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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Columnist: Akyeampong, Prince

Mr. Rawlings: Let Your Yes Be Yes

Former President Rawlings is noted for being a relentlessly principled individual who stops at nothing to achieve his goals albeit through unorthodox methods sometimes. The point is, this article is not premised on whether we approve of his way of going about issues or not. For those who have suggested that there is a level of insanity in his style, there could be " a method to his madness" to quote William Shakespeare. Some may dislike his style, but at least he showed a remarkable level of consistency - until recently. Whatever legacy Rawlings has at this point in time is in danger of crumbling before our very eyes if he continues to exhibit the same level of inconsistency and ambiguity in his future pronouncements, as is evidenced in his more recent ones.

When the NDC won the elections in 2004, Rawlings burst onto the scene and continuously lambasted former President Kufuor at the least opportunity, for presiding over a corrupt government.. All exhortations to Rawlings to be mindful of his words and at least accord Kufuor some respect fell on deaf ears. He continued to paint this evil and corrupt image of the immediate past President both home and abroad. I was therefore puzzled and pleasantly surprised when at a social event attended by both former Presidents, Kufuor and Nana Konadu were reported to have taken the floor and danced to some local tunes with an obviously pleased Rawlings giving them an approving and admiring look. Some of us welcomed this event and saw this as a symbolic act of reconciliation by both parties. But, lo and behold, before long, Mr. Rawlings was at it again, and continued lambasting Kufuor. Talk about inconsistency!

In Rawlings and Nana Akuffo Addo's historic meeting held at Rawlings' residence, the former President is reported to have assured the NPP presidential candidate that he would not be part of the NDC campaign team. In my opinion, it was a good thing for the former arch political rivals to meet and share ideas. That was truly a step in the right direction for our young democracy. However, Rawlings' credibility (and legacy) took yet another hit when contrary to what he promised Nana Akuffo Addo, he's now talking about campaigning for the NDC. Let's not forget that the former President is also reported to have said at the NDP National Delegates' Congress in kumasi, that he owes stronger allegiance to the NDP than to the NDC due to the latter's loss of what he termed as "moral high grounds." This was after he had predicted DOOM for the NDC in the forthcoming elections at the same venue. Now he says he's ready to champion the cause of that same "corrupt" party? How inconsistent is that?

Mr: Rawlings appears to be torn between various potential political scenarios and this has tended to largely affect his decision-making. His wife and the NDP presidential candidate, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings recently urged Ghanaians not to vote for the NDC whom she labeled as being extremely corrupt. How does one reconcile that statement with her husband's decision to campaign for the NDC? Very puzzling, isn't it? If, according to Rawlings, the party has deviated from the ideals and principles on which it was founded, then why campaign for them? For a quixotic character like the NDC general secretary, Asiedu Nketia, to have the audacity to call on the party's founder to formalize his intent of joining the party's campaign by putting it in writing - doesn't that speak volumes about Rawlings' waning consistency and credibility? It's time for the former President to be called to order by his close associates before he loses more credibility.

It remains to be seen whether Nana Konadu's court case is going to yield anything fruitful. In my opinion, the chances of her winning are very slim due largely to the fact that Mahama's chances of winning the elections could take a hit if she gets the nod by the court. Consequently, I wouldn't be surprised if the government is playing a behind-the-scenes role to ensure that the former first lady does not come out victorious. In any case, J.J. Rawlings has to realize that he cannot have his cake and eat it too. He either has to stick with his wife's party or join hands with the NDC, a party he's accused of taking the corruption route. There is no middle ground here. So, until it is reported that Rawlings has actually hit the NDC campaign trail, we cannot take his word for it. He definitely has to clean up his act before it is too late. God bless mother Ghana!

Prince Akyeampong, Washington D.C.