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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Columnist: Asher, Bernard

Atta Boy! How Mills outmanoeuvred John Rawlings

I have had to detour from my many commitments in order to return to this network for two reasons. Firstly, some utterances from John Rawlings in the past few months have further cemented my indubitable view that Chairman Rawlings is well and truly debauched. The legerdemain and ardour with which the man concocts allegations composed a complex mix of truth, half-truths and falsehood never ceases to amaze me. In that regard the man is truly a genius! Secondly I have been following the goings on within Ghanaian political circles with increasing hilarity since the P (NDC) took power in the motherland. The latter, being the main thrust of this article, will be discussed at length in due course. But in the meantime permit me to indulge you with some vintage Rawlings inconsistency.

For starters an article entitled rather tantalisingly “JJ Welcomes Arrest” [Ghanaweb, 23/11/07]flooded me with shock and intrigue as I wrongly assumed that the quondam P(NDC) strong man had finally welcomed his own arrest as a final act of penance for his many sins. But after reading the full article, alas my excitement waned into perplexity, consternation and then finally settled on amusement. That John Rawlings, a man who ordered the murder of three judges, supervised and perpetrated crimes against countless Ghanaians including Miss Enamel Sadick – a respectable trader in Cape Coast who was publicly stripped, placed on a table and whipped at Chapel Square by a bunch of ganja- puffing, cocaine-sniffing, dog meat-munching, bootlicking and kerb-crawling zombies- had the guts to welcome “the arrest of five soldiers allegedly implicated in the murder of former Ghana Commercial Bank Deputy Managing Director, Roko Frimpong” was nauseating indeed. (See “Rawlings Welcomes Arrest, Ghanaweb 23/11/2009]. This cold- hearted thug [so-labelled because he chose to shamelessly wrestle Kow Nkensen Arkaah to the ground rather than engage in intellectual discourse] is also of the view that “serious crimes had been perpetrated for political expediency over the past eight years and these had to be exposed quickly to avoid cover-ups”. Talk about déjà vu! The Chairman is also concerned with the fact that some “criminals [are] walking about freely, some of whom were pushed into uniformed institutions. These people have been used as agents of sabotage, some used to assassinate fellow soldiers and made to look like suicide, a police officer shot in the back in the Volta Regional Minister’s residence, arson and a host of other crimes”. That “some criminals are walking about freely… and have been the agents of sabotage, assassinations and a host of other crimes” is indeed indisputable. But for the chief architect and perpetrator of these crimes who so blatantly wove a myriad of indemnity and exclusion clauses into the furniture of the Ghanaian constitution (in a dastardly attempt to save his skin) only to turn around and cast the proverbial first stone is, at the very least, disgraceful, if also caitiff. Perhaps it is time the chickens were allowed to return to the roost and for this raw-boned ogre of a man to face the long-winding vagaries of both Ghanaian and international criminal justice.

Perhaps it is for this reason that John Mills has found it prudent and politically expedient to marginalize the Chairman since taking office. Clearly the man has no sense of fairness and equity and his rather vulgar mannerism and reputation for being a ‘loose cannon’ if unchecked is apt to damage the carefully crafted and much-ballyhooed image of Koo Mfantse; the messianic Asomdwe Hen. Far from being the ‘poodle’ that he is so infamously quoted as having sworn to be Mills appears to have gone off a completely new trajectory to the stupefaction and disappointment of the Chairman. I must confess that to the extent that Koo Mfantse Mills has been able to be his own man and refused to be shaken and stirred by the frequent outbursts and vulgarity of the Chairman, I congratulate him. But the Chairman is not taking it lying down! To the contrary he has vented his frustration with the Mills administration at every opportunity. Only recently he is reported to have threatened thusly: "If we do not wake up to correct the mistakes, I will not have anything to do with the party. I have died so many times for the party, been humiliated both locally and internationally. I cannot die for the greedy bastards who have wormed their way into government," [See: JJ To Quit NDC, Ghanaweb 23/11/09]. What the Chairman fails to appreciate is that John Mills is the president and he is free to appoint who he deems fit to work for him. Period! Far from being the Rawlings ‘poodle’ that many speculated that he would be (mainly because he so recklessly alluded to that in order to win his favour in years past], Mills appears to have dexterously finessed his way into the top echelons of the P(NDC), managed to win potentate Rawlings’ support and approval by being his ‘poodle’ (albeit for a while) and then, after winning the elections, put as much distance between himself and the Chairman as possible, lest he be contaminated with the opiate and the vulgar image of the Chairman. Great manoeuvring indeed! In the face of vintage Rawlings ranting and scathing public vitriol Mills has displayed stark contrast by keeping his cool and in most cases keeping a remarkably loud silence. Clearly the president has found the antidote to the Rawlings menace: ignore the ogre and confine his moribund personality to history; contrast his vulgar, uncouth and uneducated outbursts with persistent admonishings of peace, reconciliation and a higher intellectual level of politics and forever condemn the Chairman to the outback of civilised politics where brawn and not brain is the modus operandi. In that endeavour, I must say more grease to his overly pampered elbows. Way to go Mr. President.

Bernard Asher Lecturer of Business & Economics @ Guildford College of Higher Education& Associate Tutor University of Reading, England, UK. E-mail: basher@guildford.ac.uk.