brothers and sisters, I am my own man!", few would have believed him!

But Mr. Pratt knew it even then! A lot of attention is being paid to a very

funny revelation in the same cable that “Nana used to smoke a lot of

marijuana, and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be

a cloud around him and you could see that he was high”. But just after that

we have the following insight into the insightful politics of the Insight

Managing Editor:

Kwesi Pratt is not just a principled, militant and courageous leader of

enlightened public opinion, but an intelligent, clever and deeply insightful


WikiLeaks, Reference id 08ACCRA1509, Subject: Ghana Elections: Political

Pundit Predicts Ndc Win, Source:


3. (C) On

the subject of the NDC, Pratt said that Atta-Mills was one of the most

incorruptible politicians in Ghana. It is just not in his character to

take bribes, and in fact that was why former president Jerry Rawlings

chose him as his running mate in 1996. About a year before that

election, Pratt said, Rawlings had paid a visit on Atta-Mills, who at

the time was the director of Ghana's Internal Revenue Service, to

check on income figures he had been given by his finance minister,

Kwesi Botchwey. When those tallies didn't add up, Rawlings lost faith

in Botchwey (who resigned shortly afterwards, following 12 years in

that position) and somewhat like Diogenes searching for an honest man,

Rawlings chose the political neophyte Atta-Mills as his

vice-presidential candidate. (NOTE: An interesting historical aside:

Rawlings and his first-term vice president, Kow Arkaah, never got

along well, but Arkaah's fate was sealed when Rawlings suddenly

attacked him, punching and kicking him, at a cabinet meeting on

December 28, 1995. Even after the beating, Arkaah stubbornly remained

in his position, and one year later, while he was still sitting as

vice president, John Kufuor, the opposition NPP flagbearer, chose him

as his vice presidential candidate, giving Arkaah the strange

distinction of running against his own government while still in

office for the same position he already held. END NOTE) ¶

4. (C) To

prove his point about Atta-Mills' character, Pratt said that Rawlings

had tried to extract a promise that Atta-Mills would allow him to name

four key cabinet positions -- Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defense, and

Finance -- in exchange for Rawlings and his wife actively campaigning

on Atta-Mills' behalf. According to Pratt, Atta-Mills refused, and

when Pratt asked him why, saying that he could have said ACCRA

00001509 002 OF 002 yes and then reneged on the agreement after

being elected, Atta-Mills reportedly said that he couldn't do that,

because he is not a man who can go back on his word. In the end, both

of the Rawlings have been campaigning vigorously for Atta-Mills

because, Pratt said, Nana Agyemang Rawlings is convinced she will go

to prison if the NPP is victorious. ¶

5. (C)

Repeating what the Embassy has been hearing from other sources, Pratt

said that Rawlings has no real influence over Atta-Mills. The two

men, whose personalities are diametrically opposed, have little in

common, but have arranged a political marriage of convenience that

will be annulled as soon as Atta-Mills is inaugurated. If the NDC

wins, Pratt is convinced, Rawlings will no longer have a political

voice that resonates with the people, and the victory "will put an end

to the Rawlings factor forever." In the case of an NPP win, however,

Pratt fears that Rawlings could gain a new lease on life in national

politics, re-emerging as a redemptive figure hailed by an army of

disillusioned and disenfranchised youth. They will lose faith in the

political system as represented by moderates such as Atta-Mills, and

more readily succumb to the spell of Rawlings-style demagoguery.

Kwesi Pratt therefore saw to it that the struggle to remove the Rawlings

ideologically bankrupt dictatorship is gone and gone for ever! Here,

therefore, is someone we need to listen to all the more!


**Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!*


*Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro*

*E-Mail: nanaakyeamensah@gmail.com*

*Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheOdikro*

*Feature Articles: http://nanaakyeamensah.blogspot.com/*

*Comments: http://theodikro.blogspot.com/*

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

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