Is NDC dancing towards political divorce?

Wed, 6 Jul 2011 Source: Ablorh, Raymond

One of the most innovative if not creative political advertisement I

watched on TV during the 2008 electioneering period in Ghana was this:

somebody knocked a family’s door; they opened; and, a soldier’s boot

made the entrance… It’s a response to the then candidate

Prof. Attah Mills’ ‘door –to- door’ campaign at the time. The message is

that the NDC’s sober presidential candidate knocks the door and the

soldier you know unexpectedly enters. More explicitly,

Prof. Mills’ opponents put it, “A vote for Mills is a vote for

Rawlings”; and, with a political sales boosting irony, “buy Attah and

get Rawlings free” they reiterated the 2000 and 2004 messages, which

glued him to Dr. Rawlings in a servant and master posture. Matters

got worse for the aspiring president when in response to a question he

said he would consult his former boss or seek his advice every other

day. Since nobody wanted Dr. Rawlings to rule Ghana from the

ex-presidents’ office, journalists and people from the general public

continued to seek prof. Mills explanation to that otherwise harmless

statement. So hard, he tried to convince Ghanaians that he

is, and would be his own man in government. But, not even did his

exhibition of positive defiance via the appointment of his vice, John

Dramani Mahama against the wish of the Rawlingses persuaded people

enough. Today, the sober melancholic president is now

uncomfortably situated between his promise of consulting his former boss

on issues; and, the promise of being his own man. The

real problem here is that the current and former presidents are some

miles away in character; and in the varied personalities impacting their

leadership styles, thereby, making it extremely difficult for the two

to dance in their tiny room of compromise. The soldier, by

his nature and training is radical; he is an employer of the

unconventional approach of doing things; and, the professor, by his

intellectual exposure and his very nature is sober. The latter seems to

be more concerned with fulfilling those moral promises of being his own

man; of being a father for all; and, of not being vindictive, with the

ultimate purpose of leading his Better Ghana agenda. According

to the Rawlingses, President Mills isn’t doing enough to throw the so

many former government officials the NDC perceived to be corrupt into

our choked prisons. As reported on the front page of the

Daily Graphic of Tuesday, 7, 2011, by Della Russel Ocloo, the former

president in his speech at the 32nd edition of the June 4th celebration

in Kumasi recently said that leading members of his party’s government

had gone into a pact with officials of the erstwhile New Patriotic Party

(NPP) regime to overlook corrupt practices on both sides. Government

officials, he said, were dipping their hands into state resources in

their attempt to amass individual wealth at the expense of Ghanaians who

elected them to serve their interests. Early on, former

president Rawlings has made a lot of passion concentrated criticisms

against the president he campaigned for vigorously for not ‘listening’

to him; and, he has condemned virtually all those around the president.Knowing

the ex-president background, some might wonder if he isn’t simply

painting everybody black to prepare the ground for another adventure,

which not even his children and FONKAR members would allow. But,

what is more conspicuous here is the modicum of correctness in the

NPP’s assumption that former president Rawlings had plans to remote his

ex- subordinate in government. Paradoxically, those who would be

languishing in prisons were President Mills forcing them to eat a piece

of Tsatsu Tsikata’s pie are rather talking at him for not listening to

the founder of his party; the pathological untruth talker who now has

become a truth talker to them. Meanwhile, should he obey

him and carry out his measures unedited, their message would be,’ we

told you so! Rawlings is controlling him”. And, even now, if the law

gravitates towards them heavily, they would still have a convincing

message: the president is now making efforts to please his former boss. But,

are president Mills and his men in government not to blame too? They

supported Dr. Rawlings anytime he came out with serious allegations

against J.A Kufour and his men in government. Even when he

disrespectfully insulted former president J.A. Kufour; comparing him to

Ataa Ayi, the notorious armed robber, they cheered him up. Which

evidence did the ex-president showed them before they supported all

those wild allegations he made against former government officials?

Anyway, maybe, the old professor, having learned from former vice

president Arkah’s experience, kept his good counsels in those days to

avoid taking some resounding cheek beatings and heckles. No wonder his

boss loved him so much. But, on a more serious note,

Ghana’s longest serving foreign minister, Obed Asamoah, a former

confidant of Ex President Rawlings who fell out with him in a power

tussle in 2005, seems to understand the ex-president’s attitudes towards

President Mills better than most people do. In an

interview with Stephen Gyasi Jr, published in the November, 2010 edition

of the Africawatch magazine, Dr Obed Asamoah expected Ghanaians to,

“understand Rawlings, in a way, because he invested a lot in the person

(Prof. Attah Mills, for emphasis) and he must feel sorely disappointed

that the person is perhaps not performing the way he thinks he should

perform.” According to Dr. Asamoah, perhaps Mills is

denying Rawlings certain things; he is not bringing him into the picture

the way he expects it to be; so naturally, he is frustrated. “Basically

he (Former president Rawlings, for emphasis) is somebody who is very

individualistic and it’s his nature,” the former Attorney General said. Then

President Rawlings unilaterally announced Prof. Mills at Agona Swedru

in 1998 as the party’s candidate for the 2000 presidential election,

according to the former foreign Minister, without consulting any of

them. “We all were sitting on the platform and then out of the blue he

made the announcement…And, thereafter he sought to consolidate the

position and fought relentlessly and vehemently against anybody who

thought otherwise,” Dr. Asamoah recalled. Certainly, the

former president wouldn’t do all that for nothing. He had both easy to,

and difficult to perceive motives at the time. Nobody could tell whether

the two men agreed on something before the Swedru declaration. So, only

the two of them understand what is going on better than Dr. Asamoah. Dr.

Rawlings, now a frontline critic of the Mills administration is

vehemently supporting his wife, just the way he supported Prof. Mills

from 1998 to 2008. He believes Nana Konadu could better do what Prof

Mills doesn’t want to or is unable to do for him, the NDC party and for

Ghana. He doesn’t believe in president Mills anymore and would find it

extremely difficult to campaign for him for the 2012 elections. Nonetheless,

the Professor as usual has maintained his sober self. On a few

occasions he told journalists, the former president, as an experienced

man, has every right to criticize him as if he doesn’t see the venom

with which his former boss spits the wild allegations on him. And, with

an attitude fit for the pulpit, he has called for a clean insult-free

campaign. But, could Dr, Rawlings and his people give

Prof. Mills and his men samples of the painful political injections they

gave Dr. Obed Asamoah, Kwesi Botwe and their supporters at Koforidua in

2005? Maybe, no; not this time. Would they support Prof.

Mills should he come out victorious? Well, they have told us they have

nothing good to campaign about, so the answer is close to obvious. And,

would they stay in a stale political marriage? Perhaps, they would

prefer separation if not divorce. Prof Mills wouldn’t like

even mere separation but it seems the NDC is dancing vigorously towards

political divorce in Sunyani. If they escape divorce then this whole

thing could be stage managed as some dreamingly want to believe. And, if

its stage managed then they deserve a global award for such a

sophisticated political stage management.

Writer’s Email: raydelove@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Ablorh, Raymond