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Editorial: Dealing with the Rawlings whitlow ...
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Editorial News of Monday, 30 October 2006

Source: Chronicle

Editorial: Dealing with the Rawlings whitlow ...

... and the Offinso declaration
IT IS A TRAGEDY of epic proportions that there appears to be no real strategy or coherent effective policy in place to contain the gangrenous whitlow or what some may see as a phenomenon called Jerry Rawlings.

Rather there appears to be an exhibition of ad-hocery, and in the handling of this 57-year-old tour de force that continues to walk the stage, fuelled by the adulation of over 2.5 million Ghanaians of voting age, and a large clutch of parliamentarians.

Democracy does not countenance the impeding of the voice of people or one man, even if he is a raving lunatic. It does however not impose an obligation on the leadership of a government or community to react openly to lunatic ranting.

The book of Proverbs in The Good Book is replete with the dangers of an unguarded tongue.

The reaction of as many as three of the spokesmen of the government, beginning with the General Secretary of the ruling party has not been helpful. The General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, characteristically repeated the President’s accusations exactly as he did, when the President accused Rojo Mettle Nunoo over the cocaine matter, which events show had no merit.

If one considers the antecedents of Nana Ohene Ntow, as a cadre and suspected Trojan horse who escaped the purge within the NPP at Legon Congress and emerged as the lone black leg now fighting desperately to justify his inclusion, it may help appreciate where he is coming from.

Mr. Andrew Awuni, did not connect either with his reaction to the Rawlings-Kufuor tit-for-tat slugfest because he has credibility problems occasioned by his verbal confrontation with Jerry Rawlings, when the former President visited his Bongo constituency to campaign for the NDC last year. The former Press Secretary to the Vice President lost out in the election and in the court of public opinion when he lied on air about the assault case.

Simply reeling off worn stories that have lost their meaning to the Ghanaian youth who have known nobody else but Rawlings last week on air was hot air.

Frank Agyekum simply should have deferred to the CPP’s Kwaku Baako Jnr. whose campaign against Jerry Rawlings is so well known, yet he was gracious enough to sensibly concede to the right of the former President to speak out.

Agyekum would be advised to call off a press conference he has scheduled next Tuesday to ‘explain the Government’s side’.

If anyone is going to call a press conference, it must be done by the Attorney General and should be on a charge sheet, laying bare the offences of Flt. Lt. Rawlings Rtd for treason and conspiracy. It is logical to expect that a bill of indictment and subsequent trial to exclude transcripts and open cross-examination of Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, who offered medical sanctuary to America’s premier enemy Fidel Castro, and had the United Nations and the rest of the free world in a tizzy after an open and defiant savaging of US President George Bush.

Clearly, that is the country that President Kufuor was referring to, when he accused the former President Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.

The Chronicle highly recommends the address of Togbe Gabusu (see front page) that the two Johns are the two main giants of our fledging democracy. Their actions and inactions greatly affect all of us.

We would also recommend a strategy, which was successfully used by the NDC to reduce the huge capacity for mischief by Mr. Kwesi Pratt whom Chronicle publisher Kofi Coomson has pigeonholed as a classic Jekyl and Hyde Character following his submissions on the subject on radio.

Mr. Totobi Quakyi once noted that the NDC had decided to IGNORE Kwesi Pratt. They decided never to even arrest him for him to gloat over that experience and treat them as medals. There is certain psychological dividend that can be gained from this, and it lowers the political temperature.

The Chronicle believes the ex-President has lost the appetite for a coup, now that he has grandchildren and levels of comfort that he did not have the days when he was a scrawny soldier with a flat belly.

Besides, majority of Ghanaians do not believe Kufuor’s claim that Rawlings is soliciting funds for a coup as a poll of nearly 4,000 people on Ghanaweb show.(check Ghana web poll).

Could we seriously ignore Jerry Rawlings and invest time and energy to monitor him round the clock, something we hope and believe Mr. Francis Poku is doing?

The nation should not be subjected to a needless slanging match, which does him so much good because that is where he and his ilk prefer. Can’t they even get this?

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