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Opinions of Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Can a Misfortune Truly be a Blessing - Mr Rawlings?

Count every misfortune that befalls you as a blessing, so the religious person may advise. Is it a pious deception? It could be, and it could not. I have personally encountered bitter experiences most of which though as painful as they were, finally turned out to be for my own good; Unsavoury experiences in work place, at home, with friends and with presumed enemies alike. Whenever I go through such disadvantageous situations, in the end, I emerge not only stronger but wiser. It is for various reasons that one goes through such misfortunes. It could be out of sheer negligence, correctional, warning, and you just name it.

The Rawlingses like many others in Ghana have had brushes with assorted misfortunes. Have they ever spared themselves a second to cogitate about why such things befall them? Or, they think it is a comeuppance, a likely possibility? Be that as it may, it is not without reason that people are confronted with misfortunes.

I commiserate with the Rawlingses over the loss of not only their adorable house but their valuables; memorabilia dating from their 1979 mutinies, rancorous 31st December Women Movement activities through to present. The fire that gutted the building did really cause an aguish of grief to the State let alone the Rawlingses. Why should it at all happen to the former First Family, one may ask? It may be for specific reasons, whether for the better or for the worse. If such a sorrowful event can happen to other Ghanaians, why not the Rawlingses?

It is rather unfortunate that politics was as usual introduced into the causes of the fire outbreak. One school of thought had it that the corrupt NPP activists had something to do with it. Another school of thought had it that the enemies of Rawlings within the NDC, thus, the sympathisers of Atta Mills' faction had their evil hand at work. In the midst of such unfounded acrimonious allegations and accusations, how could the real cause of the fire outbreak be found and addressed to avoid its future recurrence? No wonder that Ghanaian politics sulks.

Was the fire outbreak arson? If it was, who was behind it and why? The professional capability of the Ghanaian Security, Health and Safety and Investigative bodies are being put to the test. They are obliged to prove their competence. Should it be down to electrical fault, then our electrical technicians or engineers and any related bodies are called to duty, to answer why and how.

Presuming it was electrical fault, what could have caused it? Was it a faulty electrical appliance? Could the Rawlingses honestly provide any investigative bodies with their own suspicions about possible causes likely to ignite the fire? Did they suspect any portable appliance able to cause fire? Was there any electric iron left plugged in? Was there any electrical appliance in their home that had ever caused unusual electrical sparks? Were their electrical gadgets, appliances like iron, electric cooker, fridges etc subjected to yearly or periodic testing by approved technicians in that regard? Important personalities living in government properties in my estimation should have access to such safety measures.

Some laymen in their radio discussions over the plight of the Rawlingses seemed to suggest that if building electrical wiring were pulled out and replaced periodically, such mishaps could be avoided. They suggested buildings/houses must be re-wired on ten-year period. This is though feasible; it is never done even in the advance countries where wires are in abundance. Our dodgy electricians back home who execute illegal connections are to be checked. The incompetence, the lack of farsightedness, and the corruptibility of our Electrical Companies must be blamed for any electrical outbreaks of fire. The incessant power outages in Ghana with the attendant power surges are more than enough to damage electrical appliances if not to boost the chances of possible electrical fire outbreaks.

Anyway, this misfortune that befell the former First family has brought a sense of awareness to most Ghanaians as to how dangerous the Ghanaian attitude to politics can be. We never allow ourselves to see things in real perspective to address issues accordingly. We almost always interpret whatever happens with biased political connotations. Will that ever help us find real solutions to burning issues? No! Now that the State is to re-house the Rawlingses, the Atta Mills' NDC government are struggling to convince Ghanaians why they denied Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor similar benefits and emoluments as accorded the Rawlingses.

Rawlingses by this sad fate may realise that they are not after all immune from punishment. They can be as vulnerable as any other mortal being walking the surface of the earth. Will they realise that to effective changes in their deplorable attitude for the better from today forward? If I were them, I would. Can a misfortune then be truly a blessing as is in the case of the Rawlingses? The State and most people are now awakening from their slumber. They have been made conscious of their proper duties to the State and to one another. Our sleeping giants, those State and corporate institutions not performing to expectation are off their arse working. Politics in Ghana may no longer be as dirty as it has always been. Rawlings as the Head of the family and once father of the Nation will start behaving himself.

In my opinion, most misfortunes have always been a blessing in disguise. This Rawlingses' case scenario is a classical one although as painful as it is. Once more, I empathize with the Rawlingses on this particular issue. May the State hurry to re-house them.

Rockson Adofo