Feature Article of Saturday, 20 October 2012
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro
The news that Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is no longer in the race must have come as a rude shock to the Akufo-Addo team , who were banking their hopes that they had finally found a solution to the “Volta Region Problem”. Is this also “Divine intervention”? What can I say? “Hard cheese!” This is why it does pay to play clean politics! In his desperate attempt to manoeuvre and take advantage of the divisions in the NDC, Akufo-Addo forgot most of his loyal supporters who have made a political career out of their systematic opposition to everything Rawlings and alienated many, who otherwise were with him.
This attempted deal, even though a fiasco, is not without a political cost. Of course, it would have even been more devastating if it had played out. People even began asking how Akufo-Addo, who is now claiming Rawlings as his “inspiration”, would be able to attend next year's Memorial Service for the three High Court judges, and a retired army officer, abducted and murdered in cold blood in a plot whose operational vehicle had its keys on the dinning table of the Rawlingses, and that, according to the official Special Investigations Report on the case, the keys were handed over to the murderers by the wife of the dictator himself, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings!
What kind of “inspiration” is that? The move to recruit Rawlings into his ailing campaign was riddled with opportunism, and was bound to fail, one way or the other. I remember a similar blunder occurred in 1992, when the Movement for Freedom and Justice came out to oppose the 1992 Referendum on the Constitution on principle, that the Transitional Provisions which entrench indemnity to the PNDC, and all their “agents” for “any acts or omissions”. I was elated when, one week-end, I met Mr. Kwesi Pratt, who broke the news that Akufo-Addo was also opposed to the Indemnity Clauses in the Transitional Provisions.
To my utter surprise, this same Akufo-Addo was to publicly identify with the ridiculous idea that people ought to vote “YES”, without any struggle for “Accountability and Probity” as the fundamental and systematic tenet of the constitution. The most opportunistic and legally dishonest argument were put forward by people who ought to know better, that by accepting the Constitution, as it was, they would speed up the removal of Rawlings from power, and change those provisions when they come into power.
Some of us did not have to wait for the NPP to come to power for eight good years in order to know that it was a most opportunistic talk. The came the call to boycott the 1992 elections because Rawlings had not done away with several of the repressive laws the MFJ had been calling for repeal. Meanwhile Rawlings had started his campaign with Regional tours one year in advance, and only lifted the ban on party political activities during the raining season of 1992.
We called for the boycott because we realized the elections had been rigged in advance, in terms of freedom of expression, access to the media, criminal libel laws, preventive custody, egregious violations of human rights through their so-called Public Tribunals, and many other fundamental issues that bear directly on free and fair elections! Akufo-Addo and his people ignored this important call and went ahead to contest the elections only to cry foul afterwards.
They even wrote a book, “The Stolen Verdict”. They then boycotted Parliament, and became known as the “Opposition Outside Parliament”, for the entire duration of the First Session of the Parliament of the Fourth Republic! They are like children, “they build statues of snow and weep to see them melt”! One would have thought that Akufo-Addo has learnt his lessons. He has made it a point to present himself as the champion of human rights, the rule of law, anti-corruption, etc, and here we find him virtually attempting a deal, not to touch the Rawlingses, no matter what!
Well, The news in town is that Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, was on Thursday disqualified from running in presidential polls over problems with her nomination forms. That puts an end to any hopes of setting up Rawlings to “confuse” the “Volta vote”. In the process, Akufo-Addo lost any credibility of being a champion of human rights, and ready to prosecute corruption. It was so disgusting to see him trying to make deals. In other words, Akufo-Addo is back to square one! The only difference this time being that as the 7th December approaches, and his machinations unravel, he is even getting more desperate than what drove him to Rawlings in the first place!