By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
June 6, 2011
Apart from the reasons that we have already adduced to explain that Nana Konadu can’t defeat President Mills, a number of other factors will influence the choice that the delegates will make; and I bet the Rawlingses that those factors favour President Mills more than they do his challenger:
1. Rawlings himself has already made the going tough for his wife—by choosing to premise her quest for the Presidency on vengeance. His main beef against President Mills is the latter’s reluctance to punish functionaries of the Kufuor government. Ghanaians know that successful governance goes beyond the wreaking of havoc on political opponents. If vengeance is all that is motivating Nana Konadu’s quest, she will not be anybody’s favourite candidate;
2. Rawlings’ choosing to attack former President Kufuor on his own turf—It is no exaggeration to say that Nana Konadu is not perceived or even accepted as a credible character by her own Asante kith and kin. They will not vote for her, assuming even that she wins the contest at Sunyani.
3. Michael Teye Nyaunu’s verbal diarrhoea that has cast the Asantehene in a bad light is a major blunder that has already prepared Nana Konadu for thrashing.
4. Unlike the Rawlingses, President Mills doesn’t have enemies. His conduct in office is without blemish, which we all know and appreciate. Nana Konadu is carrying a huge baggage of questionable items. She has more credibility problems than President Mills.
5. The delegates at the Sunyani congress will not all be foot-soldiers who might claim to be embittered that they hadn’t benefited from President Mills’ government. There are many delegates who will use their heads (good reason), not hearts (mere hot-headed emotions) to inform the choice that they will make. President Mills will benefit from their maturity.
This is just a few of the factors that don’t favour the Rawlingses. They may continue making hollow noise, but the more they do so, the more likely they are to create more credibility problems and alienate the delegates and prospective voters. They are known for being abrasive and can’t change overnight to behave otherwise. Let’s leave them to stew in their foolishness, then.
In all honesty, however, the Rawlingses and their followers have been very much unfair to President Mills. Their bad-mouthing of him aside, they have created the unfortunate impression that he is incapable of sound reasoning to be able to handle affairs to their expectation. That is why they are projecting Nana Konadu as their preferred choice to be the party’s flagbearer. But they only raise doubts.
What qualities do they think recommend Nana Konadu for that position, which President Mills lacks? Nothing except a misplaced zeal for party-building and not nation-building. Nana Konadu and her handlers think that their hope for a vibrant party automatically translates into hopes for a better Ghana. How confused can’t they be!
I don’t see anything in Nana Konadu that places her above President Mills except her penchant for behaving in the same roughshod manner that her husband does politics. She is glib of tongue in making allegations for which she has no proof. Was she not the one who said that the NPP’s Akufo-Addo was not a qualified lawyer?
Now, to some philosophical issues to conclude my opinion piece on the Rawlingses. By his own miscalculations, Rawlings is fast reducing himself to a nonentity despite the huge contributions he has made to Ghana’s development. No one disputes such contributions and he should have been content with the acknowledgement given him both home and abroad for his role in uplifting Ghana’s image. However, he is not; he seems to be looking for more than that recognition and is doing all he can to twist arms.
Unfortunately, though, such rough-house tactics are not working well in his interest. Nothing prevents him from re-appraising how he has so far lived his post-Presidency life to know what has gone wrong. If he genuinely does this kind of introspection, he should discover some lapses and be honest enough to repair the damage.
It is not too late for him to do so; but if he insists on stepping on toes, he will be the loser. I have already suggested that he is ageing (now at 64) and will not forever live on this earth. Even Methuselah ended it all at 969 years. We haven’t had any more Methuselahs since those Biblical times. He will not be a modern-day Methuselah and must rediscover himself to be able to be at peace with himself and all others. The time will come when he will need someone’s support to be able to lift his legs.
At that time, he may still have his life in him but he will need others to help him live that life. The infirmities of life can’t be avoided at that stage. That is why it doesn’t pay for him to antagonize everybody he comes into contact with because we can’t tell who will be the person to help him live his life. It may not necessarily be his close family members. Who knows who will depart this life first?
Many examples abound to teach the Rawlingses useful lessons that they need to guide themselves as they add more years and patches of grey hair to what they have now. Many more successful political leaders who once towered above everybody and strutted the political landscape in their agility, holding their heads erect in a gratuitous celebration of their lives, are today pale shadows of themselves in their old age.
I have seen images of the celebrated Nelson Mandela and I can’t help pitying the frailty—or fragility—of human life. I have also seen images of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and concluded that no matter how strong one might be in the prime of one’s life, there will come a time when one must know that he/she can’t cheat Nature; and because Nature is inscrutable, we (human beings) have to recognize our limitations and behave as mortal beings.
Rawlings is failing to learn the lessons that Life teaches and shouldn’t blame anybody when the inevitable he has in mind turns out to be his own Waterloo. He needs to remember that every Napoleon has his Waterloo. I shall return.