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Opinions of Monday, 30 July 2012

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret

I Told You So About Rawlings: He Still Lost It

Ask Margaret Jackson

Anytime ex-President JJ Rawlings goes negative against the late President Mills or does something which seems out of whack, NDC members who want to call him to order have been restrained. The usual refrain is that if anybody takes Rawlings on it would angst the party’s foot soldiers many of whom love Rawlings and are ready and willing to defend him to the hilt.

This situation clearly gave Rawlings a blanket check to adopt an orchestrated plan of insults, denigration and lambasting of President Mills not long after he ascended the highest office of Ghana as President, up to the time his unfortunate death occurred last Tuesday July 24 at 2:15 pm at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. Even a day after he died Rawlings was still fighting Mills’ ghost for going too soon.

I love Felix Ofosu Kwakye, Kwadwo Twum-Boafo, Sam Ablakwa and Kobby Acheampong all of the NDC Communications Team and Alhaji Bature of the Al Hajj newspaper who stated last Friday July 27, 2012 on Radio Gold that they regret standing by and doing nothing as President Mills suffered terribly as a result of the daily insults and needless pressures from Rawlings who did not see anything good from President Mills. There is this saying that if good people stand by and do nothing evil triumph.

The result is what we are witnessing today as a nation – the demise of President Mills and his funeral preparations. The untimely death of President Mills has touched the hearts of millions of Ghanaians even including some members of the opposition NPP, CPP, PNC and PPP among others. The pouring of tributes from world leaders is simply unprecedented in the annals of Ghana’s history. In fact some people who never saw eye to eye with President Mills have even testified about the man’s genuineness, integrity, simplicity, humility, love for his country and above all his quest for peace in the country.

Yet in spite of the outpouring of glowing tributes to President Mills which has seen many men both young and old crying uncontrollably, one man sees otherwise. He did not want President Mills to die until he has seen him defeated in the polls on December 7, 2012. This man Rawlings, in a BBC interview stated bluntly that it was the wrong time for President Mills to die since Ghana was getting ready for elections. Rawlings, who had predicted defeat for President Mills, simply wanted Mills who had become his punching bag to live longer, go to the polls, get defeated so that he and the wife will turn round and say, “We Told You So.”

The family of the late President Mills which have been living witnesses to the insults meted out to President Mills by Rawlings thought enough was enough and issued a terse statement on Friday July 27, 2012 saying they deem it extremely provocative and almost impossible to ignore the continued direction of undignified insults by Rawlings at the honorable President Mills whose loss has turned their hearts as icy as his body lays at the morgue.

The statement signed by Abusuapanyin Nkuma-Kyerba Tawiah on behalf of the Mills and Allied Families of Cape Coast, Ekumfi and Accra said they were in deep mourning and would have wished to remain quietly so, for as long as necessary.

“Unfortunately, we are forced to break our silence on account of the widely reported, insensitive, uncustomary and in-humane comments made on BBC by our past President Jerry John Rawlings concerning the person, ill-health and death of His Excellency President Prof. John
Evans Atta Mills.”

The statement expressed the unhappiness of the entire family of President Mills which over the past three years have remained quiet over the constant harassment and insults poured on their son, all in the spirit of tolerance and peace, as constantly preached by the late President Mills throughout his life.

“Three and a half years of insults we took and would have graciously forgiven as a tribute to the nature and legacy of the honorable man whose death Ghana and the world mourns”, the statement added.

The family further expressed its unhappiness and stated that it is provoked to face up to those whose minds continue to ferment such uncouth, derogatory and uncensored insults. “We are restrained because throughout his live and up to the time of his death, the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills remained sane, full of wisdom and capable of sound judgment, expressing same in thought and speech. Further, our Son died in a bed, at peace with himself, and with dignity in the eyes of equally well-thinking men.”

The unguarded comments by Rawlings which received condemnation from far and wide had Kofi Wayo stating emphatically that Rawlings should keep his mouth shut and stop making unnecessary comments about the death of President Mills.
“I don’t know what is wrong with that guy (Rawlings) but you people are the ones who keep urging him on. The NDC should have cut him off a long time ago. He was a President for nineteen years, what did he change. If I was him I would just keep my mouth shut and hide.
What did he do for Ghana, we still don’t have water, light and factories and he is still not ashamed of himself and keeps talking. He has been attacking this guy (Mills) from day one now he is dead, what is he going to do now?” Mr. Wayo asked.

Rawlings who felt the heat of criticisms after his BBC interview suddenly issued an apology statement after the Mills’ Family reacted tersely to his unguarded comments. The apology by Rawlings assured the family of President Mills that he had no ill motive when he commented on his death during the interview with the BBC.
President Rawlings wishes to assure the family of the late President Mills that he retains a healthy respect for the contributions that President Mills made to the country of Ghana and the NDC party. Any misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the statements on BBC is therefore regretted, the statement added.
But what I want Ghanaians to know is that immediately Rawlings issued the apology statement he went to the State House in Accra to sign the book of condolence which has been opened in memory of the late President Mills. Ladies and gentlemen, just hold your breath! What Rawlings wrote I bet will inflame passions. Just read what he wrote in his own words.
Fare well Prof lets hope we will do better at keeping those with destructive tendencies away and out of the national endeavours. Help provide JM (John Mahama) with whatever guidance you can offer from where you are…. Since you are now free! JJ Rawlings
President Mills is now free? Free from whom? The daily insults and tantrums from Rawlings which made the sensitive President Mills feel the pain and wept occasionally? And who have destructive tendencies? If Rawlings is not the main person with destructive tendencies then I don’t know who else is? This man has vowed to run down the NDC in order for the party to go into opposition and yet we have some NDC members still pitching for him?
But to be more direct, is that the tribute Rawlings wrote in memory of the man who served him selflessly as vice president? It is on record that during the time that President Mills served as Rawlings’ vice president, Rawlings decided to test the integrity and forthrightness of Mills so on a number of occasions he sent some people to try to bribe him. But President Mills, one of the finest breeds that ever walked on the face of the earth, passed with flying colours by refusing even a simple gift.
So is that how Rawlings is paying President Mills with this callous tribute full of insults? In fact, if President Mills has anything to do at where he is now because he is free from Rawlings, he would rather pray that God in His own good way and time melts the stony heart of Rawlings who continues to chase the ghost of President Mills for dying too soon. Like I said earlier on, it has been the usual custom of some NDC people to always pitch in for Rawlings whenever he crosses the line and need to be prompted. Such cowards vilify Rawlings behind closed doors and then prevent others to openly confront him. It is true that it was through Rawlings that many NDC family members saw political limelight, therefore as a sign of respect they do not want to say anything bad against him.
But what I want everybody to understand is that it was also through some people that Rawlings got to where he is now. Some people had to sacrifice their lives and that of their families to stage the June 4 coup in 1979 to release Rawlings from jail. Some people have to sacrifice their education and other trades to help Rawlings at the time that he needed Ghanaians to rally around him after the 31st December coup in 1981. Rawlings is not an island who suddenly appeared from nowhere and did what he did alone. Others helped him, therefore, if he had also helped others the NDC members should not think that they should give Rawlings a blanket check to do anything that pleases him.
Ironically there are many people who have been rewarded with appointments by ex-President Mills but have joined the bandwagon of jumping to the defense of Rawlings anytime he crosses the line. Where is the loyalty of these cowards? To Rawlings or to Mills who have given such people the chance to shine at wherever they are. Assuming that these NDC cowards do not even appreciate President Mills for making them part of his government hence their reluctance to defend him from Rawlings’ attacks, let’s say if President Mills happened to be their uncle, father, friend, ebusuapanyin or their closest neighbor, would they have portrayed this seeming unconcern attitude and allow Rawlings to verbally damage him beyond recognition? What broke my heart and sent me to tears the other day was when a die-hard NDC member bluntly told me that the NDC family should not comment on Rawlings’ diatribe against President Mills on BBC because if Mills was alive he would not have been concerned about it. Such cowardly attitude and comments may have contributed towards the demise of this great illustrious son of Ghana. President Mahama better take a cue from this!
Even the bible says in Luke 16:13 that, "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Perhaps if members of the NDC family have gathered enough courage and confronted headlong the daily tantrums from Rawlings against Mills, the man would probably been living today.
There is this following poem written by Martin Niemoller;
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I think it’s about time that members of the NDC behave like men and women. If they continue with this chicken feed attitude of don’t say anything bad against Rawlings because of foot soldiers, Rawlings will surely make our current President John Mahama his next target. Shame on those NDC members who stood by and did nothing as President Mills’ spirit was dampened and trampled upon by Rawlings! Today even when some of the cowards are shedding tears they are still asking others to leave Rawlings alone even as he continues to torment the ghost of President Mills.
Food For Thought: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.

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