If You Love Ghana Stop Him – Rawlings

Fri, 8 Jul 2011 Source: Baidoo, Philip Kobina

A couple of months after the inauguration of President Mills I wrote an article entitled, 'How did Junior Jesus become a thorn in the flesh of Ghanaian politics.' It was an attempt to make sense of the bizarre vitriolic attack of Rawlings on the President. I combed my thoughts for a tangible reason to explain his unconventional behaviour, but my deductive reasoning eluded me completely. In retrospect, I sometimes feel that I would have been a bad detective if I had gone into that profession. Anyway that is why I am not.

My off the record analysis of microscopic shards of evidence left here and there led me to conclude that he wanted to use Mills as a proxy to remove all threats to his life in retirement. Least did I know that it was the opening salvo of a well orchestrated Machiavelli style political machine the Rawlings brand has become. He was simply firing across the bows to give legitimacy to their ten point plan to hijack the presidency once more. But with hindsight based on the shear pathos of his nineteen year reign every conceivable effort must be harnessed to stop him from getting anywhere near the heart of the nation.

Some of you reading this piece must have already concluded that I am a Rawlings hater let loose on a word processor, or perhaps an NPP sympathiser. Obviously, quite a few are rubbing their fingers and licking their lips in agreement. For the sceptics, I would like you to know that I was among a generation of Ghanaians who grew up knowing, no other leader, but Rawlings. I was a card carrying supporter who sung ‘JJ do something before you die’; besides defending him with every leftist political argument my precocious mind could muster. When he came to power the word economics was not part of my vocabulary and neither a single treatise on political thought had been read. So I think I would be pardoned if I stood in the courtroom of public opinion. On the other hand, the same cannot be said of Rawlings.

When you are a child you think that money grows on trees. But as you get older you realise that there is no such thing as free lunch, and even those that are lucky to have one come to the realisation that somebody had to pay for it. Sadly, Rawlings usurped power believing that Utopian world of children. He thought he could swing a magic wand to transform the economic fortunes of the country. Filled with arrogance and myopic certainty no thought was given to the fact that we live in a global community where every cause of action is subject to events in various countries fuelled by individual and national interest. This important fact about the dynamics of the world we live in was ignored and Ghanaians were taken through the mill. I remember a business woman, in Tema, was stripped naked and beaten savagely for doing something that comes to all humanity naturally. And that was only a tip of the iceberg. Three of the finest judges the country has ever produced were abducted in the middle of the night and murdered in cold blood. For a while the country was ruled by gangsters who perpetrated crime that never made it to the headlines. Despite all these heinous crimes we can still forgive him, because he was a hothead still experiencing bouts of hormonal rush.

However, we also have to think about the road not taken. There were people who were equally impatient like he was when he took over, and would have excelled if they had the aggression he can't seem to control at the ripe old age of sixty four. In his eyes he thinks he is the most benevolent leader the country has ever had. Quite naturally there are those who will argue strenuously up the hill to validate that belief, which is nothing short of self immolation. But let the record speak for itself. When he came to power he claimed Ghanaian hospitals were death traps, and I think it will take the genius of the best orator in the world to argue against the fact that he did not leave them as graveyards. I don’t mind his garage sale of the state owned enterprises, however the question is what mileage did that bring Ghanaians? His actions during his 19 year reign were eerily similar to the erroneous prescription of medieval parish priest who during those highly contagious fatal epidemics will encouraged their congregants to gather in churches to pray for God's intervention while inadvertently spreading the contagion.

It will be very difficult to find a single nation around the globe that developed independently without any foreign input. This reinforces the Akan adage that it is foreigners who build a nation. However, taking over the country and running it courtesy of his PNDC decrees instead of constitutional law he effectively blocked the flow of foreign investments into the country. The fact is every investor looks to the long term security of their investment, and any country that falls short of providing an iron clad security for private capital is avoided completely by investors. His die hard supporters who are still hopelessly clinging on to a straw will argue that a lot of capital poured into the country during his structural adjustment programme from the World Bank, IMF and other donor countries. And my answer to them is: it did, and half of it went into their pockets, and sadly without the technology and fresh management ideas, which would have come with private capital to kick start a sustainable development.

I am not a bitter person and very much willing to forgive this ignorant political novice who has not matured beyond adolescence and still plaque by infantile tantrum when he does have his way. On the other hand, I certainly lost my patience with this peddler of misery when Nana Darkwah suggested that he burnt out his own residence, and he was promptly arrested for speaking something other than the accepted script. A president is elected on a party ticket based on a manifesto. However, when he is sworn in he does so to defend the constitution, and without exception, to defend and protect every Tom, Dick and Harry irrespective of party affiliation. There is no doubt that some identical twins have different beliefs. If so, how do you expect a nation made up of millions of individual minds shaped by competing beliefs and ideologies to think and share the same aspirations? He is a character who believes that everyone should see the way he perceive the world, which is simply light years away from possibility. In a democracy everyone should, though with responsibility, feel free to air their opinion without fear of physical harm but only answerable to the law. And this is what cannot happen in any regime that Rawlings will be a back seat driver. Any person who cannot stomach criticism should not be allowed to catch a glimpse of public life let alone the presidency. We have seen a lot of pain and tears, and it is not a price worth paying again for her to come and replicate 19 years of mediocrity, which will also include insane brutalities.

Anybody who loves the country should do his part to stop him from getting anywhere near power to continue his ultra socialist ideology that kept the country perpetually poor during his nineteen year reign. He is a dreamer and when his dreams are thwarted by other people’s dreams he becomes belligerent and threatening. When you vote for Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings you get another for free, which unfortunately is a bad apple. Should she claim independence then my rebuttal will be unequivocal. She was with the husband for the 19 years that he kept the country frozen in time. If she had any better ideas to move the nation forward she would have offered it to the husband. It will be suicidal for us to give her also another chance to come and continue those bankrupt ideas that does not promote corporate growth and individual excellence. The other choice is divisive blitzkrieg of political fires, and poisonous venom that will paralyse the whole country.

For the 19 years that he hijacked the country there is always going to be a place for him in the political history of Ghana, but that is for posterity. Currently it is high time the curtains came down for the nation to heal its wounds in peace.

Philip Kobina Baidoo Jnr.



Columnist: Baidoo, Philip Kobina