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Opinions of Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Columnist: Asare, Kojo

Free Advice to Kufuor and Haruna Esseku

There have been repeated calls on the former President to comport himself and stop making public statements critical of government and behave like a statesman.

Yes it is good to advise former President Rawlings to behave like a statesman. Some NPP elements say he should behave like Mandela. The only difference between the two personalities is that politicians in other countries including South Africa are wiser and civilized; they value their heroes while the politicians in Ghana destroy them due to dirty politics. The first President was a victim of this gutter politics associated with the Busia camp, which did everything to get rid of him and then they vandalized most of his projects.

Today, these vandals in NPP shamelessly speak well of Nkrumah to the extent of making abominable campaign promises to rebury his bones at his hometown after his honour had long been restored by the past government.

Professor Mills one of the greatest sons of Ghana has also become a target of the malicious vilification campaigns by NPP ministers and their ?well motivated? media mafia group and the party agents on the FM radios in Accra and Kumasi.

Who on earth can pass for a national hero before this kokofu tradition? Nkrumah never did. Rawlings never did, Gbevlo Lartey and Atta Mills will never be except they belong to that tradition.

In any case, Rawlings and Mandela are both liberation fighters as well as heroes who championed the course of justice for humanity, so they are al the same and good friends too; that is why they are both eminent persons for the United Nations and recognized worldwide. It is only Busia?s kokofu tradition that does not recognize the nation?s heroes and uses every diabolical means to criminalize them.

Even if Mandela becomes our yardstick, how many politicians will measure up to his standards? Mandela is not so ambitious or power hungry as to spend hundreds of millions of money to hold on to power after his first term.

Mandela will not steal or buy votes in a bye-election in order to swell up the number of seats for his party in parliament. Mandela will not plunder the nation?s scarce resources to enrich himself while his people die of hunger, poverty, unemployment, disease, high school fees, economic hardship and unbearable utility bills.

Mandela left office without acquiring any ill-gotten wealth; can we say the same thing of the NPP, the apostles and high priests who are setting corruption and greed standards for others to follow?

Looking at the issue from a different angle; Mandela brought peace and unity to his country but can we say the same thing of Kufuor?s regime, which is so characterized by acrimony, hatred, vindictiveness, witch hunting, divisiveness, victimization and persecutions?

Mandela dismantled the apartheid system, but in Ghana today, nepotism, cronyism and tribalism (the twin brother of apartheid) are the mainstay of the regime. If Mandela were the an ex president of Ghana, he would have suffered the same fate as Kwame Nkrumah and Rawlings because Mandela like these two will not compromise on the tribalism, nepotism, serial killings, selective justice, the cover ups in Dagbon, political trials and persecutions going on under NPP?s rule.

So, to set the criteria for statesmanship can never be a job for NPP and its questionable Busia tradition because they lack any moral credibility to do so. And whatever be the case, Ghanaians are sensible and discerning enough to tell who their heroes and villains are.

Another question to ask is- does Kufuor with his men behave like statesmen or Mandela? I find this over repeated advice for the ex-president rather ridiculous, childish, hypocritical and senseless to say the least. Because since NPP came into government, the former president and his party have become objects of verbal attacks, insults, insinuations and vilification in the Castle, Parliament and even at conferences abroad. His security men were changed without his consent and against the rule of law, his cars removed without any sense of courtesy.

The media wing of the NPP has been charged to strip the ex-president naked and to annihilate his party through defamatory publications, wild corruption allegations and smear campaigns. Errant journalists are being sent round the world to look for non existent stolen monies in foreign banks. J.H. Mensah declaring to finish the NDC by the end of the fast track court prosecutions and restrictions placed on the ex president here and there.

In the face of all these satanic campaigns against Rawlings, he is being asked by NPP activists to remain silent in order to be called a statesman. Is this a political party or a concert party? It is sad to note that these offensive and irresponsible acts against the former President are led by President Kufuor himself who on the other hand is wasting millions of dollars purportedly to reconcile the coutry and bring about unity and discipline.

The President himself goes abroad to spend part of his official time only to gossip about the Ex President and paint him before the outside world. After all these acts of provocation, they expect Rawlings to stay put for him to qualify for favours and courtesies while at the same time everything is being done to destroy him. To hell with NPP bloody courtesies.

In any case, Rawlings needs no favours from his persecutors because Ghanaians? moral support and God?s blessing for him are enough. Moreover, all the vile campaigns against Rawlings have failed because the God who appointed him to deliver this nation is far greater than the destructive powers of the media or government. Let Rawlings have some peace because he has not breached any part of the constitution since he left office to merit any dishonour. Heaven knows too well that the man had done a good job for the nation.

NPP should learn to co-exist with other Ghanaians no matter what their political or tribal backgrounds; that is the only way this country will have peace and move forward. The agelong method of weakening or killing rival political parties in order to win election at all cost is a thing of the primitive past. It is even more dangerous for a discredited government like the NPP to use fraudulent means to hold on to power against the will of the people. Because hungry men are angry men. Besides, the rage of aggrieved civilians is worse than what military take-overs can do to a state. The lessons abound in Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone for us to see.

Have we forgotten how Rawlings and his party people had their homes invaded by Kufuor?s errant security men several times; others arrested in churches without any court charges- their phones are being bugged and NDC members are being incessantly criminalized by private newspapers and other media houses owned by officials in government whose only agenda is to destroy political opponents when we all agree to practice a multiparty system. Not to mention the invectives and foul language that proceed from the mouth of members of government anytime people exercise theor democratic rights to criticize government?s bad policies.



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