RE: Settlement Of Former President Rawlings

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 Source: Bomfeh, James Kwabena

Last week, from Monday, 5th July to Friday 9th July 2010, the resettlement of former President Rawlings dominated the media more than anything else. It would be recalled that the resettlement of the former President became an issue since the burning of their state sponsored accommodation got guttered on 14th February, 2010.

Since then, the state has been at difficulty to find a temporal accommodation for the former first family till their assigned residence is rehabilitated to satisfy provisions of the 1992 Republican Constitution. It is worthy of note that throughout our history, only the 4th Republican Constitution has an arrangement if resettling former heads of state.

Unfortunately, the same Constitution and its architects failed to recognize former constitutionally elected president Hilla Limann of the PNP as due resettlement though he was still alive at the time of the coming into being of that constitution. On the strength of the constitution per article 71, a Committee was formed to determine what salary and retirement package of the Executive, Legislature and other public office holders should be. In 1997 Dr Hilla Limann passed away without any resettlement whatsoever.

The issue of Dr Hilla Limann is coming up because of the many versions of attempts to resettle President Rawlings. History teaches us that Dr Hilla Limann and the PNP were dragged out of office by the PNDC under the leadership of Jerry John. The PNDC also stole the right of the people to choose their leaders at the point of gun. It was the same Flt Lt (Rtd) Jerry John Rawlings who signed the 1992 Constitution into being. Could it be that is was deliberate ploy or government policy to disregard former President Limann and humiliate him to death to the extent that the payment of his hospital bills became a huge issue as to who was to pay?

As a country we have failed woefully to recognize our past heads of state and accord them the respect their offices require. Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was demonised and criminalised by the NLC that overthrew him. Prof Busia was also demonized. Dr Limann was disgraced and humiliated to abject poverty till he died. It is strange to find out that any careful study of this phenomenon reveals how we are discouraging well meaning, patriotic citizens to offer themselves for nation building. In the end, failure to get the true selfless leaders, we get cheats and charlatans who presents themselves as sheep though they really energy suckers hence the extent of our underdevelopment in the face of abundant resources.

If the future of this country is going to be any different, then we must begin today, to change our attitudes and embrace best practices that can help us take our rightful position in world affairs. Let the nation show regret to Dr Limann and the PNP family. Let former President Rawlings and his wife apologise unreservedly to Mrs Fulera Limann and the PNP for the unnecessary and unjustifiable treason they committed against the sovereign will of Ghana.

We the youth of the CPP and PNC dare say that until Mrs Fulera Limann is well settled let no one disturb us with the urgency of resettling the Rawlingses. They came to overtake some in line already. So if the course of providence has allowed us the opportunity to revisit the situation and correct the dastard anomaly, then why don’t we use the occasion to wipe the slate even cleaner, and do what is logically right, humane and proper for all concerned. We are all Ghanaians first, and foremostly, equal before the law.

Let us therefore be bold to tackle this problem at its root. If Ghana is to be the country worth dying for, then we must not be seen to be rewarding wrong doers in preference to and/or at the expense of those who have been wronged.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

James Kwabena Bomfeh Jnr

National Youth Organizer, CPP


Columnist: Bomfeh, James Kwabena