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Opinions of Saturday, 11 November 2006

Columnist: Owusu-Ansah, Kofi

An Open Letter To Rawlings

My former President,

A lot has been said of late about some of your activities and pronouncements that I think as a Ghanaian,I would like to express an opinion. I am glad that Mr Akoto makes it possible for those of us outside the country to make a contribution and I thank him for that.

We as Ghanaians have attitude problem. Our attitude is that, once you were one upon a time the president of the country, you are always right whenever you open your mouth. There are those around you who will tell you all the time that you are right, whether you expressed an opinion on a national issue,you criticized the government or as you do very often you picked on anybody who might have said something you did not like.

If Ghanaians were looking for somebody to criticize for saying something very bad and negative about Ghana,we are not looking for a person of your caliber. You were not long ago,the unchallenged Head of State of Ghana,from 1982 to 1992 and constitutionally,elected as president of no mean republic than Ghana,the Black Star of the world. Mr. Rawlings,this is not something you should take for granted. Our Nation prides itself with a lot of history. When our founding fathers were fighting for independence,they knew the background,history and the tribal wars that had gone on before. They therefore made every effort to bring all those tribes together under the banner of a nation called Ghana. You were once upon a time,a president of all the tribes of Ghana. In your case,tribalism should not have played any part at all because,you have an Ewe mother,a Scott father and happily married to an Asante.

I would like you to pause and take a look. You made sure that Ghana was fragmented along tribal lines.What the founding fathers fought very hard to achieve,by the time you left office in 2001,you had systematically destroyed. In today's Ghana,every sentence a person makes he refers to one's ethnic background.Ethnicity is the order of the day . I am not worried about what you did in the past but what you are doing now. Your problem is that you are surrounded by people who tell you only what you want to hear. That is the danger. Have you forgotten that as you continue to grow bigger and bigger than the country Ghana and become a law unto yourself you are betraying your so called Revolution? Have you forgotten so soon that you murdered innocent Ghanaians because you and your Ghana Armed Forces then felt they were undisciplined?

The very fundamentals upon which innocent lives were shed with the view that Ghana would move forward,they are the very things you exhibit. At times I think you think Ghanaians owe you a living and that without you,most of us would lose our breath. If you love Ghana as you claim but not the opposite,please,realize that those who voted for Kufuor are no fools. Just as they were wise enough to know that they could not give the NDC another 4 years in 2000 elections,they would be wise enough to decide where their votes should go in 2008. You and a section of the press and the mass media are whipping up fear into the people and the bottom line is the same: You want to hear people say we want Rawlings back.

Why would Ghanaians do such a thing? Look at your attack on deserving Ghanaians who made it on their own? Have you forgotten that you seized and confiscated from hardworking Ghanaians their property and their 50 cedis notes? You look at Ghanaians as if we are foolish. Have you forgotten that even in the 1900s,we were able to know that: The whiteman brought his canon to the bush but the bush was stronger than the canon,in a nutshell,I want you to leave whatever corruption,mismanagent and any political shortcomings to Ghanaians. Come 2008,because we were all born with some intelligence, we shall determine the future of our country. Even if 20 years of a so called revolution could not remove corruption,you would not expect a civilian administration to remove it over 6 years. Ghanaians know that, because we are now free to say whatever we like,that is why we hear a lot about Cocaine. Are you telling me they just started to mushroom as soon as Kufuor came to power?

How I wish you have a hearing ears,you would listen and comport yourself and conduct your activities more openly just like former presidents and prime ministers ,Mandela, George Bush, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Maier, Clinton etc. Get involved in activities that promote national unity and not those that divide the nation,otherwise,it would have senseless of the coup of 1979/81....were they to make you a semi-god?



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