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Opinions Tue, 31 Dec 2013

Stop Inciting “Chieftaincy Tension” In Bawku, JJ Rawlings

Otchere Darko

Re: Former President Jerry Rawlings says this is the time for the people of Bawku to demand justice on the death of the Ya Na, as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not be in power forever. [Extracted from Ghanaweb General News of Monday, 30 December 2013 Captioned “Demand justice on Ya Na’s death – Rawlings” Source: citifmonline.com]

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The “boom-boom” utterances of JJ Rawlings have become so frequent and so destructive that he should be told clearly and NOW that he is not the right person to keep accusing people of wrong doing. Hiding under the banner of “coups” or “revolutions” to kill people does not make such killing right. One would expect “big-mouthed Rawlings” who has many times been tagged as “murderer” by several Ghanaians to feel ashamed, if not fearful of his past, rather for this lucky untried “murderer” to always portray himself as “Mr Right”, “Mr Clean” and “Mr Perfect”.

Rawlings has openly been accused of ordering, or engineering several murders that took place in Ghana in the nineteen seventies and eighties, including the brutal murder of the three High Court judges. Fearing probable and possible retaliation for his brutality during the AFRC and PNDC eras, JJ Rawlings forced the drafters of the 1992 Constitution to put in clauses that prevented all future Ghanaian governments to investigate his crimes and punish him. Having protected himself from criminal investigation and punishment, this “cowardly” former military man (JJ Rawlings), who fears facing justice, constantly incites others to “demand justice”.

JJ Rawlings, if you believe in justice, why don’t you ask the government to remove the “Indemnity Clauses” from the 1992 Constitution and allow Ghanaians whose fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends were killed to demand justice?

JJ Rawlings, learn and learn fast that it is dangerous to throw stones when you live in a glass house. JJ Rawlings, know also that when you throw a stone at a wall, it subsequently bounce back towards. People with dirty hands must not go to equity and this includes YOU, JJ Rawlings.

Akans have a proverb that says “opanyin nntra fie emma asedua emmfo”, which translates literally into English as an “elderly person does not stay home and watch [unconcerned] while beans being dried in the sun by a neighbour get soaked in the rain”. If JJ Rawlings wants to be seen as an elder statesman, and one who must be respected by all Ghanaians, then he must act like one and know how to talk when he goes to “conflict areas” in Ghana. Our brothers and sisters in Bawku from the two royal gates who are caught up and entangled in the long outstanding Bawku chieftaincy dispute should be assisted in a most reconciliatory way to find lasting peace. Knocking the heads of one faction against the heads of the other faction is not the best way to promote peace in Bawku. Worst of all, saying that “the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not be in power forever”, is a clear politicisation of the Bawku conflict. It is a shame that no less a person than former President Rawlings, who is expected to show “statesmanship”, should talk so ‘loosely’ in a place where Ghanaians seek peace.

JJ Rawlings is one of the people who recently eulogised Mr Nelson Mandela during his funeral. The best tribute Rawlings can give this South African icon and one of Africa’s best sons is to follow his shining examples. “POURING PETROL ON FIRE” IN A CONFLICT AREA IS NOT PART OF WHAT MR NELSON MANDELA TAUGHT THE WORLD.

Columnist: Darko, Otchere