No one needs to gag Rawlings


Sat, 23 Jun 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

; he will choke on his own vomit

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, June 22, 2012

Former President Rawlings is out again, baring his teeth and threatening to retaliate against anybody in the NDC (both the party and the government) who insults him. But rather curiously, nothing has come from him to let us know whether he will stop bad-mouthing others. When people slander him, it is bad; but when he insults others, it is good. Do you see the self-righteousness that is his problem?

As disclosed by his spokesman (Kofi Adams) at a press conference two days ago, indications are clear that the Rawlingses are chafing and boiling mad at being disrespected—or rather challenged and undermined by the very people who had deferred to them when they were in power but have now found enough bravado as their opponents. And they won’t tolerate anything of the sort. They can’t take it anymore. It seems the balloon is about to burst into ugly fragments.

Do the Rawlingses think that they will continue to insult others and avoid being paid back in their own coin? Or that they have any antidote against the negative backlash of their belligerent politicking? I can only imagine what will happen to them if they go out of their way to exchange insults with their opponents or do anything worse than that.

It is intriguing to learn that the warning was directed at none other but “leaders of the ruling NDC.” The ventriloquist for the Rawlingses (Kofi Adams) asked such people to “refrain from vilifying the Rawlingses or risk tasting a bite of their own pill.”

To accentuate the stance of the Rawlingses, Kofi Adams said no one in the NDC or its government could gag Rawlings!

That’s the point from where to unpack this Rawlings enigma. Who can gag Rawlings? Even the military establishment that he belonged to when he shot his way into power couldn’t do so. Neither could his political opponents and all those with whom he has had conflicts at the local and international levels.

To say it point-blankly, Rawlings is “ungagable.” Whether he speaks or not doesn’t make any difference nor will it wash out the dirt that he has heaped on himself and others whom he should have supported to protect his legacy but who have become the butt of his constant misguided open insults and damnation.

It is bootless gagging Rawlings because no one will gain anything fruitful from it. Gagging him won’t solve anybody’s problem because it has nothing to offer society.

We will continue to give him that long rope with which to hang himself. Having said his mind all these three decades, he is known for repeating stale stories to justify his self-righteousness. He did so when he interacted with the Israeli Ambassador two days ago and will continue to do so without saying anything new except his constant rehashing of the stale and worn-out smokescreen of “probity and accountability.”

We will not gag him but give him the elbow room in which to continue making a nuisance of himself. If he were conscionable enough to read between the lines, he would realize that he stands to gain more from being continent than what he has chosen to do as he spearheads the efforts to destroy his own public image and the network of well-intentioned followers.

Rawlings has already reduced himself to a laughing stock and doesn’t need any further outside influence to deepen his woes. As a tree stump immersed in water, he fears no cold anymore; or, better still, he knows he is already down and needs fear no fall. But will he not be wise enough to know that he can get back on his feet if he straightens his crooked political life? At least, he will regain the respect he has lost.

At least, if he can’t ever become the strong man that he had made himself all those years that Lady Luck smiled on him to rule Ghana, he can take consolation in the fact that his legacy can be protected only if he helps us do so. But he isn’t, which is why his clamour against the disrespect being shown him is misplaced.

But as the situation is now—and maddened by the inability of his wife to hold sway over the NDC—he is dimming his light all the more. Does such a person need any gagging by anybody to shroud himself in darkness and doom? I don’t think so. That is why the warning from him as delivered by his ventriloquist comes across as a clear demonstration of abject frustration and well-deserved contempt.

Within the ranks of the NDC, he may be counting on the disappointed elements like him to continue butting heads with those he sees as his nemesis. In the end, he will be no better than Don Quixote.

His particular situation is pitiable because he is worse than Sisyphus. The rock that he is rolling up and down the mountain is not only too heavy for him but he doesn’t even seem to know that unlike the real Sisyphus in Greek mythology, his is a self-appointed never-ending task in futility. Sisyphus was punished by the gods for knowing what he shouldn’t and for daring to challenge the wisdom of the gods.

In Rawlings’ sake, he is rolling that big stone as a result of his own miscalculation. It is a task he has imposed on himself and will continue to do till he pays his dues to Nature. Today is his birth day (being born on June 22, 1947) and he is 65 years old. He may not celebrate the occasion in a grand style as he did when he turned 50 and was joined by several of the well-wishers who today are his enemies.

You see, in his own state of paranoia and self-righteousness, he has arrogated to himself the omniscience and omnipresence that has become his undoing.

We have said it several times already that Rawlings is his own enemy. Having ridden slipshod on the backs of many Ghanaians who lent him their genuine support to entrench himself in power, he hasn’t ceased portraying himself as a SAINT and those supporters as traitors and enemies, which is his bane.

Again, anything he sees today as “slandering” or “insults” coming from members of his own party is the result of his own miscalculation. Having struggled to nurture the NDC to this formidable dimension, how does he expect to be treated by members of the party (especially t hose whose sacrifices have sustained it) when he vigorously undercuts the party and endangers its future viability just because he can’t have his way?

Again, how does Rawlings expect to be left alone when he hasn’t let anybody alone? For as long as he continues asking questions, he must be prepared for answers.

We have heard several times the concern expressed by this Kofi Adams on behalf of the Rawlingses that Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah is the main problem for the Rawlingses. As he again disclosed at the news conference, “the latest call by Mr. Asiedu Nketia on all supporters and admirers of Mr. Rawlings who still love the NDC to ‘positively defy’ the ex-president should he ask them not to vote for president Mills in the upcoming elections” reinforces that disposition.

The Rawlingses may dislike Asiedu-Nketiah but there is nothing they can do to get at him. As the NDC’s General Secretary, he is well positioned in the affairs of the party to do what will promote the well-being of the party. Of course, he is not in the pro-Rawlings camp to be bamboozled. The irony is that this very General Mosquito was a staunch supporter of Rawlings throughout the almost 20 years that Rawlings was in power. What has changed about him now to infuriate the Rawlingses?

Now in the very bottom of the political pit, Rawlings has lost the goodwill of all those whose support and concrete contributions propped him up in office. He has now surrounded himself with sore losers such as Kofi Adams (suspended from office as the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC), Michael Teye Nyaunu (whose political career under the aegis of the NDC has hit a dead-end), and Dr. Josiah Ayeh (disgraced former General Secretary of the NDC who lost his position because of an impropriety that reduces to absurdity Rawlings’ own cry of probity and accountability).

Of course, Rawlings draws inspiration from his wife, whose quest to be Ghana’s President on the ticket of the NDC was shredded about two years ago and is still ill-at-ease. A coterie of sore losers in action!!

Hiding behind the worn-out principle of probity and accountability, Rawlings has continued to pester President Mills’ administration and hurled all kinds of nasty allegations and direct insults at its functionaries. No one would have qualified as a “Greedy Bastard” in the absence of that tired principle.

Whoever pumped that cliché of “probity and accountability” into his head has done him a big disservice. It seems instead of helping him come to terms with reality, all that this cliché has succeeded in doing is to torment him instead. Rawlings is so befuddled with this cliché that he can’t live his life without it. And he sees everything through that prism, which shapes and shaves his posture of self-righteousness.

As if often said, when the “big man” of the house himself carries his luggage, then, you must know that there is a lot wrong. At this point in his life, Rawlings has done more than he needs to remind him of his life being a mere span so that he can live and let live. But he can’t recognize where he is now and must continue adding more to his plate of troubles. I don’t pity him for anything because that’s the ultimate result of miscalculation.

Now, he seems to be readying himself for a toe-to-toe shouting match with his opponents in his own party, which will definitely be a sight for sore eyes. When it happens, we will relish it. It will give us the chance to know how the mighty are fallen.

Rawlings is now defined more by what he does wrongly than the good things that Ghanaians may want to remember him for. That’s his own cup of tea; but for as long as he continues seeing himself as the Godfather of Ghana politics whose voice must be obeyed without question, he will continue to hit the brick-wall—and we will take him on for a good bashing.

Like a fish that is mindless of its circumstances and fails to move out when the tide changes, he is left in a virtually dry pond now, out of water and gasping for breath. Rawlings’ narrow political circumstances are his own making. No one needs to gag him to prove it. He will rant himself into oblivion.

• E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

• Join me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjkbokor

Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.