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Opinions of Monday, 9 May 2005

Columnist: Antwi, William

Indicting NPP?s Scare-Mongering, RawlingsPhobia And Malicious Partisanship!


As our nation inches ominously ever closer to political intolerance, it behooves on all citizens to "fall back" and reflect on the dangerous political phenomenon call "malicious partisan politics" that is fast devouring the leading minds and political leadership of our dear country. This destructive phenomenon should clearly be distinguished from simple partisanship. Suffice here to state that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the latter whereby one intensely confronts his or her political foes with cold, hard facts instead of indulging in blind political dogma for sinister and evil reason(s). The inspiring question is: What is wrong with shredding into pieces by way of sound ideas (as opposed to blatant lies, and innuendoes) your opponent?s stated policies? This means that cobbling together a consensus in our country for democratic development does not in any way mean that we should be non-partisan in fighting official corruption, nepotism, inefficiency, waste and destructive arrogance. For example, we should never, ever compromise on official corruption or nepotism in any form, shape or manner. However, there is everything dastardly wrong when one seeks to destroy his or her political enemy with flawed or cooked evidence and falsehoods.

Indeed, those who lack better ideas of governance ride their political capital on ethnicity, hatred and plain foolhardiness. Debate and dissent, which of course, form the bedrock of any true democratic dispensation, do not mean that we should be reckless and malicious in our advocacy. Learning to curb our destructive emotions and tendencies should be the hallmark of our leaders, notwithstanding their political ambition. Need we reiterate that, as a nation, we do not have the luxury to engage in senseless media and cyberspace spin in total disregard of the truth?

Clearly, it should be obvious to the practitioners of malicious partisanship that their blind attachment to their tribes, political parties and personalities continues to fuel the dirty engines of corruption, ineptitude, nepotism and in fact all the indicia of political instability.


Let me indulge in a little bit of NPP ?bashing? here:

This government which came to power with so much hope, aspiration and sweet dreams for all Ghanaians has contributed in no small measure in ratcheting up unnecessary political tension in the country by way of its hopelessly shortsighted, parochial policies. Under their watch and to the chagrin of peace-loving Ghanaians, a tragic disease called ?Rawlingsphobia? and tribal rivalries and identify have been on the ascendancy. Any fair-minded citizen would agree that the gravest threat to our democracy is not Rawlings as this government and his bitterest political foes want us to embrace.

Our political climate is so polarized that anything good said in defense of our ex-president in the name of rule of law is sinisterly misconstrued by his foes. These attack dogs want is to embrace the crazy idea that Rawlings must be treated differently from any other Ghanaian when it comes to applying democratic principles. What is actually preventing this gov?t from bringing up charges against him for being a ?murderer, crook or thief?? After all, wasn?t Rawlings the person who opened our eyes to the practical meaning of the holy concepts of probity and accountability?

Some of us are really happy to discern that some of NPP?s media goons are really frustrated and angry at the ineptitude and corruption consuming this gov?t but tragically because of Rawlings, they are disabled in coming out openly to condemn their party. Instead of doing what is conscionable and patriotic for the country, they have withheld their fire because doing so will be enamoring Rawlings to return to power. Do they really appreciate the irreparable damage they continue to wreck on our beloved country by way of being haunted by Rawlings?s ?apparition?? If this is not the height of Rawlingsphobia then can somebody tell me what that is?

We have said many a time that what we write or truly believe in is a service to our personal predisposition and in a sense defines our character. And, what our predisposition is must be viewed within the context of the rule of law, probity, accountability, sunshine and transparency. Therefore, it is up to each and every one of us ? in a collective sense ? to put ourselves in the shoes of our ?trapped? opponent. What does the good, old book say? ?Do unto others what you want others to do unto you??

We ask one more time: Why should these loud-mouth ?democrats? want to bend true democratic rules to satisfy a personal vendetta with Rawlings? What happened to their democratic principles?

In fact, in their quixotic manipulation of the basic issues confronting our nation, they have dangerously managed to make Rawlings the linchpin of all their woes conveniently forgetting that Ghanaians voted the NDC out of power on his watch - at a time when he even controlled all the coercive forces of the state. In fact, take Rawlings out of the political equation, and the true performance of the present administration will be laid to bear! What is troubling and distressing is that instead of the present administration agonizing over the grave issues of disease, hunger, deprivation, despair, humiliation, frustration and above all blatant greed and reflexive corruption for which they were voted into power, it continues to expend political capital on our ex-president who by all intent and purposes does not command the national will as he did in 1979 and 1981 for very obvious reasons. What his enemies fail to credit him for is the fact that our ex-president is a very intelligent, astute and pragmatic politician. He knows perfectly well that any attempt on his part to upset the present constitutional arrangement in the country would inevitably lead to the demise of Ghana.

However, in its inferior diversionary tactics, this administration continues to scare unsuspecting Ghanaians into believing that Rawlings is planning another coup d?etat when it does not have a thread of evidence to support such inflammatory allegation, and, importantly when all verifiable facts point to their failed policies. Even when he used his high profile personality to bring needed attention to endemic corruption in the system, it is dubiously misconstrued as yet another attempt on his part to undermine the system and stage a coup d?etat! Are we holding brief for Rawlings? Be my judge. The point here is that if you want to crucify the man have the gut to bring up the evidence and not hide behind non-facts, political pandering and subterfuge!

So we ask again: Why is Rawlingsphobia consuming the minds of the present government? It is this simple: The NPP can never showcase its record! All they can showcase is fear, fear and more fear of Rawlings! They came to power as the ?zero tolerance government? but we all know that they have elevated official corruption to the inglorious level of a national policy. We have always maintained that the NDC was booted out of power not because of the NPP?s superior economic agenda for the country ? and we have been proved overwhelmingly right ? but because Ghanaians strongly believed that they could bring some measure of integrity and honesty to the political table. Oh, boy! How Ghanaians have been sorely disappointed! Now to hide their terrible failures, they continue to shamelessly exploit ?Rawlingsphobia? to divert attention from their shockingly dismay record.

How many times should we remind this clueless government and its apologists that the only way they can silence and marginalize Rawlings is if and only if they behave honorably and honestly while enjoying their political mandate? And, let the truth be told here: The only reason why our ex-president is hugely popular among great number of our people is that this hopeless government has not given them hope or reason to abandon his political bandwagon. They see him as their only hope. If not, why is it that he still pulls such great crowd of people wherever he goes?


Can we seriously talk about malicious partisanship without alluding to tribalism? Truly, under this government, tribal identity is dangerously on the rise in the country. Most of us seriously believed that we have passed the pre-independence days where tribal and sectional parties dominated the political scene. Now, if it is not the GaDangbes demanding to be accepted as ?first class citizens?, it is this nonsense about Asante/Ewe rivalry. Strangely, a loud mouth Asante detribalized some of us by accusing us of abandoning our tribal heritage so that we could be admitted into a so-called ?Rawlings corner?. The truth is making political choices solely on the basis of where we come from will certainly spell doom for our already fragile democracy.

What is most horrifying is that instead of being humbled by the bloody events devastating most African countries, our political and social leaders are rather accentuating the rough but deadly edges of tribalism and political dogma, all in the name of malicious partisan politics. For example, why should any one disingenuously condemn all Asantes as corrupt, narrow-minded, sinful and above all NPP? What beats our imagination is why should the political and economic sins of the present administration be unwholesomely visited on all Asantes? In fact, what is so sickening about this dangerous and dark prejudice is that majority of Asantes are suffering through the present administration's incompetence and corruption like the rest of Ghanaians. So why should Asantes be cruelly indicted for the sins of this gov't? Is there no better way of indicting Asantes rather than on the shortcomings of this government which won political power not only on the Asante vote but rather on the votes of great majority of Ghanaians?

Let me state one more time that only those who have nothing concrete to offer the country will bandy about this tribal card to score cheap but deadly political points. Aren?t we larger than our tribal lineage?

The only way our political leaders can reduce or decrease political disaffection or dissatisfaction in our country is to dig deeper into themselves and implement policies that will radicalize our society for the better. Our generation should rise up not by fire arms, bows, arrows or cutlasses but by the force of our selflessness and ideas and our ability to expose the brutal scorches of our leader?s unpatriotic excesses.

God save our dear country.

We shall be back.


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