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Opinions Mon, 23 Nov 2020

Bow your heads in shame: Didn’t Rawlings complain about your insulting behaviour?

There is no denying or ignoring the fact that the late Rawlings sadly raised concerns over the insulting behaviour of the so-called diehard NDC supporters, many of whom do not even have passing acquaintance with the formation of the party he joyously autographed with his blood.

In retirement, the NDC founder and the first president of the Fourth Republic, the late President Jerry John Rawlings, would now and then, contribute to the national discourse.

He kept the successive governments on their toes, as a matter of fact. He thus earned the accolade, Dr Boom, for his vociferous and the no-nonsense approach.

To his credit, though, the late President Rawlings was the chief critic of his own party (NDC). Indeed, the late President Rawlings did not shy away from pointing out the erstwhile Mahama administration’s unpardonable incompetence and corrupt practices.

In fact, the late President Rawlings commanded a lot of respect among the party foot soldiers. Ironically, however, the leadership of the NDC committed political suicide for refusing to accept the fact that the late President Rawlings was indeed revered by the party foot soldiers more than any other member of the party.

If for nothing at all, the late President Rawlings founded the NDC and managed to bring along a lot of supporters to his corner. It was thus extremely incredulous for anybody to suggest somewhat impetuously that former President Rawlings was irrelevant in the umbrella fraternity.

Regrettably, the NDC’s boisterous brats who are not privy to their party’s history kept rebuking Rawlings for rightly expressing his grievances over the irreversible mess in the party he undersigned with his blood. .

If you may remember, a few years ago, some people calling themselves NDC supporters, torn their founder, the late Rawlings, into shreds with unabashed disgust.

The late Rawlings’s crime was to candidly fret thy soul with grief, and wondered if the deadly armed robbery attacks in the country were real robberies and not the work of unpatriotic partisan creatures motivated from either within or without to undermine the nation’s security in order to pave the way for certain parochial ambitions.

The late President Rawlings concerns back then stemmed from the fact that some people were unblushingly hopping from one Radio/Television station to another nagging, shrieking and grouching over the serious national disaster such as the bloody armed robbery attacks without proffering any practicable solutions.

It is absolutely true that the so-called brassbound NDC supporters attitude towards the late Rawlings was extremely appalling. Take, for example, the late Rawlings had this to say during the NDC’s 2012 National Congress: “Mr. President, fellow Ghanaians it is said that we should not throw out the baby with the bath water, but what we do when some of the babies in the tub are babies with hard teeth, biting and spewing some very horrible invectives? Should they not be lowered out with the dirty water? After all one bad nut is all it takes to spoil the taste in your mouth”.

“When we find ourselves at a wooden bridge with some planks rotten, do we wait to get new planks before removing the rotten ones or do we remove the rotten ones immediately?” (JJ Rawlings, August 30, 2012).

If you would recall, during the State of the Nation Address on Thursday 8th February 2018, aside from the extraneous and incessant heckling of President Akufo-Addo, the minority MPs allegedly disrespected their founder, the late Rawlings and his wife, Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

The Minority MPs conspicuously cheered their Doyen Mahama and ignominiously ‘catcalled’ at their founder, the late Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

It all began when President Akufo-Addo was blissfully introducing the dignitaries present at the State of the Nation Address. The Minority MPs cheered plangently at the mentioning of Ex-President Mahama’s name and hooted upon hearing the names of the founder and his wife. Their conduct, so to speak, was destitute of honour and respect.

Indeed, it was quite strange for the so-called brassbound supporters to disrespectfully hoot at the very person whose brainchild (NDC) has rather made them ‘somebody’s’.

Personally, I was extremely depressed in spirits and could hardly contain my emotional intelligence. In a state of utter puzzled countenance, I soliloquised: “how could human beings be so ungrateful?” “How on earth could any human being show utter disrespect to the breast that fed him/her?” “The world is not fair indeed.”

I need not be belabouring on the evolution of National Democratic Congress (NDC), but for the sake of balanced annotation, I shall give a brief history of the making of NDC at some point.

In fact, some recalcitrant members within the NDC made it a habit of abusing their founder. Take, for example, prior to the 2016 election, some elements in the NDC were reported to have called for their founder Rawlings’s blood.

Back then, the late President Rawlings sadly expressed his surprise as to how and why some people within the NDC, the party he founded could orchestrate needless attacks on him.

“The ex-President cited the petition presented by the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) leader, Henry Lartey to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) asking them to investigate circumstances under which he (Mr Rawlings) reportedly received an amount of $5 million from the late Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha, as gift in 1998.

The late Rawlings was reported to have said that his own people in the NDC were behind the ploy to sully his hard-won reputation (See: ‘$5m Abacha cash, NDC chasing me-says Rawlings’; dailyguideafrica.com, 18/10/2016).

In fact, back then, I was not the least surprised that some elements in the NDC could go to such an extent of bringing the name of their party founder into disrepute. After all, didn’t the party General Secretary, Asiedu Nketia, once call Rawlings a barking dog?

In so far as I was not a fan of the late Rawlings, I do not think the man deserved all the vile attacks from the members of the party he worked strenuously to bring to existence.

It is against this background that Rawlings relished the opportunity to clean the party he cherished so much.

Given that the vast majority of the members of the current NDC executive were proselytised and christened into the umbrella fraternity by the late President Rawlings, one would have expected an outright condemnation of the incessant insults directed at the founder of the party, but that was not been the case.

However the alleged sour relations between the founder and some of the current national party executives, the late Rawlings unconditional love for his brainchild (NDC) did not taper off, not by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, one does not have to look far for the evidence of the late President Rawlings’s devoted attachment to the party he gleefully autographed with his blood.

His euphonious speeches to commemorate the June 4 1979 and the 31st December 1981 coup d’états were clear manifestations of his unbridled attachment to the party he founded in 1992.

The late President Rawlings lamented: “Need I remind you that the NDC was built on principles and values that emerged as a result of circumstances that led to our birth?”

“The fallen heroes we honour today expect of us in the least, never to relapse into those same old days. But that has not been the case.

“In the wake of the revolution we made pronouncements that summed up the state of affairs that prevailed then.

“I admonished back then that; “Ghana should be a land where it will be accepted practice and norm that those who earn the privilege to govern, should administer in humility, conscious that they are the servants of the people and are ready to submit themselves and their actions to public scrutiny and accountability(Rawlings, 2016).”

Honestly, the conduct of the so-called NDC diehard supporters reinforces Kwame Sefa Khayi’s favourite and melodious rendition, which goes: ‘Ghanaian politics is saturated with hypocrisy and dishonesty’.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com
Columnist: Kwaku Badu