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Opinions of Monday, 24 September 2012

Columnist: Damoa, Adreba Kwaku Abrefa

‘Holier than thou’ Rawlings Equivocates on Mahama

‘Holier than thou’ Ex-President Rawlings Equivocates on President John Mahama

Life has always been valued to worth more than property. But for ex-President Rawlings’ address at the Volta Regional House of Chiefs confab last week where he was a guest speaker, I never thought that the NDC as a party and as a property belonging jointly and severally to John Rawlings was worth more than the life the late His Excellency John Evans Atta-Mills. In effect, for the NDC party to suffer electoral defeat, it would be best for Mills to suffer death. From the mouth of Jerry John Rawlings, the death of John Mills was a divine intervention just to save the NDC from a disastrous loss at the impending elections. What Ghanaians and I want to know from Mr Rawlings is that, was his statement at Ho a confirmation of John Mills being offered as a sacrificial lamb to the gods of the underworld, a situation which even ‘the man of God’ T B Joshua could not intervene and save? The sudden turn-coat appreciation of ‘lucky’ John Dramani Mahama’s post-Mills Presidential performance by Rawlings has a lot of loaded linguistic, allocution, vocal and interpretational elements for serious contemplation. John Rawlings has the penchant for making straight forward yet dubbed cryptic and controversial statements which have been mostly defended and vaguely interpreted by his sacked loyalist Victor Smith. Several others have their versions of interpretations of any one statement he makes however his current statement can easily be decoded to assume ordinary dictionary meaning unless otherwise conceived. Divine intervention, corruption in the NDC, fear and anxiety created by NDC under Mills, loss of confidence in NDC under Mills, restored confidence in NDC under Mahama are among the lot what message he intended to convey as spoken which do not require any special knowledge and interpretation skill possessed only by Victor Smith to decipher. There is one speech psychological thing that Ghanaians must have known about John Rawlings especially when he makes insincere statements, [when he makes statements against his conscience]. Rawlings is known to be glib-tongued, he can cackle when he has a point to make with strong stressing alliterations whenever he’s making a point, but in speaking against his conscience, there are lots of hesitations during which he gabbles, picks his words hesitatingly to construct a statement which become obvious in his inflections. A supposed ‘clean handed’ Rawlings of the early days of the PNDC era who reverberated probity and accountability was more articulate in voice but a dirty handed Rawlings of mid-PNDC era to the end of his so-called presidency have witnessed several gabbling speeches, most of which Ghanaians were told had to be decoded by skilled interpreters. A few weeks after John Mills was sworn-in, Jerry Rawlings stated angrily that Mills had surrounded himself with greedy bastards. Since then there have been no changes to Mills’ appointee personalities surrounding him until his death on 24 July. Barely seven weeks later after a Mahama succession, the only supposed change is the exclusion of Mills; all others have only been reshuffled. Does this instantaneously transform the greedy bastards into ‘Mother Theresa-like’ altruistic probate frugalists? What has occasioned this sudden U-turn coupled with gloating over the death of a ‘beloved’ cosset or poodle of a one-time infamous Sweduru declaration is an interesting matter to investigate because John Mahama was nowhere near Mr Rawlings’ beloved favourites. Having been branded a mad dog that barks unnecessarily that needed to be caged to foster tranquillity in the NDC, it can be subsumed that John Rawlings is putting up an appeasement behaviour to reclaim trust and confidence once lost in the eyes of his ‘masters’ controlling his fortune and future . Alternatively, is Jerry Rawlings sincere in his address to the Volta chiefs or is he flattering Prez John Mahama?

Does he truly have a conscientious moral confidence to beat his chest and boast that Ghana was corrupt-free during his 19 years rule? Taking Ghana under Rawlings into retrospect, in respect of the prevalence of indiscipline in Ghana, we mustn’t so soon forget about especially the era of PDC and WDC when Jerry openly and fragrantly instigated Ghanaians to disrespect. Was it not John Rawlings who removed the status difference between a Managing Director or Chief Director and a messenger? On terror, fear and anxiety, insecurity, injustice and human rights abuses, after murdering the eight Generals in a roll whiles others simply got missing from the surface of the world including the case of the murdered three Judges and an Army Major, he made Ghanaians to believe that he was a ‘clean saint’, only later to be known that he was far worse than those whose lives he unjustly destroyed under a pretext of probity and accountability without reasonable rational cause. What happened after all these? Corruption, theft of State property injustice including economic injustice, reign of terror, blatant lies, appropriation of undeserved property and many more than I can enumerate in this script unashamedly showed their ugly head.

Nobody ever thought Jerry Rawlings would own more than one car, one house, one toilet in his home etc. Still on corruption, Rawlings must realise that his 19 years as Dictator and turn-coat so-called President were Ghana’s worst years of fear and insecurity next only to the Preventive Detention Act era under Nkrumah. Whoever had the guts to criticise Rawlings on any of his wrong-doings at-all, from extra-judicial murders to economic injustice during his time of office? Before he can conscientiously beat his chest and boast about leading a corrupt-free Ghana, he must tell Ghanaians why he covered Col Osei-Wusu, P V Obeng and others whom the Emil Short Human Rights Commission had found to have committed some financial infringements. It mustn’t also be forgotten that the entire media in Ghana had been under State control until the beginning of the turn of the century hence any proliferation of private media not singing to the tune of the (P)NDC was almost next to treason. In Rawlings’ Ghana, media houses opposed to his Party were shit-bombed whiles their personnel were manhandled at will. Who therefore dared expose corrupt ion in Ghana under Rawlings’ rule? Was Dr Charles Wereko-Brobey’s radio station not disbanded during NDC rule under Rawlings? Again on corruption, can Rawlings tell Ghanaians what happened to the fifty cedis notes he collected from Ghanaians most especially cocoa farmers who had only just been paid in this denomination into his infamous account No 48?

If Rawlings is sincerely giving John Mahama his approbation, then I believe some foul deal may have gone on between them in the few months after Mills’ death. Mills is reported to have refused to accord Rawlings certain demands he made, occasioning the rift between them as ‘father and son’, therefore for this strange sudden U-turn in spite of the name-calling and long term distancing, Mahama may have secretly granted Mr Rawlings his wish which John mills denied him.

Mr Rawlings knows the calibre of people he bred in his (P)NDC, the culture and training they underwent all to his knowledge and appreciation. It would be very uncanny of him therefore to shout wolf and at the same time heave a sigh of relief at their performance whiles simultaneously alliterating disapproval of growing and strengthened corruption in the government. The worst a man can portray himself to be is to make false pretences. It would be better for Rawlings to let sleeping dogs lie, bearing in mind that he can reap only what he has sown and thus silence is golden.

Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa, (London)