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Opinions of Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Columnist: Quaye, Rikard

Kufuor, King Saul, Vindictiveness And Inferiority Complex

In 2000, I came on a visit to Ghana and my sister informed me of “a gentle, God fearing man”, a certain John Agyekum Kufuor who was aspiring to be President. My first response came in a whirlwind manner that brought worry to her.

She is a staunch Rawlings fan like myself and many others. I took time to explain the political history of Kufuor, from 1969 when he became a Deputy Foreign Minister under Busia, his appointment as Secretary (Minister) of Local Government under Rawlings to his opposition exploits in 2000 and what he did to truncate the political or presidential ambition of Mr Kwame Pianim. I also told her by foresight that Kufuor would be the King Saul of Ghana if he won.

My sister’s reaction was worrisome.

She said “then Rawlings will have no peace if this man wins”. Of course the truth has dawned on all of us. Kufuor has, since his ascent to power, demonstrated two reasons for coming, and I hope men, no matter their partisan political leanings will read this piece dispassionately.

The first reason was tied to an inordinate ambition to be President which he confirmed to the OVATION Magazine. He reflected his childhood days when he began to prepare himself to be President. He wanted to go down in history as a man who once ruled Ghana . No wonder he never practiced law which he read for a day.

The second was a three – fold sinister motive, to haunt, persecute and eliminate Rawlings. It is amusing but Ghanaians did not have any insight into the hidden predetermined agenda.

But what really brought him to power? What has caused a deep seated hatred and its attendant persecution of Rawlings. Did the two have an axe to grind which Ghanaians were unaware of? Was Kufuor’s presidency by divine ordination or accident? If it is by design we will put to the test and if by accident it will equally be proved. We will also put Kufuor’s alleged hatred for the Military under the microscope of proper scrutiny to see its sincerity or otherwise.

Kufour’s hatred for J. J. R. has nothing to do with his alleged hatred or dislike for the Military. That line of thinking is hollow and without foundation. It is also pretentious and an attempt to dodge an important issue. So we will follow a little lead that could be useful in unraveling what looks like a mystery to many.

We will also compare Kufuor’s coming to two scenes in the Bible in order to check the weight of his so-called divine emergence or otherwise. His attributes, actions and utterances will help our study.

In 1st Samuel chapter 8, there arose an agitation for a king by Israel which displeased God who sees and knows all things. Their desperations gave birth to Saul. It was not by divine ordination but by human agitation for a change. But what God said is what interests me. From verse eleven to the end God gives a picture of the result of their unwise choice. The man would take their sons and appoint them to satisfy himself and to do his bidding not that of the people. They would cry in the end for their blind action.

Samuel, the then judge or prophet warned but they would have none of it. It came to pass. Saul was a gentle giant. The Bible says he towered above all Israel . (1 Samuel 9:1-2) and yet he was a coward (1 Samuel 17:11). It took a young David to break the yoke of the Philistines around the neck of Israel .

In 2000 a similar agitation arose in Ghana and what took place in Israel unfolded here. Rawlings the then ruler warned like Samuel but would not be listened to. Today, men are being used to enforce the desire of one man whose word is law (e.g. ROPAL) and engages in stone-age propaganda. The regrets are obvious for all to see.

But one thing Ghanaians don’t know or have refused to accept is the prophetic aspect of Rawlings. Just as Saul did, taking their sheep, cattle and sons and daughters, Kufuor has done even worse, wasting the tax payer’s money on irrelevance. The prophetic Rawlings is vindicated.

In politics Kufuor is senior to Rawlings no doubt, just as in kingship Saul was senior to David. The Bible says when Goliath barked at Israel , Saul was so scared he hid himself in his tent. It took a young David to rise to the occasion, killing Goliath and redeeming Israel . But like King Saul in David’s time Kufuor was already was already in politics when Ghana sank so low under Acheampong courting disgrace. Kufuor was already in politics but where was he? He had abandoned the ship called Ghana and had gone into oblivion.

It took a young Rawlings who had never dreamt of politics then to fight the tyranny in power and stem the ship to good waters like David.

Where did Saul’s jealousy come from? Saul was not envious or jealous of David until the young chap killed Goliath. The praise of the people of Israel galvanized Saul into action against David, attempting to kill David fourteen times in eighteen years.

Kufuor’s hatred for Rawlings did not start overnight. As far as Ghana politics then was concerned, Rawlings was non-existent in Busia’s time when Kufuor was a deputy Foreign Minister. The young man only surfaced like a bolt from the blue to sanitize the nation, and the jealousy began. All were singing J. J’s praise like David’s and the old bat could not stomach it. The accolades heaped on Rawlings pushed the elite into oblivion. So they were all the while waiting for a time to hit the young “mad” man where it would hurt.

Here we can compare Kufuor’s seven years in power and what he has done to eliminate Rawlings to Saul’s eighteen years of David’s persecution and his attempts to eliminate him.

Saul felt insecure as long as David walked the force of the earth yet this humble shepherd would not raise a finger against him even when the king was at his mercy. We are seeing a similar movie playing here in Ghana . Kufuor has been doing the same thing to J. J. R. and yet the ex-President has not raised a finger against him.

Is Kufuor not using the power of incumbency to intimidate him which is impossible to attain because the people’s hero cannot be intimidated? Saul moved almost all Israel against David leaving the young shepherd with about six hundred followers.

Has Kufuor not done the same here, moving a whole generation of Ghanaians including the so-called elite against Rawlings, painting the pragmatic ex-President black as the worst devil Ghana has produced?

But just as David did not raise a finger against Saul, has Rawlings moved against Kufuor? Is it not only lies of coup plots that could not be substantiated that were heaped on the former leader of Ghana ?

Saul went round the nations around Israel denting the image of David and creating enemies for him all because of his own insecurity. Kufuor has gone to almost all nations doing the same. Yet Rawlings’ looming image refuses to be dimmed all over the world.

The similarities between the activities of Saul and Kufuor are too obvious, and important to be ignored. Before the advent of Saul , Israel was in bondage to the Philistines and fear was all over. Saul came and did nothing about it.

Indeed, in Ghana by 1976 the living standard was horrible. It was more of slavery. We began to queue for bread. This was in Acheampong’s era. By 1979 alarm bells for change were tolling and up came a young determined thirty one year-old Jerry John Rawlings, an unknown lot like David who would change the face and governance history of Ghana. It was a spontaneous reaction from the people who had gone through hardship and humiliation.

Then the uncontrollable hatred began. “Where from this lad who has come to change our old ways of doing things? Why did we sit down unconcerned and allowed this chap to receive all the accolades nationwide and worldwide?”

Meanwhile a Saul who lurked around and had been in power before as a Deputy Foreign Minister and nursed Presidential ambition opened his heart to a flood of hatred and capital jealousy. The achievement of this unlettered soldier had overshadowed whatever reputation, real or imagined the elite had built.

It was not any hatred for the military. After all Kufuor served as a Secretary (Minister) of Local Government under the revolution of soldiers led by J. J. Rawlings. And indeed the first bloody coup was executed by the Danquah – Busia people which included Kufuor. Since he came to power, he has wined and dined with Muammar al Qathafi, Obasanjo who is his master, Eyadema, Sassou Nguesso, Yaya Jammeh, Campaore and several others. He and his people even recently celebrated Kotoka.

So Kufuor’s hatred for Rawlings goes beyond the normal partisan perception of the ordinary uninformed man. It goes beyond parochial tomfoolery. The percipient look beyond the surface of matters. They look at things from a broader perspective and discern.

I will come back to Saul’s story in order to establish or disprove the divine nature of Kufuor’s emergence. But let’s move on to the second story.

In Judges Chapter nine, a conspiracy had occurred and there was a clamour for a ruler or a leader. Then a man gave a parable. According to the parable an approach was made by some to the good people who were capable by their records but there was a rebuff from those gentleman. Finally the agitation brought the bramble type of leader. The bramble type is the one whose word is law. He does things according to his own dictates without recourse to democratic principles even under democracy. He puts the people through hardship while he and his household enjoy the nation’s largesse.

Such leaders always come with a pretentious slogan e.g. zero tolerance for corruption, but allow lawlessness like drug trafficking, crime and filth to permeate and rule the society.

Lawlessness took over Shechem in Israel under Abimelech, why because desperation and inordinate ambition took him over. It has emanated here with all vices on display. History has repeated itself.

Back to the first. Saul felt inferior to David in Israel because all attention and praises were directed at this shepherd. So for Saul to have his peace and be superior to the rest of the people, David must be eliminated.

But he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. Rawlings has never said he is superior to Kufuor. It is the sitting President who has caged himself and been dwarfed by his perception (Number 13:33). If Kufuor had concentrated on his presidency and the duties attached thereof, he would not have had cause to fight inferiority complex. If he had desisted from chasing the shadow of Rawlings, he wouldn’t have been afraid of it. But like Saul, he had allowed the shadow to haunt him.

The scenes at South Africa , Burkina Faso , Congo and also other areas in Ghana would not have occurred if he had respected himself and his predecessor. Whoever haunts others has no peace and that is the principled truth (Isaiah 57:21). There wouldn’t have been any inferiority complex.

Saul never stopped haunting and persecuting David and so had no peace till his untimely death. Today in Ghana , I can confidently say Kufuor has no peace because of Rawlings’ presence.

Kufuor has only one resort left and that is to stop persecuting Rawlings. Rawlings image looms so large in Ghana and the world that it will not take an unforgiving, vindictive and unintelligent man like Kufuor to dim or overshadow it.

Peace loving men who sincerely love this entity called Ghana must arise now and check the dim-witted behaviour of this sitting President who keeps disgracing himself and Ghana to the world before it draws uncontrollable rebellion.

Kufuor should rather spend quality time to polish his epileptic spoken English instead of allowing hatred, jealousy, lies and deceit to becloud his sense of purity and judgment. Instead of brooding over his foibles, he should be brave enough to accept the fact that in popularity, charisma, eloquence and tremendous appeal he is not in the same class with Rawlings. He should concentrate on his own qualities and maximize them.

Kufuor must be told Ghana is too delicate to be left in the hands of a man who suffers continually from inferiority complex and thinks a shadow is chasing him daily.

It is a pity.

Rikard Quaye

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.