By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Folks, Nana Konadu is in flight. She is all over the place, making all kinds of noise that portray her as “haunted”. Such noises won’t salve her conscience or earn any credit for her husband and her family in any way. What they are is already known and nothing new will come from them to change the equation.
She has said a lot already to throw the searchlight on herself and her husband, not to bring in her parents. Here are some of the major aspects of her utterances:
• That the LEAP (social alleviation programme introduced by the government won’t solve the problems of the poor. She alleged that the programme is just a conduit for stealing public funds. What she has forgotten is that her own husband introduced COLA and PAMSCAD, ostensibly to help the poor in Ghana. What became of those programmes for social mitigation? How much of Ghana’s money went into those social intervention programmes initiated, implemented, and supervised by the Rawlings administration? No accountability!!
• That her husband wasn’t earning any salary while in office and did so only after leaving office. What a farce!! Records are available for anybody to scrutinize to know whether Rawlings profited from his status as Ghana’s Head of State for nearly 20 years or not. Even if he didn’t take his salary while in service, he comes across as a beneficiary of the very system that he established. With all the largesse that the state provided, what would he lose if he didn’t take his salary, anyway?
Again, we recall how Rawlings went to town against the Kufuor government, accusing it of lodging about 665 million Cedis in his Ghana Commercial Bank account without prior consultation. He used that happening to boost his anti9-corruption stance and accused the Kufuor administration of trying to either blackmail or taint him with corruption. But when he secretly went to withdraw that money for spending, he never told the world about it. We later got to know that he claimed it was a genuine transaction and that the money was what he EARNED. How? I don’t know.
• That she had to rely on her parents and friends to fund the education of her children while she was still the First Lady of Ghana.
Nana Konadu has said what she should have told Ghanaians long ago when they questioned the Rawlingses’ credibility: “Even in office I wasn’t earning any income, I was lecturing outside and I was making some money but I put all the money into women empowerment programmes because the government was not giving me one cedi for what I was doing… There was so much politicking about my husband giving me money, no he didn’t, I have told this story before,” the former first lady said in an interview on ETV.’” (Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=343826).
We note with regret that Nana Konadu is passing the buck rather belatedly. What does she mean by “my parents”? In the first place, her father (J.O.T. Agyemang, a wealthy former Managing Director of the defunct Ghana national Trading Corporation, GNTC) died long before her children were of age to go to school in the United Kingdom. Did he set aside any money for their education before dying?
We know that Nana Konadu’s mother is still alive and that when the Rawlingses’ Ridge residence got burnt, Nana Konadu moved in with her. How did her mother acquire wealth to be able to support her and the children? She isn’t known to the ordinary Ghanaian as any enterprising person.
Now, to the aspect of Rawlings’ not taking salaries. I have said it over and over again that Rawlings’ life in public service has given us a very bad example, especially within the context of his dependence on the state (and public funds) ever since he shot his way into the limelight on the wave of the June 4 event. He has claimed the Ridge apartment complex and stuck to it all these years, apparently because he couldn’t use his income to provide any living space for himself and his family What he has in the Adjiringanor area is magnificent but he can’t move his family there because of reasons best known to him and us: that all his excessive utterances and actions against opulence are reflected in what he has at Adjiringanor.
Can we ever forget the maltreatment of photojournalists who dared take pictures of that residence? Why would the Rawlingses even want the Mills administration to beautify the vicinity of their residence and not that of the entire Adjiringanor community? At least, news reports revealed that the road leading to their residence was preferentially selected for renovation while others were side-stepped. What does that mean to Nana Konadu?
The Rawlingses have very serious split-personality problems that is tearing them apart. Politically, they are confused. While Rawlings still sticks to the NDC (despite all the humiliation suffered from being divested of the “Founder-and-Father” status and many others that have reduced him to a mere “Simpa panyin” in the party, receiving mere greetings only), his wife has broken loose to form the National Democratic Party that isn’t going anywhere. She and her misguided followers are neither here nor there. Yesterday, they were against the NPP and its Akufo-Addo. Today, they are saying they are in bed with him. Tomorrow, they will say that they are non-aligned. How? Political immaturity or plain mischief?
There is still more. Having turned against opulence (especially by public office holders), can he now bury the past and live in opulence? He cannot round his own squares, which is why he is hell-bent on retaining the Ridge residence. We know how implacably peeved he was when that Ridge residence got burnt and the late President Atta Mills’ government sought to redefine matters against his wish or expectations. He had wanted the residence rebuilt according to his (or the overweening Nana Konadu’s) specifications, which the Mills administration didn’t bow to. The Rawlingses haven’t yet forgiven Atta Mills. I don’t know how much has so far been done to rebuild that residence.
Whatever the case may be, the Rawlingses can’t persuade me that they are angels. That is why the noise being made by Nana Konadu rather goes to deepen the darkness surrounding them.
We turn to the aspect regarding the education costs of the Rawlingses’ children. We reject outright Nana Konadu’s claim that it was her parents who bore that responsibility. Didn’t Rawlings himself tell us that it was his friends who were taking care of his children’s board-and-lodge costs? Did he know at the time that it was his wife’s parents who were rather doing so but chose to tell us something different? Credibility problems galore here!!
Folks, I don’t want to bore you with what you already might have dug out yourselves about the Rawlingses; but let me say here that the noise being made today by Nana Konadu won’t wash with some of us. I have said it already that she is one woman whose incontinence and overly ambitious political pursuits will ditch her and her husband, not to talk about their children.
What more does Nana Konadu have to reveal? Will such revelations help salve her own conscience, though? I suppose that something is weighing down heavily on her conscience, which will lead her to a personal Armageddon. I am waiting impatiently for that moment.
In any case, I wonder what she thinks she is to keep on stoking the fire that nobody really wants to see on the political horizon. Unfortunately for her, Rawlings has chosen to avoid such “volatile” issues as he settles down to reflect on his own life. But she isn’t doing so and will soon hit the brickwall that she is busily erecting. No need for any explanation.
Ultimately, one is left with only one puzzle: Why can’t the Rawlingses acknowledge reality and fade away smoothly without barricading the road for their children and their kind of posterity? From what is happening to the children of the Great Osagyefo, can’t the Rawlingses (wife and husband) learn any useful lesson to draw the line to end their bulldozing or rubbing of salt into wounds? Do they really want to leave behind them any respectable lasting footprints on the sand of Ghanaian history? If they do, they should know that they have inflated themselves too much and shouldn’t be surprised when they explode in smithereens. And their children and their children along the line will bear the brunt.
Life is not an endless stretch of opportunities. It begins in one way and ends in another way. The chequered lives of the Rawlingses have been tolerated by Ghanaians for far too long, not because Ghanaians are cowards or docile but because they are peace-loving and magnanimous. They are patient but resilient by nature; and that resilience has dire consequences for the petulant abusers, which Nana Konadu seems not to know. I am glad that Rawlings has sobered down for now; but the “donkey behaviour” of his wife will keep him in focus too.
We expect Nana Konadu to continue kicking hard. We expect her to come out with more revelations to stoke the fire that she and her husband have lit. Eventually, the going will become too tough for her, particularly, and all those she is dragging along as she fishes in troubled waters. Then, we will have the last laugh.
I shall return…
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