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Opinions of Saturday, 30 July 2016

Columnist: Agormor, Courage

If Ghana was an animal farm, the Rawlingses will be the Pig family

Everyone knows – or think they know – all about George Orwel's allegory called the 'Animal farm'. Well, for those who do not know, I will give you an idea so that you can situate Ghana into the animal farm and understand why the Rawlings family epitomizes the Pigs on the animal farm called Ghana!

The allegory reflects events leading up to the Russian (Ghanaian) revolution in 1917 (1979) and then on into the Stalin/Rawlings era in the Soviet Union (PNDC/NDC). The Soviet Union whose example the PNDC followed had arguably become a brutal dictatorship built upon a cult of personality which was enforced by a reign of terror.

In the country called the 'Animal Farm' the animals led by the pigs who thought themselves to be the wisest among the animals, inspired a revolution by telling the other animals that the leaders (humans) are corrupt, parasites, greedy bastards, have no integrity, not accountable and so. The animals (people) agree to revolt and drive away the leaders of the farm – even killing many of the overthrown leaders for corruption and so on.

After the revolt, the animals created what they call seven commandments of animalism. Among the commandments, the animals agree to banish corruption that all the animals are equal before the law, that there must be one toilet for each household, and that nobody can take bribe or drink wine or live in comfort or engage in corruption. They also agree that no animal shall be like the old masters who were overthrown by the revolution.

Ironically, before the other animals will realize, the pigs had set themselves up as rulers and began to illegally change the law to favor them. Indeed, the pigs began to live above the law.

For example, the pigs began to eat apples, drink wine and milk with the excuse that they needed to be healthy enough to think for the rest of the animals. The pigs also changed the constitution by night to allow them break them and live differently and in luxury whiles preaching frugality, integrity and accountability to the rest of the animals. In no time, pigs began to live, eat, drink talk and even behave like the old human dictators who were overthrown by the animals.

Whiles breaking all the rules and refusing to practice what they preached, the pigs still had other pigs that hailed them and proclaimed them the best of leaders. The sheep also kept bleating and singing praises of the corrupt revolutionists. The praise singer on the animal farm is called squealer. The squealers see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil about the bad behavior of the corrupt pigs.

The animals on the farm are used as an allegory to expose the follies, foibles, hypocrisy, double standards and failings of humans who lead deceptively not by deed but by word of mouth.

The pigs used the rest of the animals to achieve their own selfish gains but managed in a cunning manner to keep the rest tongue-fooled into believing that they had integrity, they were accountable and were not corrupt. Indeed, the pigs were corrupt, not accountable, had no integrity, and cared less for other animals except themselves and the dogs that protect them.

In no time, all the animals on the farm including the sheep who could not reason came to realize that the pigs were FAKE animals.

If Ghana were that animal farm, Mr. Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman – Rawlings and their family will be that pig family who practice and live by exactly what they preach against. As they watched the pigs from outside, ''the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which is which''. Today, what is the difference between J.J Rawlings of Ghana and Sani Abacha of Nigeria?

Rawlings and his wife led a revolt in 1979 and later a coup in 1981 and overthrew a civilian government of Hilla Liman. He and his colleagues claimed that everybody in leadership at that time were corrupt. The so-called revolutionists killed all the people they perceived to be corrupt. They also chased some Ghanaians into exile and seized their property – not for the state but for themselves and their foreign and local friends.

It wasn't too long after the so-called revolution when Ghanaians realized that these revolutionaries were actually con men led by Rawlings. For if they were revolutionaries, why did they go to the IMF and the World Bank? Did Fidel Castro go to the World Bank? How about the so-called divestiture of state – owned companies, most of which ended up in the hands of the Rawlings family as personal property?

How could a family that claims to fight for the ordinary people of Ghana see it fit to send all their children abroad to expensive schools for education whiles collapsing the educational system in Ghana for the ordinary people? ''all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others''?

How could a family that claims to hate corruption acquire and covert so much state properties including houses, cars, factories, cash and lands for themselves whiles ordinary people suffer? The Rawlings' are the only family in Ghana who are rich but without a known viable business.

How could a family that claims to be accountable to the people still be able to sneak indemnity clauses into the Ghanaian constitution when they were leaving power in order to avoid accountability and yet, today, still want to come back to power after their failure to account for nineteen years?

How could Rawlings and his wife pretend to be accountable and have integrity but can appropriate for themselves state factories like the Nsawam cannery which Mrs. Rawlings bought with a loan of a total of over ¢9 billion from the NDC government of her own husband JJ Rawlings. That loan which was taken through ECOBANK is still unpaid until today.

Wasn't it the same Rawlings who killed people during the so-called revolution for taking a ¢ 50 loan from the government of Ghana? Indeed, 'all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others' in this animal farm called Ghana. Other people can go to their graves for borrowing a mere ¢ 50 but Rawlings and his wife can take billions of our money and refuse to pay back without consequences.

People in Ghana died in the hands of Rawlings and his wife simply because they were rich. Take for exampleJoshua Kwabena Siaw, popularly known as J. K. Siaw, was a Ghanaian industrialist who in 1969 established Tata Brewery Ltd. – now known as Guinness Ghana Breweries, also as Achimota Brewery Company (ABC). He is notable for opening the largest wholly African-owned brewery company in West Africa in 1973.

In 1979 all his assets were confiscated by the AFRC regime of Rawlings under false allegations of tax evasion. This is because the erstwhile Acheampong government had granted tax reliefs to several local companies to enable local industry grow and compete with foreign ones. He died in London, in exile, in October 1986. His brewery was then handed over to foreign interests by Rawlings and his family. Today, no Ghanaian industrialists exist in serious business. Thanks to Rawlings!

Nineteen (19) years later, Rawlings took $ USD 5 million of stolen money from former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha in 1998 for no apparent work done. Today, Rawlings himself confesses that indeed, he took $USD 2 M and not $USD 5 M. Anyways, he took the stolen money! We now all know that Rawlings is not man integrity after all.

If it took Rawlings almost eighteen (18) years to confess to taking stolen money from other countries, can you imagine how much he stole from Ghana? The gold bars, the cash, the national assets, the lands, the houses.

And yet, the con-man Rawlings and his con- wife Nana Konadu Agyeman – Rawlings actually still want us to believe that he and his family are holier than the pope of Vatican! Is it because we have the sheep on the farm called Ghana still bleating 'Rawlings is great' 'Jnr. Jesus?' 'Papa J' despite the self-confessions of a man and his family who can no longer hide their ill-gotten wealth from the public.

Of course, there will always be the sheep bleating and praise-singing the likes of Rawlings and his family. However, the over three thousand (3000) people of Adoagyire in Nsawam whose 770.74 acres of lands have been recently and illegally taken over by Mrs. Rawlings at an absurdly gh5 per acre under the guise of a lease agreement with government of Ghana to build estate housing to enrich her family further – and which people currently face court eviction by the Rawlings family - these people will not and cannot be tongue-fooled by any gimmicks or empty rhetoric of the Rawlings family.

These poor people know that the Rawlings family is corrupt because they are direct victims of the 'create, loot and keep' scheme of the Rawlings animal farm family.

Ghanaians are still living in poverty and in darkness today after nineteen (19) years of so-called house cleaning without any planning for the future whiles Rawlings and his family live in luxury in several mansions dotted across the world. Rawlings is the first former President of Ghana to guarantee him and his own family's personal comfort in the constitution after retirement.

Kwame Nkrumah died as a poor man. Abrefa Busia died without the care of the state when he was overthrown by Acheampong. Dr. Hila Liman died as a very poor homeless man under the watch of former President Rawlings who overthrew him.

But when Rawlings was about to hand over power, he made sure that it was enshrined in the constitution of Ghana that the state must take care of its former heads of state and their families until they die. Rawlings never thought of that idea when Hila Liman was alive and poor. This shows clearly that Rawlings only thinks about himself and his family alone on this animal farm called Ghana.

Rawlings and his family still want to remain in power today. What on earth can they do for the Ghanaian people today that they could not do in nineteen (19) years? What is Mrs. Rawlings looking for when she says she is running for President of Ghana today? This woman cannot even keep the factories she stole from Ghanaians running. The Nsawam Cannery has been left to rot because she cannot run a simple business.

Mrs. Rawlings is used to living on government largess and she therefore wants to continue to live and enjoy state resources. No wonder she has taken millions of dollars in judgment debts from the NDC government, riding in luxury v-8 vehicles from the NDC government, living in a newly built state residence at ridge with swimming pool etc whiles making noise about corruption in the same NDC government.

Zanetor Rawlings, daughter of the Rawlings family, has put on her political gloves to keep the family name relevant. She is a trained medical doctor, trained abroad with Ghanaian tax payer's money but who has never practiced medicine in Ghana – not even for a day. Today, she is running for parliament. Does Zanetor really care about the people of Ghana? Does she care about the Klottey Korle people? What can she do for the people in parliament that she cannot do as a medical doctor? It is obvious to anybody who can reason clearly that Rawlings is pushing his daughter into parliament to find her way into government in order for the family to stage a come-back to power.

They think we're all blind but they must think again!

All the Rawlings family wants is power at all cost so that they may continue to live in luxury at the expense of the poor people of Ghana without accounting to anybody. The Rawlings family is not different from those they overthrew from power. Indeed, the Rawlings family is more corrupt, less accountable, have less integrity than all those leaders they have accused and killed in the past and present.

Some few people in Ghana are so gullible that they still believe and take Rawlings and his family serious when they speak about bribery and corruption, accountability, integrity etc. Thankfully, many of us have pulled the wool off our eyes. We can see how Nana Konadu Rawlings is making a fool of herself whiles campaigning to become President of Ghana. Nana Konadu cannot even articulate her ideas well, plus, she contradicts and exposes the hypocrisy of the Rawlings family every day. She has become the number one liar in Ghana and on so many occasions, she has been exposed shamefully for her lies. Indeed, if she had any shame at all, Mrs. Rawlings would have shut up by now.

We can also see how Rawlings gradually has to defend himself goof after goof because all the people who previously worshiped and defended him blindly have now opened their eyes widely to the reality of a family so power drunk and bereft of ideas except how to take advantage of what belong to the people of Ghana for their personal comfort. Rawlings and his family must never ever be allowed to come near the corridors of power – again!

We cannot allow Rawlings and his animal farm family to keep tongue-fooling us in this country about being holier than thou.

''No sentimentality comrades, the only good human being is a dead one''.