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Opinions of Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Columnist: Afful, Kweku

JJ Versus Atta-Mills: Round 1.

…Advice to the NDC: ‘A house divided against it would not stand’.
By Kweku Afful (a.k.a. Dr. Objective). UK.
A lot of political analysts and commentators have always wondered whether President Mills would be a man of his own and would not have to battle the excessive influence of the founder of the NDC, former President Rawlings. Some also asked whether a vote for Mills is not a third term for Rawlings.
I personally think President Mills is a man of his own. I also sincerely believe he has a very good agenda and vision for Ghana. However, the key issue for him for deal with will be how to manage the ‘tit for tat’ mentality of the far right NDC with the moderate and pro democratic left wing of the party who are seen to been to forgiving and lenient in dealing with their perceived political opponents.
I must commend President Mills for his promise not to witch-hunt and pursue political vendetta but to be a President for all. He also stated that the rule of law would be used to govern the nation. In spite of the fact that political vendetta would not take centre stage in his government, he has promised to deal with any one in government either before or during his government who embezzles state funds.
Certainly the pace at which he is carrying his duties must be a wee bit slow for the ‘fast track’ former President hence in a recent press conference, he clearly poured his heart out concerning how perceived political opponents should be dealt with. I think the path Prof. Mills wants to pursue is way off the tangent to that of his party founder who was also very instrumental in clinching this vital victory for the NDC.
What former President Rawlings should understand is that Ghana has become more democratic than when he first came into power in 1979. Again the victory for the NDC was not a landslide victory but a very slim one which suggests that albeit the NPP lost, they still have a great deal of support (at least 49 percent of voters) therefore any un-timed and misapplied action or inaction of the NDC against the NPP can still trigger political tensions in the country.
I am strongly in favour of ‘probity and accountably’ or ‘zero tolerance’ to corruption and indiscipline in society but our current democracy suggests that you can’t just go on and throw people out of offices or jail them just because they are political opponents but it must be based on hard evidence and properly followed constitutional guidelines. I am sorry Mr. Rawlings that these processes takes a bit of time but that is democracy for you.
President Mills would obviously need the support of Mr. Rawlings but comments against Prof. Mills will heap unwarranted pressure on the President and his NDC government of which Mr. Rawlings is the founder. At least the good side of these open outbursts indicates that Atta Mills is not a stooge as people suggested but a man of his own. Also it shows that Rawlings would criticise anyway irrespective of their political affiliation. Surely the bible says ‘a house divided against itself will not stand’ (Mark 3:25). I would suggest that Mr. Rawlings would be better of discussing issues of this nature behind closed doors in order not to hamper the government’s progress.
Watch out for Round two! Thank you very much.
Kweku Afful (a.k.a. Dr. Objective).
Email: Dr. Objective: dr.objective@yahoo.co.uk