By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Former President Rawlings is in the news again; and, as is characteristic of him, he is in for the wrong reason.
Speaking at the 30th Anniversary ceremony of the 31st December Women’s Movement, he was angry at what he called “unprecedented monetization of the political space,” being perpetrated by members of his own party in government (MyJoyOnline, May 15, 2012). He was reported as mincing no words in describing those government functionaries as “traitors who have betrayed the ideals of the National Democratic Congress.”
To him, the government has “enviably lost the sense of political morality and demeaned itself in a crass manner.” He said the NDC is now faced with fighting two enemies—traitors and the perceived enemies. Thus, “We cannot fight these two enemies… one must go.”
In political terms, such strong, pejorative words (“traitors” and “enemies”) connote a lot of dread. I am not surprised they are coming from Rawlings because that’s the true reflection of his psyche. Need I say more?
These are the utterances of someone who has joined hands with his overly ambitious wife and all other perpetually malcontented elements in his household and political circle to portray extreme frustration at not being allowed to do things as they wish.
It must be obvious to all political observers that the Rawlings who has turned himself into Ghana’s bugbear certainly hasn’t learnt any useful lesson from those men of conscience and world figures that he rushes to associate with. Had he done so, he would have learnt how to function productively in a changed political atmosphere instead of what he gives us to see about him every passing day. At this point, he doesn’t even deserve anybody’s sympathy because he is worse than a dog that is determined to get lost and, therefore, refuses to hear its master’s whistle. Only a bitter experience will force him to redirect his energy to better purposes.
In his morbid desire to construct those refusing to be manipulated by him as “enemies” and “traitors,” he has forgotten what he himself is to Ghanaians and the civilized world.
I am now more than convinced that the orchestrated moves by Rawlings and his wife know no bounds and that they will continue to poison the atmosphere with their ill-considered political waywardness. But the end will be disastrous for them, if they care to know. They may think that they are on top of affairs as far as their devilish plans are concerned, but most of those who fall heavily on their own swords often go this way.
Rawlings has no justification to complain because what he calls “monetization of the political space” is nothing new. It happened under his own rule in a more unsettling manner than he may be seeing and complaining about today. Aren’t the records clear enough on the sordid things that happened under him? Otherwise, why did the Kufuor government prosecute all those functionaries of his government (including his own wife), jailing some and confirming to the whole world the rot that he (Rawlings) presided over?
I will continue to blame Kufuor for interfering in the affairs of the judiciary and stopping the prosecution of Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings and those government functionaries just before leaving office. Had Nana Konadu been sent into the cooler for her part in the corruption that the Divestiture Implementation Committee perpetrated, Rawlings would have learnt the lesson that has eluded him all this while.
Then again, had Ghanaians been more insistent on taking drastic action against him, he would have been consigned to the appropriate quarters reserved for social pests like him.
We must be bold at this stage to make it clear that Rawlings and his wife are like rotten teeth in our mouths that will not rest until extracted. Ghanaians must not continue to allow their waywardness to torment them anymore. I have spoken!!
By continuing to write on the Rawlingses, I don’t want to be seen as wasting my time or choosing them for condemnation just because I don’t want them to enjoy their freedom of speech or assert their influence in the NDC. I care little about those issues but will say aboveboard here that I continue writing on them because of deeper-level issues verging on the implications of their abrasive politics to our democracy.
They may not have the backing of the military to overthrow the government and, thereby, derail our democracy; but what they’ve been doing for some time now has the potential to provoke something inimical.
Despite Rawlings’ immense role in the establishment of this 4th Republic, there is every reason to be concerned at how he and his wife are misconducting themselves.
I have already written on the nuisance that these Rawlingses have constituted themselves into and will not belabour it here. But suffice it for me to say that the Rawlingses may in one way or the other do what will negatively affect our democracy if left on their own to pursue the sinister agenda that they are implementing to undermine the NDC and its government. We must continue to monitor their activities to be ahead of them on this score. That’s why I’ll continue to write on them.
As they continue to irritate Ghanaians with their insatiable quest for power and needless rabble rousing, they create conditions for their lackeys to undermine the government. My checks have revealed that nowhere in the world can one find such a direct or subtle attempt by a former Head of State and his wife to seek to subvert the government.
But here in Ghana, that is what Rawlings and his wife are doing and pestering the society with their tantrums and irrepressible belligerence, virtually rendering themselves an anathema while using their “populist nonsense” to create tension in the system —and still go about scot free.
Behaving as if by accepting them as the country’s leaders for so long (almost two decades in power) Ghanaians made a terrible mistake by sending themselves to their slaughter house, they seem to consider themselves as the only people entitled to the mantle of office and won’t give others the peace of mind to play their part in the national resuscitation effort.
And they lock horns with anybody who sees things differently. By arrogating to themselves the right to call the shots, they have constantly set themselves on a collision course with almost everybody who matters in national and local politics. They are at the throats of their political opponents and those in their own party with different strategies for tackling national development than the yardstick fashioned by them.
They are at loggerheads with all manner of people—be they soldiers (especially those with whom Rawlings launched his so-called revolution), civilian technocrats and politicians who teamed up with him in ruling the country under the AFRC/PNDC or the NDC, or the intellectuals who helped legitimize his military governments. The list of such alienated people will be too long to compile.
What manner of man is Rawlings? And why will his wife also seek to rule Ghana and become so implacably offended for losing the gamble? And they do things in tandem to undermine the government!
I hate to know that the tax-payers’ money is what sustains them. What is their contribution to the development of the country at this stage to warrant their being supported by any Ghanaian workers’ sweat, toil, and blood? Forget about the constitutional provision that a former Head of State be given all that protocol assistance. There is something seriously wrong in our setting of priorities. Indeed, it must be clear by now that such irritants don’t deserve anything from the national coffers for their upkeep. They don’t deserve it. One expects that anybody so supported by the national coffers must make useful contributions to national development to merit that largesse. What are the Rawlingses doing to that effect? Of course, we don’t owe them anything. For all those years that they were in power, did they not earn salaries to stash away for use in life? Yet, we continue to give them all that cushions them in life only for them to turn round to thank us as donkeys do—kicking us the hardest!! I want to state categorically that Ghanaians are too tolerant, too patient to a fault, and too cowardly by accommodating Rawlings and his wife to the extent that they can do or say anything threatening only to sit back and rejoice that Ghanaians are living in constant fear of tomorrow in consequence. In their sadistic make-up, they surely must be satisfied that when they cough, Ghanaians catch a cold!!
It is not as if by working hard for the NDC to be defeated in politics, they will regain political power or turn those they have constantly alienated into bed-fellows. Such characters are not fit for today’s Ghana.
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