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Betrayers of the tenets of the revolution

Wed, 21 Nov 2018 Source: Eric Bawah

If anyone tells me that everything is well in the National Democratic Congress (NDC), then that person should put on his or her thinking cap. If nobody sympathises with Mr. Rawlings, at least I do.

The man is living with a disturbed conscience and only God knows what he would have done to the NDC functionaries if he had the opportunity to do so as he did during the revolutionary days.

This is a man who launched a bloody revolution in 1979 and dubbed it “House Cleaning”. Top military officers, including three former Heads of State were tied to the stakes and shot like common criminals. They were accused of being corrupt. Colonel Roger Feli, for example, was shot simply because he went in for a loan from the Agricultural Development Bank to engage in farming.

For the eight solid years that the Mills/Mahama ruled the country with corruption hitting the rooftop, Mr. Rawlings could not do some “House Cleaning” like he did in 1979 because the constitution rules supreme in any democratic dispensation. That is the pain he has in his heart.

Rawlings came storming again in 1981 and what followed is history. Two years into that regime, Ghana faced the worst famine since independence. There was wild bushfire across the length and breadth of Ghana and cocoa farms as well as foodstuffs were burnt into ashes. Many people started growing lean because food was very scarce.

Unlike today when you can just walk to wherever they sell kenkey to buy as many balls of kenkey you want, people queued to buy uncooked kenkey and went back home to cook the kenkey themselves. Coups after coups were launched against the PNDC regime but the regime survived. Rawlings himself grew so lean that looking at him you might think he had returned from Somalia. The going was tough but Rawlings and his soldiers trudged on.

Those babies with sharp teeth who seized the opportunity of being in government during the Mahama era to make fortunes were not born by then. Today, they have the audacity to insult the man who suffered so much to bring the country this far.

Anytime I write about Mr. Rawlings and the tenets of the revolution, it reminds me of the cadres of the revolution. These were young and energetic men and women who were convinced to take part in the revolution and did play a very meaningful role to sustain the revolution. Some of them died in action and others missed education because they were so busy revolutionizing that there was no time to continue with their education.

Corruption was unattractive so they were not corrupt like the appointees of Mr. Mahama. In fact, their ‘dress comportment’ had nothing good to write home about. Today, many of them have grown old and cannot do any work to survive. Some of them cannot make ends meet and are living from hand to mouth. Anytime I see the greedy bastards riding in luxurious cars and living in their state-of-the art mansions, I ask myself: “So what is the reward of those men and women who suffered to sustain the revolution which eventually gave birth to the NDC?”

Business men and women, chiefs, men of God and a cross-section of the populace had their fair share of the brutalities which were visited on the good people of this country. In a matter of three months, the country sat on tenterhooks and heads rolled on a daily basis.

It was an era of probity and accountability and the soldiers didn’t tolerate nonsense as they went berserk, drilling suspected corrupt citizens and killing people at the slightest provocation. The forty-year-old man or woman today was barely one year old when these things happened in Ghana and as such he or she knew of it from books and through oral narration by their parents.

Even when Rawlings put down his military uniform and donned a civilian attire to contest the 1992 general elections and won, people still feared to engage in corruption. His appointees were afraid to build mansions and acquire wealth while in office. Enter NDC Two and the floodgates were opened for corruption to become institutionalized in this country.

At a point in time, Mr. Rawlings told Ghanaians that about 60% of Mahama’s appointees were corrupt. He even told us that a deputy minister under the Mahama administration bought two mansions with raw dollars and the one who sold the mansions to the young man became angry since he had to spend the whole night counting the dollars. Money swine!

Recently, Mr. Rawlings revealed that there are more greedy acts that the members of his own party did against the people of Ghana during their tenure of office that he has not yet revealed and those who are criticizing him for his recent outburst should be prepared because he has more to say. For now, there seems to be a deficit of trust in John Mahama and his former appointees and surely Rawlings will not let sleeping dogs lie. Because Mr. Mahama let loose his ‘attacking dogs’ on Mr. Rawlings when he (Mahama) was in power, it will be very difficult for the two to patch it up together and move forward as the NDC seeks to come back to power again. What is the guarantee that the NDC will not continue fleecing the economy again when they get the nod?

Anytime NDC communicators falsely accuse the Akufo-Addo administration of being corrupt, I wonder if they have been listening to Mr. Rawlings as far as corruption in the NDC was concerned when they were in power. As for Rawlings, nobody can bridle his mouth and so the NDC should brace themselves up for the worst scenario.

In no time, Rawlings will act like an unguarded missile or a loose cannon and Mahama and his people will smell pepper. Rawlings has been consistent in his fight against corruption and as such this is not the time for anyone to gag him. Anyway, who can gag a man who did put his nose on the grindstone to fight corruption to the extent that blood did flow in his attempt to stamp out corruption in Ghana? One will only have to put up or shut up.

The Nana Addo administration and his appointees should not be laughing anytime Mr. Rawlings takes on his own people concerning their corrupt practices. All that they have to do is to shy away from corruption because if Mr. Rawlings gets hint of any corrupt practices, he will shout from the rooftop. If we can succeed in our fight against corruption, we need people like Rawlings and Martin Amidu – two of a kind.

But for Mr. Amidu’s efforts, Woyome’s case would have been swept under the carpet. Now that he has been appointed as the Special Prosecutor, I am looking forward to the day people will have their days in court. And when that time comes, Ghanaians will not want to hear the usual accusation of witch-hunting. After all, if there are witches, they must be hunted down.

WAITING FOR THE CITIZEN VIGILANTE TO HIT THE ROAD

I understand those who are always on the neck of the Citizen Vigilante – Mr. Martin Amidu – to hit the ground running. Ghanaians have so much respect and trust in the man and are anxious to see how he is going to prosecute corrupt officials in this country. Many people are impatient because they are living witnesses to the various cases of perceived corruption that we witnessed when the NDC was in power. Indeed, if anyone is found to have engaged in any act of corruption in the current administration, I know Mr. Amidu will go for the person to serve as a deterrent to other appointees. The president promised Ghanaians that when he was voted into power, he was going to set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor and he has kept to his words. What is left is for Ghanaians to come forward with pieces of evidence so that Mr. Amidu can kick-start his job.

If we push the man to take any kneejerk action and wrong doers get off the hook, we may not be doing the nation any good. Let us give him the time to thoroughly investigate the cases before him so that when finally people have their day in court, the judges will have something to stand on to jail them or punish them in one way or the other. The Akans say if you want to catch a thief, you don’t hold his elbow else he will slip away. As for those who continue to ridicule Mr. Amidu that he cannot do anything to anyone, they should wait and see. Time will tell.

Mr. Mahama made a mockery of himself at the Trade Fair Centre where the NDC held their National Delegates’ Congress when he said the Akufo-Addo administration had failed to resource the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Three days before he made that uninformed pronouncement, the Minister of Finance had told Parliament that the government had made available a whopping GH¢180 million for the Office of the Special Prosecutor when he delivered the 2019 budget statement. So which is which, Mr. Liar? The man has not yet recovered from the shock he had in 2016. He needs to be delivered from hallucination.

Columnist: Eric Bawah
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