Feature Article of Friday, 25 May 2012
Columnist: The Catalyst
The worst thing that can happen to a charismatic leader is for that leader to lose the support of the masses, it does not matter whether temporarily or permanently. Unfortunately, former President Jerry John Rawlings is treading this dangerous path, and we on The Catalyst are worried.
Former President Rawlings, from the very day he made his first appearance on the political scene of this country, has had the full support of the masses that have provided him with immeasurable strength, which forms the basis of his successes over the years and also serves as the main bane of his political opponents.
The masses of the people of Ghana have had total trust in the former President to defend their cause and ensure their interest is protected at all times. It is mainly as a result of this, coupled with the ideological persuasion of the party that the NDC has such a mass following. However, recent developments are threatening this relationship between former President Rawlings and the masses, and we feel compelled to pint this out.
Former President Rawlings was clear in his May 15th 2012 speech at the 20th anniversary celebration of the 31st December Women’s Movement that the NDC, led by its collective leadership, which he termed ‘the traitor’, must be voted out of power. He clearly wants the party to go back to opposition where he expects it to concentrate on the “values and principles” that have been the foundation on which it was built, but which foundation he says has been deviated from by the current leadership of the Party led by President Mills.
The point here is that former President Rawlings, by this stance, is saying he prefers the NPP back in government, the only way the NDC can go back to its roots and mend its ways.
We disagree with former President Rawlings. Our position is that a ‘worst President Mills’ is far better than a ‘best Nana Akufo-Addo.’ Also, there is no way that an NPP government can better address the needs of the masses of the people of Ghana than an NDC government.
We find it a bizarre development, this position being championed by former President Rawlings to the effect that the NDC necessarily needs to go back to opposition in order for ‘them to take their party back’ and imbue the “values and principles’ back into the its fabric.
The masses of the people of Ghana have gone through hell, at the hands of the Danquah-Busia political group, in their support of the Rawlingses from as early as the first day the name JJ Rawlings sounded in their ears on May 15th 1979. Eight years under the Kufuor-led NPP government saw former President Rawlings vilified and humiliated on all levels of human endeavour. The masses stood firmly with him and his wife.
Our beef is that even if President Mills has thrown away the “principles and values” of the party as former President Rawlings and his wife claims, that cannot be enough justification for his call for the NDC to be voted out of power. That cannot be in the interest of the masses of the people of Ghana, by any stretch of the imagination.
We have observed with utmost downheartedness the clear signs on the wall since former President Rawlings’ May 15th 2012 speech that the masses are disappointed by his posture, six months ahead of the general elections. Simply put, we are afraid former President Rawlings is losing the support of the masses and that is not good enough.