When a hen eats its own egg…

Sat, 19 May 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Indeed, Nature is inscrutable. As human beings, we may tap into it to improve our lives but if we think that we can know all about it and bend it to suit our personal desires, we will be deceiving ourselves. Truly, Nature provides numerous opportunities for us to learn from it so as not to run fools’ errands in life or swim against the current toward self-destruction. But some choose otherwise.

I will use only one example from Nature around which to weave my opinions in this article. It is about the domesticated hen and the lesson that its life teaches.

When a hen lays eggs, it is expected to hatch them all, if it can, or if all of them are healthy. That is why the hen incubates the eggs, sitting on them for 21 days—denying itself the pleasures that its fellows have as they sun-bathe/sand-bathe and peck food around from dawn to dusk—and doing all it can to protect her chicks after hatching them. That hen knows the value of its products. Such is the nature of a good hen.

The contrary also exists. Unusual things happen sometimes when a bad hen comes to notice and turns to eat its own eggs, cutting lives short and dashing hopes. I have observed this happening on several occasions, at different places and times, but not found any tangible explanation for it. An overwhelming hunger inducing a roaring, uncontrollable appetite or just a natural urge to cause havoc? Or what else?

A hen that eats its own eggs is dangerous and not worth keeping. It may be quickly “punished” by its owner and end up on the dinner table if not sold away and its memory erased in consequence.

Transfer this animal behaviour to our current political dispensation and you should see the picture clearly.

This occurrence in the life of a bad hen has a direct bearing on the politics of former President J.J. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings. I have written a lot on what I consider as their destructive politics, especially between January 2001 and today, and incurred the anger of those who call themselves Rawlings’ disciples.

These pro-Rawlings fanatics have reacted with much vitriol to my articles on the Rawlingses and sent me personal e-mails either accusing me of launching a destructive media war against their idol or just looking for trouble because I hate Rawlings.

I have chosen to make my position clear and to provide more insights into the Rawlings factor in our national politics at this stage of the democratization process so that our public discussions of the Rawlingses will be properly contextualized and guided by reason, not mere sentiments or vain threats.

Rawlings might be credited with the June 4 Uprising, which he called a “Revolution,” but he is not expected to “eat” his own accomplishments. His “Revolution” did eat up some of its own children, which is not surprising because that is what revolutions do. But a hen is not a revolution to eat its own children.

Even though the hen may claim to have nursed and laid the egg and, therefore, should be its legitimate owner and can do to it as it chooses, the reality proves it wrong. Both it and its egg have an owner who wields the ultimate power over them. The bad hen eats its egg at its own peril.

Here is the catch. The NDC symbolizes the egg and Rawlings (and his wife) the hen. Why am I making this analogy? Rawlings might claim to be the father and founder of the NDC but the NDC belongs to its millions of members who have a vested interest in it either through the membership dues that they’ve paid or other material and unquantifiable contributions that they’ve made toward sustaining it over the years.

Many of these NDC activists have suffered harm in one way or the other; others have sacrificed their wealth for the party’s cause; and some have lost their lives in the defence of the party’s ideals. Those activists still staunchly supporting the party know the cost. Should they sit down for Rawlings and his wife to kill the party and blow their sacrifices to waste?

The investments made in the party should be nurtured to fruition, one of which is the gaining of political power to rule the country. The government is the ultimate dividend, and common sense dictates that all those who have any stake in the party should support that government to fulfill the party’s manifesto to win the confidence, trust, and goodwill of the electorate for them to renew the party’s mandate.

As a political party, the NDC is registered as a corporate body. Rawlings couldn’t have succeeded in his political manouevres without the support and input from the millions of Ghanaians who rooted for him and sustained him in office—and still do to give him that protective cover. Invariably, then, Rawlings is not his own man to do with the NDC as he may wish, so to speak.

Unfortunately, he and his wife haven’t recognized this glaring fact and are going about claiming the NDC and attempting to “devour” it. As they go about, carping here and there and making disparaging utterances against those in the party that they consider as their nemesis—and as Nana Konadu lays claims to the party’s livewire, its logo—their destructive efforts have reached a critical moment for them to be halted in their stride.

Hence, the articles that some of us write to paint the picture about them as it should be painted. We don’t do so because we hate them; we do so because they have turned themselves into that proverbial bad hen and posed much danger to the party and our democratization efforts, generally.

Because the NDC is a pillar in this democratization effort, anything that threatens its viability will definitely arouse concern. One may ask whether we don’t have other political parties to replace it. I consider these parties as too fragmented and unfocused to pose any serious challenge to the NPP which, in the absence of a gutty NDC, will then dominate the political scene until any of these parties gathers enough steam to become strong enough to threaten its hold on power in the future. We have come a long way not to allow this kind of de facto one-party system to characterize our democracy.

But by their persistent knifing of the NDC’s underbelly, that’s what the Rawlingses are bringing about. And that is why they will continue to feature in our articles, especially if their utterances and actions give the slightest cause for us to know the threat that they pose to the interests of the NDC and its government.

They are claiming the NDC as if it’s a party formed for their family. Isn’t it the millions of followers who have made the NDC what it is? Why should the Rawlingses want to appropriate it as if without them nothing will go on? What sort of madness is that?

Those who have sustained the NDC with their lot will not allow them to destroy it just because they are not being given the chance to wend their way back to the citadel of power. Ultimately, they will be the losers—and the negative fallouts will definitely rub off on their children and their children’s children to whatever generation. Can the Rawlingses not see things as some of us do?

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.