By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
April 13, 2011
At long last, the cat that Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings has been hiding in her political bag is out. It is now up to Dr. Kwabena Adjei and his team to determine the particular way in which that cat will be killed or nurtured to grow into the monster that will eventually consume its own baby, the NDC.
By our human nature, it is not strange for us to start life as fools and become wise through experience. Some people, however, choose to do otherwise and function in reverse. The Rawlingses come to mind; and I will be blunt to say that having begun their political life as wise (through experience), they are doing overtime to end it as fools. I don’t apologize for this brazen opening remark and will justify why.
Like a bird that flies from the ground onto an anthill but does not know that it is still on the ground, JJ Rawlings and his wife have led the unholy alliance of NDC functionaries who have made it their duty to undermine President Mills and present him as the main cause of the problems facing the NDC. Cunning as they might be, their ultimate goal is to make him unpopular to be rejected as the party’s flagbearer for the 2012 elections. But their choice of strategy has enough ammunition in it to hurt the party itself more than it can destroy President Mills. Wise people will foresee this end and tread cautiously.
The dust is gradually settling for us to know how the anti-Mills group in the NDC is preparing Nana Konadu to lock horns with President Mills. This dog-bite-dog encounter reveals the danger that the Rawlings faction poses to the party, to itself, and to those it is undermining. On the flip side, it indicates how the Rawlings camp is overzealously choking the party to a fast and painful death.
After attempting to run ahead of herself all this while, Nana Konadu has finally descended from her high horse to confirm suspicions that she will contest the NDC’s Flagbearership at the party’s July 8 Congress. A report carried by MyJoy Online (April 13, 2011) revealed that she has resigned from her position as the NDC’s Vice Chairperson to affirm that her “resignation will enable her respond to numerous calls on her to contest the flagbearership of the NDC when nominations are opened.”
Her decision itself doesn’t strike those of us who have been monitoring events as strange at all. It is just what every well-informed person will expect. After all, by playing hide-and-seek all this while—even against the backdrop of concrete evidence of that ambition—it is just face-saving that she come out to do what she has just done. At least, it may temper the backlash of dilly-dallying and help her test the pulse to know how her fate will be sealed.
What I don’t like is the irritating manner in which she has handled this matter, being dodgy all this while, even though she had harboured that ambition from the very day that she and her husband devised strategies to incite the party’s functionaries against President Mills as the means for achieving her own objective. In our democracy, she has every right to seek any political position but I don’t wish her well at all, considering many factors that don’t make her any suitable replacement for President Mills.
I can say aboveboard that she has chosen to walk a tightrope and shouldn’t be surprised at the outcome. Regardless of what confidence she might have in herself, there is every reason to conclude that she can’t help the NDC retain power. For obvious reasons, Nana Konadu doesn’t have what it will take to defeat the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo. Neither can she make peace to rebuild the NDC. She is not a peace-maker but a calculating trouble-maker just like her wrong-headed husband. Can these Rawlingses not learn anything useful from the lives of former Presidents and their wives? Or the sad end of those who refused to leave the corridors of power even though their political sun had long set?
Those of us who have all along insisted that the main problems facing the NDC cannot be blamed on President Mills will continue to cringe at the mere thought that Nana Konadu will be the answer to the party’s waning prospects. She will do nothing but lead the NDC further into the woods.
In previous opinion pieces, I enumerated several factors that don’t recommend her as a suitable candidate for the NDC and will continue to harp on them whenever possible.
The overarching factor that must be noted is that Ghanaians are fed up with the Rawlingses. I wonder if the Rawlingses themselves haven’t been monitoring the stream of public opinions, especially in matters concerning them. If they have been doing so, they will realize that they are a SURFEIT, if not an anathema. Whatever attraction they exuded has long faded. They have nothing new to do or tell Ghanaians except the anger boiling in them and the morbid desire to seek political power and use it to exact vengeance. Ghanaians don’t need this kind of menacing waywardness.
For whatever they are, any thought of having a Rawlings back in power is so horrifying as to seal the fate of the NDC even before Election Day. The Rawlingses’ public posturing and utterances have grated very hard on Ghanaians to such an extent that their current manouevres against President Mills and his government have left no one in doubt as to their deviousness.
Rawlings may thump his chest and claim the NDC as his “baby,” but he has forgotten that it has taken a whole community of dedicated and selfless people to nurture that baby into the political giant that it is today. Unfortunately, however, the unbridled over-ambition of the Rawlingses seems to be the main disease that is killing this political giant right in front of our eyes. But in their treachery, they will not hesitate to point accusing fingers at the scape-goat that they have conspired to make President Mills.
If conspiring against President Mills—which is what they have been doing since he assumed office on January 7, 2009—is the preparatory step that they have been taking to intimidate him out of contention, they will be bruised in the end. What they have forgotten is that the intra-party wrangling that they are engineering and promoting has already harmed the NDC’s interests. Coupled with that, the unfavourable sentiments in Ghanaians concerning the high cost of living (which is not President Mills’ making, anyway) as well as the lack of unity among the NDC’s functionaries already seem to be preparing the grounds for the party’s electoral defeat.
If the Rawlingses were politically savvy, they would realize that swapping horses in midstream should be the last option for them to contemplate, let alone take. But like a dog that is destined to get lost and refuses to hear its master’s whistle, they have chosen to prepare the noose with which the electorate will hang the party at the polls.
The demerits of a Nana Konadu flagbearership far outweigh any (mis)perceived merit. At this time in the life of the NDC, shouldn’t the party be looking for legitimacy through better means, especially by shedding off the horrendous image of the Rawlings’ reign of terror from which the NDC has suffered, especially among those who otherwise would have rooted for the party but for that dark spot?
There is nothing objectionable about Rawlings that Nana Konadu isn’t guilty of. We have already enumerated some of those issues and will not reiterate them; but suffice it for me to remind the NDC’s followers that their party’s redemption is in their own hands. If they choose to deepen the woes of the party by hounding the incumbent President out of office in preference for Nana Konadu, they shouldn’t sit back after the harm has been done to blame the NPP in any way.
Although I am not someone to wish the NPP back in power, I am certain that if it does return to power, it will do everything possible to keep the NDC in the political wilderness. And that should be the best line of action to take. Having failed to listen to reason so as to avoid that fate, it must be clear that the NDC is working hard to seal its own doom. And the master architects are the Rawlingses.
Those who think that the NDC cannot stand on its feet without Rawlings had better think twice because this danger of the Rawlings personality cult is a major factor that is preventing the party from growing. What happens if Rawlings dies today, being only mortal? Should we expect the NDC to fold up?
At this point, I am certain that no amount of prayers or witchery can prevent the Rawlingses from going ahead to actualize their dreams. But they have to be reminded that having dug deep trenches under the NDC’s house for it to collapse, when it does so, it will collapse on them first.
Rather interestingly, no one in the NDC has come to notice as complaining more bitterly about being targeted by the NPP than the Rawlingses did when Kufuor was in power. They are so stentorian in their clamour for public attention and will definitely do so after leading the NDC into opposition again.
It is my prayer that if the NPP returns to power, it will take the fight to them for us to see how they will cope with the heat. There is only one solution to this Rawlings menace: they need a government that will be bold enough to take them on and reduce their arrogance and treachery to absurdity. For far too long, they have willfully held Ghanaians to ransom. That jinx must be broken—and I think they are gradually preparing the fertile grounds for it.
What will Nana Konadu claim to be her motivation for wanting to become Ghana’s President (May God forbid, though!)? Is it because she considers herself to be more patriotic or to have more administrative acumen or intellectual capabilities than the current President (or all others who have ruled Ghana, excluding her husband, may be)?
Or does she think that her gender alone will open the floodgates for the electorate’s vote? I have scrutinized almost everything about her and can’t come up with any particular credential to recommend her for the position she is dreaming and hallucinating over. She is a complete non-starter—a washout!!
If the time-tested intellectuals, professionals, and better educated politicians that we’ve had so far haven’t helped us solve our national problems, what can a Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings help us do? Ghanaians may want a future woman President but it shouldn’t and mustn’t be in the person of Nana Konadu. She doesn’t have what it takes to administer Ghana effectively in this century nor does the country need her (and her husband’s) kind of politics.
She has managed to acquire the status as Ghana’s longest serving First Lady and must be content with it. Any inflated ambition to go beyond that status will cause her ego to explode into shreds, harming the NDC’s interests and confirming long-held apprehensions that the Rawlingses are a danger to the country. Let Nana Konadu stick to her guns, and we will do all we can to tip the scale against her. A woman is never so tall that she can be seen in the next town; it’s her name that goes before her. And Nana Konadu’s name has long gone ahead of her. It doesn’t portend anything good for the NDC and Ghana.