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Opinions of Saturday, 10 March 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

NDC faithful, keep on disrespecting Rawlings at your own peril!

Even in retirement, the NDC founder and the first president of the Fourth Republic, former President Rawlings would now and then contribute to the national discourse. He has been keeping the successive governments on their toes, as a matter of fact. He has thus earned the accolade, Dr Boom, for his vociferous and no nonsense approach.

To his credit, though, former President Rawlings has remained the chief critic of his own party (NDC). Indeed, former President Rawlings did not shy away from pointing out the erstwhile NDC government’s incompetence and corrupt practices.

Rawlings laments: “With the passage of time a few too many selfish and greedy characters soon began to jump on board. “There were some good people; very good people but leadership and the command structure did not empower them to override those who were destroying the party and the government”.

Former President Rawlings stresses: “I have worked with good people all my life. “I have worked with bad people all my life, some wicked, some with character defects but evil natured people must be kept away”.

In fact, the NDC loyalists are committing political suicide, or worst still, they are living in a denial for refusing to accept the fact that former President Rawlings is indeed revered by the party foot soldiers more than any other member of the party.

After all, former President Rawlings founded the NDC and managed to bring along a lot of supporters to his corner. It would thus appear extremely incredulous for anybody to suggest that former President Rawlings is currently irrelevant in the NDC Party.

Make no mistake, former President Rawlings still commands respect among a sizeable number of party foot soldiers, and, it is possible that some of his supporters will be aggrieved over the NDC leadership’s abhorrent attitude towards him.

Unfortunately, however, the NDC’s boisterous brats who are not privy to their party’s history have been rebuking Rawlings for rightly expressing his grievances over the irreversible mess in the party he undersigned with his blood. .

More recently, the NDC faithful torn their founder Rawlings into shreds for candidly fretting thy soul with grief and wondering if the recent deadly armed robbery attacks in the country are real robberies and not the work of unpatriotic partisan creatures motivated from either within or without to undermine the nation’s security in order to pave the way for certain parochial ambitions.

Why wouldn’t a security conscious individual like former President Rawlings smell foul play when some people are unblushingly hopping from one Radio/Television station to another nagging, shrieking and grouching over the serious national disaster such as the recent bloody armed robbery attacks without proffering any practicable solutions?

In the past, Rawlings had morosely raised concerns over the insulting behaviour of the NDC brats, many of whom do not even have passing acquaintance with the formation of the party.

Take, for example, Rawlings had this to say during the NDC’s 2012 National Congress: “Mr. President, fellow Ghanaians it is said that we should not throw out the baby with the bath water, but what we do when some of the babies in the tub are babies with hard teeth, biting and spewing some very horrible invectives? Should they not be lowered out with the dirty water? After all one bad nut is all it takes to spoil the taste in your mouth.

“When we find ourselves at a wooden bridge with some planks rotten, do we wait to get new planks before removing the rotten ones or do we remove the rotten ones immediately?” (JJ Rawlings, August 30, 2012).

Although I am not a fan of Rawlings, I do not think the man deserves all the vile attacks from the members of the party he worked strenuously to bring to existence.

It is against this background that Rawlings will relish the opportunity to clean the party he cherishes so much.

Given that the vast majority of the members of the current NDC Party executive were proselytised by Ex-President Rawlings, one would have expected an outright condemnation of the incessant insults directed at the founder of the party, but that has not been the case.

However the alleged sour relations between the founder and some of the current national party executives, the indefatigable Rawlings unconditional love for his brainchild (NDC) has not tapered off, not by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, one does not have to look far for the evidence of former President Rawlings’s devoted attachment to the party he gleefully autographed with his blood.

His 2016 speech to commemorate the 31st December 1981 revolution was a clear manifestation of his unbridled attachment to the party he founded in 1992.

Ex-President Rawlings laments: “Need I remind you that the NDC was built on principles and values that emerged as a result of circumstances that led to our birth?”

“The fallen heroes we honour today expect of us in the least, never to relapse into those same old days. But that has not been the case.

“In the wake of the revolution we made pronouncements that summed up the state of affairs that prevailed then.

“I admonished back then that; “Ghana should be a land where it will be accepted practice and norm that those who earn the privilege to govern, should administer in humility, conscious that they are the servants of the people and are ready to submit themselves and their actions to public scrutiny and accountability” (Rawlings, 2016).

In sum, some of us will be extremely surprised if former president and the founder of the NDC Party J. J. Rawlings refuses to come out of his redundancy and rescues his beloved NDC Party from the people he inexorably describes as “babies with hard teeth”.

K. Badu, UK.