Opinions Mon, 19 Mar 2012

As Rawlings Bids Farewell

As I witnessed the mixed reactions surrounding the arrival of my humble and God fearing president Prof John Mills, the uninspiring manner in which John Jinapor and co tried to carry the party faithful along, the difficulty with which speaker after speaker tried without success to charge up the atmosphere, I came to a simple conclusion; an era of has come to end for my beloved party.

The spectacle of a party torn apart by internal strife and division, a party whose kingpins are not interested in healing the wounds of the past because it serves the selfish interest of a few, a party whose leaders have used the media to deceive the party faithful that olive branches have been extended and yet are genuinely happy with the status quo. The impression of a loose group of disjointed individuals bussed together to Mantse Agbona to a give semblance of a gargantuan rally manifested in a large number of individuals who stood disinterested in whatever was going on. Don’t get it wrong, there were lots of genuine party faithful at the rally but overall it does not give a good impression of a party keen to hold on to power.

Lets be objective for a minute. How was the founder of the party going to stand by a Hon Minister who described him as a loose canon that was going to be catered for in the leaked CIA files? Some of us have waited for a long time for a clarification or a denial of this to no avail. And how will some of the party officials who have been attacked on various platforms by the founder in the past hold themselves together beside the founder on a campaign platform?

It does seem the wounds of the period leading up to Sunyani and after have not been even dressed up for healing. It is very clear, that there is a faction in the NDC that believes that the humility, sincerity and Good works of the president would be enough to ensure victory in the coming elections especially as the NPP has a candidate that is simply not marketable. This school of thought might just be a misplaced one because Prof did not just fall from the skies yesterday. His good works have been on the platform provided by the years of toil and sweat of the founder.

That is why albeit the record achievements of the Mills government, I disagree with of the use of the word unprecedented. I find it hard to compare 3 years of the current government with the remarkable turnaround during the 19 difficult years of the PNDC/NDC under the founder.

I do disagree with some of the unguarded statements by some people from the camp of the first family in the same way as I detest those at the presidency stoking up the fire for selfish gain and political sphere of influence.

The issue however goes beyond the results of the December elections. Clearly, the founder no more identifies himself with the values and ideals promoted by the current crop of NDC leadership. He cannot mount the platform and talk about corruption as the mother of all scandals is brewing back home. He cannot go and campaign in the nook and crannies of this land only to be marginalized during the transition period. He cannot be a founder on a campaign platform, be referred to as one of many founders in the words of close associates of party power brokers and be a founder in press statements released by party big wigs. This is simply too contradictory. He simply does not trust those around the party and the corridors of party.

For some of us who disagree with him to some extent but cannot help in agreeing with him most of the time, the values espoused by the founder will live on. His time going forward would better be spent on issues affecting the continent at large ( Somalia) etc. The reception he received the burial of Col Ojukwu in Nigeria a fortnight ago bears ample testimony to his influence.

The NDC will have to move on without the founder but a day will come and I dread that day. It might take 6 years or 8 years or 10 years to come. When we wake up one bright morning to ask ourselves; how did we get here? By then those who took us there will either be too old to account to us or would have departed this earth. I leave you with a quote from Madam Valerie Sackey former director of castle information bureau in her review a book recently written by Nana Ato Dadzie and Mr Kwamina Ahwoi. Please reflect on them.

‘’If anyone curbed the "dictatorial", "tempestuous", "nasty" and "virulent" moods of J.J. Rawlings, it was J.J. Rawlings.

The authors also make several allusions to Justice Annan's role in convincing J.J. Rawlings that "the PNDC had no option but to go the multiparty route" and that Rawlings had a hidden agenda."

If he had such an agenda, he certainly kept it very well hidden! But he did, on several occasions, speak about the dangers, not of multi party system per se, but of the baggage which comes with the system - the monetization of politics with campaigns consuming time, effort and financial resources which could be put to more productive use; the acrimony and divisiveness; the effect on government business when virtually half of its term of office is consumed by campaigning for the next election; the loss of long term planning and continuity when all attention is on scoring points for the next election.

Few would disagree today, looking at the party political scene after 18 years under the 1992 Constitution!

If the Constitution had been a little more bold and imaginative in devising ways to minimise the downside of party politics, we might not find ourselves wondering today - "Did we go or did we come?"-

Valerie Sackey

Kormi Afevi-kormiafevi@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Afevi, Kormi