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Opinions of Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame

I saw Rawlings weeping (II)

As I promised, am giving you my final testimony of the dreadful sight I had. I mean my testimony of seeing the man who have ruled Ghana a little less than two decades crying his eyes out. As I told you before he was weeping because of the neglect and betrayal he has suffered at the hands of his own ex-captives. Those he loved have given him out to his enemies. Those he stood for have pulled his throne off under him. When he was weaping they laughed secretly. Being his lover I shook my head in sorrow. I heard encourage himself saying; "old sodier never die", bouncing back to his feet again. The hope that all is not lost made him stand again like a man. The hope that 9th July was just a stone throw away. Yes 9th July when his double sweetheart will be taking his party and the country back from the saboteurs.

On the fateful day he girdled his loins and walked beside his wife; the elegant Nana Kunadu Agyeman Rawlings. His face was something between smiles and anger. The double sweetheart forced an artificial smile oh hers. The smile was not reflected back from the crowd, no one smiled back to her. The former president was calm, I sensed he was anticipating something. Defeat? No I can't immagine that.

Okro-mouthed journalists all accross Ghana were there. The man was seated in the podium on a seat the sycophants had arranged for him. His wife who was still under the illusion that the "greedy bastards" would betray their "greedy father" and vote for her was right next to her. Then I heard once the chief barber of Rawlings grant an interview. E. T. said there was no way his once best friend's wife could win. His voice was the betraying type. It was laughable for one to think Nana Konadu could win, he said. All Papa J said was oh E T, you? His eye lids were swelling. Then Totobi Quakye, once Rawlingses number one defender took his turn. He did not only speak his feelings, he in fact printed a special T-shirt which rubished the be bold campaign message of Papa J's remaining hope. Then with his lips he confirmed; "The best thing that can happen to the NDC is to retain Mills as flag-bearer". Papa J only shook his head. He was remembering where he brought this Totobi from. Then Victor smith took the centre stage and the first thing he said was; "I dont want to talk about humiliation but there is going to be a landslide victory for Mills", he said. "It was a joke to expect Mills to throw in the towel", he stressed. "Delegates have shown they won't go with the Rawlingses". Here he (Victor Smith) had told Papa J it is not only me who dont like you, all the degates dont as well. "Rawlings will come along quicker than Konadu". Here he was painting a picture that was soothing Rawlings and mentaining as he has said on other occassions, the wife was the devil. Then finally he added; "Rawlings' legacy is in danger". He said it as if for the past two and half years his legacy was the one thry were using. Then finally; "I have tried to see Rawlings but I have been stopped. I don't want to appear to be teasing them. Teasing them? It's a shame that things have come to this. Is possible to draw a crowd without Rawlings". Did smith mean that? "It's a shame but Rawlings has lost it" He was determined to break Him(Papa J) down completely. He has lost it he said. Lost what, his party, his position and his popularity in the party. He has lost all. Papa J had brought a Tissue from his pocket, he wiped off drops of tears under his glasses. Then smith continued; "Mrs Rawlings made made a comment which was unnecessary". Which comment? And Mr Smith think he was the right person to correct the queen mother. Smith, Smith, hmm. Rawlings fumed. He was still waiting. Waiting until everything will be over.

Anyidoho was on the microphone, and what will you expect. Rawlings was now like a small boy. Any "greedy bastard" at all can talk to him anyhow. "It is important for Mills to tell Rawlings we have to follow due process". What? Papa J nearly jumped out of himself. Not for fear, for shock that somebody like Anyidoho could allow those words out of his mouth. Anyway, it is not his fault. It is mills who has exposed him to all these. I saw him shaking his knees. His fingers tapping the edge of the armrest of his seat. "This is a no contest. It's a miss-match. President Mills is going to win a landslide". An arrogant Anyidoho added. Do you know what miss-match mean? If Mills is a heavy weight Champion, Nana Konadu is an amateur. The Rawlingses can go to hell, he might have said inside of him. Rawlings bit his lips hard. "We want to ensure NDC is not the property of anybody". He finally severed off the head of the snake. Papa J was boiling. It was vivid. But he will still wait for what the delegates will say.

Anyidoho's disrespect was not as painful as that of the age mate of Amina Rawlings' daughter: Ablakwah. "We cannot just catch people and put them in jail". Has Papa J on any day advised them to do arbitrary comdemnations? So he think Papa J is so stupid that he will say arrest anybody at all and put him in Prison without due process? Then why has he (Rawlings) always spoke about propper investigations? Oh, is this me? Papa J asked rhetorically, the answer is yet to come. Mills was draging him on the floor, everybody could march on him, even Ablakwah.

The whole hall was full of the tax law professor he brought into politics T-shirts. Written on them was "GAME". And of course it was a game, Mills was winning. When he(the founder) was reading his surprisingly short address, the hall was quite. What they anticipated had come and gone unnoticed. He was threatning not to be with them again at any congress. “Ladies and gentlemen, I hope I will have this opportunity with you in future, but if I don’t there is something very crucial I would like to leave with you here, extremely important. Something we have been living with, we’ve been seeing, feeling, we’ve been victims of it but somehow has been escaping us." He had said. As experienced as he is, he knew the lots were surely going to fall in bad places. When he ended his speach there was a round of applaus that said; we are tired of you. The upportunity to meet them again seemed very far.

It was the turn of the "traitor". When he mounted the pulpit to preach, the welcome cheers and applauds reminded him(Papa J) of the revolution days. How people use to hail him. He was catching the sign that Mills the man he brought up was now more respected or at least more loved than him. He blew his nose with another tissue. Then his once preferred heir started. "It is an honour for me as leader to give you this short address". As a leader he said, when the elections were yet to be held. Papa J fidgetted with his seat. "In fact I planned not to speak. Let's thank God for bringing us hear safely. I Commend the organisers for good work. With hard work, there is nothing we can't achieve". He continued.

"In 1992 we the people of Ghana adopted a constitution to guide us". He was reminding Papa J that the revolutionary days were over. The constitution was the one in force now. Papa J had just one choice: to sit and listen. He could be taken for a coup plotter if he tried anything scrappy. "When it comes to justice we have always said that the wheels of justice grind slowly". He was lecturing him now, justice is not the way you Rawlings sees it, it is a slow process. "All governments will account". In essence, Mills was saying; you Rawlings, your government will give account. Its now mine and I will also give account so allow me. "I Have done everything to ensure that there is justice". Mills pointed to him, if he doesnt know.

The professor read on; "This is really an important landmark and we must leave a legacy which shows the outside world that no matter the difficulties, we come out and better the lot of our people, to put food on the table to enable our people put body and soul together". Did he mean that, Rawlings had asked because all the foot sodiers as far as he know were hungry. "There is green light at the end of the tunnel". A green light for you. Rawlings might have said. "Please let us remember that we are all from one family; there should be no insult". The new boss of Rawlings' NDC warned. Rawlings shiverred. Now he dictated the pace, not Papa J. "The battle has already been won". He could even claim victory before the votes were cast. Papa J lost a few drops of tears. God is on our side". Mr "God Fearing Atta Juju Ring" proclaimed and pulled his breaks. The cheers and applauds that followed were more heartbreaking than the speech.

When his double sweetheart came up to read his "bold" speech, he nearly stood to his feet to drag his wife out of the coronation park, because she had sensed the coronation was not going to be his wife. The whole audience heckled and booed her wife so that I could not even hear a word of all her speech. Cctv cameras were just above the ballot boxes. It could record who one even voted for. Papa J suspected it, but who cared. They were twisting his hands to take what legitimately belongs to him. With money they induced. With security aparatus they intimidated. With cctv they monitored for victimisation. Everything in the stadium was against him. He could not even spot anyone wearing the FONKAR or OLOKAR T-shirts. It was all GAME. His eyeballs had changed color behind the glasses.

At the end the votes were counted. The result was humilliating. Papa J and his Wife combined got 90 votes. President Atta Mills got 2,861. Papa J has lost all. Attah the betrayer won all. The jubilation was intense. The whole place was charged. Rawlings could no more control it, he wept.

He stagered to the Podium, held the left hand of the leader of NDC with his right. The leader of NDC since the Swedru declaration was still the undisputed and undefeated leader.

After this he quitely took the hand of his wife. He could not lift it. Here was Sunyani not Swedru. This was a new dawn. Atta Mills was the one running the show. Rawlings was powerless. he had no right to impose his wife like he did with Attah Mills. There is no way he could repeat those words he said at Swedru. "This is my son in whom I please". No. Anyidoho had made it clear, "we want to make sure the NDC is nobody's(Rawlings') property. It was no more his. The threat of taking party and country back was a slip of tongue and Rawlings had realised that. The tenants were bent on taking over his own house. The armoured cars, multi purpose tanks, heavily armed police and millitary men were outside to carry out any command the commander in-chief, president of the republic of Ghana and the undefeated leader of the NDC will give. Rawlimgs was a moth, he could be crushed. That crowd could trample him dead. Rawlings was in full gear, weeping miserably.

Am not sure when he will finish weeping. He wished he could divorce NDC but no way. He took an unbreakable bond with by sealing the manifesto with his own blood. He was locked up among people who no more respected him. He was where his own boys had become his bosses. I saw him weeping. He sobbed whilts he wife played the Jesebel; nothing moves me. Yes I saw Rawlings weeping.

Noah D Asare. Frankfurt, Germany.