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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Columnist: Antobam, Kobina

Nation Wreckers

By: Kobina Antobam

Any time you say anything at all about Rawlings, most Ewes appear from the woodsheds and scream bloody Mary while chanting the ridiculous discordant insult “who born you by mistake?” They are eager to tear you to shreds for daring to criticize their once-in-a-lifetime earthly god, Mr. “Do-No-Wrong-Ever” Jeremiah John Rawlings. In their minds, he is Mr. Untouchable. Almost immediately, Asantes and Akyems appear from nowhere brimming with ear-to-ear grins, hooting and hollering, and relishing the critical examination of Rawlings’ past and his current utterances.

In the same vein, when crafty sly John Agyekum Kufuor’s name comes up, many Twi-speaking Ghanaians can’t contain themselves. They sharpen their elephant tusks ready to gore you bloody for daring to tell the truth about the hard-to-heal wounds Kufuor inflicted on Ghanaians during his eight years in office. This is also the kneejerk opportunity for Ewes to relish with glee any criticism of an Asante. The latest additional punching back for Ewes is Akuffo-Addo.

It is also clear that the present day Ghana’s “Hatfields and McCoys” are finding it difficult to figure out where to fit President Mahama in their tribal enemy list. Neither camp can help its ethnocentric herd instincts while criticizing these personalities for only their policies and behaviors. Of course, Rawlings, Kufuor, and Akuffo-Addo brought it upon themselves and carelessly handed their enemies the ammunition used to attack them. The ethnocentric policies of the two and the ethnically-slanted utterances of Akuffo-Addo have encouraged the wild tribal exchanges that are now disturbing our quietude, if we ever had any.

Still, this hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil attitude of the Kufuor and Rawlings die-hard tribal supremacists and the constant trading of insults and accusations between the Ewe and the Asante/Akyem camps is fast ruining my dear Ghana. You people are constantly fighting your unending useless proxy wars and the rest of us Ghanaians are being inflicted, conflicted, and suffocated by the collateral fallout from your unnecessary stupid bickering. Both camps show up each day on the electronic and print media with empty glib tribal insults and senseless quick-witted retorts, sometimes veiled but often blatant and raw. You people have dominated the airwaves and the electronic media for far too long, as if the radio, television, the internet belong to only you two groups. Ghana doesn’t belong to just you. So just shut up and look around you: the rest of us are Ghanaians too, and you are drowning us out with your excessive noise. So stop the nonsense and give us all a break and an ample thinking space. You people make me sick!

Of course, the emergence of Rawlings is unforgettable. He angrily appeared from nowhere and brutally assaulted his fellow citizens. He oversaw a murdering spree and heart wrenching brutality and created an atmosphere of fear and terror across Ghana. The blood-drenched do-gooder, with a cocked gun in hand, wanted to accomplish the improbable by wanting to eradicate all corruption and right all worldly wrongs but ended up being corrupted himself by being well schooled in the sophistication, over his nineteen years in charge, in how to participate in the underhanded thieving game played by all crooked politicians.

Many Ewes around the world saw a saint in their tribesman when Rawlings appeared from nowhere and they merrily joined his morally contaminated cleansing crusade. Some who were living outside Ghana abandoned their overseas careers, left their spouses and children there and came home to buttress Rawlings’s reign and were rewarded well with lucrative positions. I personally remember at least two Ewes who abandoned their teaching and corporate careers and their families in the U.S. and came to Ghana to join Rawlings. Over time, Rawlings, the violent loud booming so-called reformer, together with his suddenly emboldened tribesmen, transformed quietly and surreptitiously into very superb hand dippers into Ghana’s abundant cookie jar, exactly like all crooked Ghanaians. Now, who born you by mistake, Mr. Rawlings?

Now, here comes John Agyekum Kufuor right after Rawlings had completed his nearly 20-year imposition. This guy, Kufuor, takes the reins of the country with an unparalleled tribal vengeance, filled with battle-ready explosive thoughts of payback for Rawlings’s murders of Kufuor’s tribal kinsmen and with unrelenting uncontrollable hatred for the good that exceptional Kwame Nkrumah did for Ghana. The fact that it was not Danquah or any other Twi-speaking Ghanaian who became the very first Prime Minister and the first President of Ghana but Kwame Nkrumah, Kufuor and his people have not, up to today, been able to accept Nkrumah as the rightful Ghanaian we needed and wanted for our independence and initial leader.

If Rawlings had run the country with a clear evidence of caste elevation of his tribe, Kufuor would best Rawlings’s record by stacking most prominent political, administrative, and ambassadorial positions with Ghanaians of his tribe too and by crowning a singular monarch (King of Ghana) of his choice for us all. He would widely open doors for them and would allow his people to run roughshod everywhere over Ghana’s national coffers and resources. The appropriate title for that cabal’s spree of depravity is “Kufuor’s Corruption Mud Tub (KCMT),” which he abundantly filled so that he and his greedy colleagues would wallow in it freely, and freely and carelessly they did. So, if Kufuor’s supporters see Tsikata, Rawlings, and other Ewes as thieves, then it makes it easy for me to tar and feather Mr. Kufuor and his cabal with thicker, blacker, gooier and much more strident choice labels to describe his sticky-finger kleptomania.

The inexcusable connivance of the Kufuor cabal has left us with a highly polarized tribal distrust, a legacy of care-free dishonesty, and a permanent countrywide schism that is allowing “tribo-centrics” on both sides to spew salvos of disgusting filth with the current Ewe versus “Akan” boring petty squabbles that go to all lengths to distract Mahama’s government from implementing its goals to satisfy the real needs of all Ghanaians. The overt exhibition of irrational exuberance of NPP’s showoff chance reign (and I hope it’s one time and one time only), displayed with open theft, arrogance, and bloated extravagance, has undoubtedly left a bitter taste in our mouths and has created the current noisy disturbances by unthinking Ewes and some specific arrogant Akan sub-tribes. Again, you guys make me sick!

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why these two living ex-Presidents, one who carelessly tolerated and later participated in and actively promoted separatist economic interests of his tribe, and the other who consciously institutionalized ethnocentrism and strident parochialism with a conscious intent of ensuring a uni-tribal economic and cultural supremacy bordering on hegemony, why these two Ghanaians (Rawlings and Kufuor) refuse to help the rest of us in their retirements by not seeking solutions to alleviate the explosive conditions they have left us in. By being quiet, are Kufuor and Rawlings relishing the prevailing Asante/Akyem versus Ewe exchanges that have truly become a disturbing retrogression for the whole of Ghana?

Right now, if Kufuor is not comfortably ensconced in his palatial home patting himself on the back, laughing, and musing over his fat Swiss bank accounts and relishing his contrivance of many crooked deals topped with the creation of the EO Group which will, without toil or a single bead of sweat, accrue billions of the oil dollars to him and his criminal partners, then he is on the plane heading somewhere in the world on a trip that will always take him to Switzerland.

Likewise, if Rawlings, who often claims to be poor while securely indemnified from his past atrocities by Ghana’s weak perforative Constitution, is not off somewhere outside Ghana on some self-serving mission, he is uneasily comfortable at home in Ghana living in one of his mansions and riding around in one of his many expensive fortified bullet-proof vehicles that he claims were gifted to him by some faceless “generous friends” while at the same time finding fault with everybody and everything imaginable. I wish I have Rawlings’s friends as my friends too. Anyway, until death, the uneasy always wears the blood-soaked crown!

In the meantime, the Ewe and the sub-Akan hotheads are at each others’ throats either with some old sick retired Judge Kpegah disturbing our peace with his nonsensical frivolous lawsuits in pursuit of Dankwa Akufo-Addo, pressuring him to prove his educational and professional credentials, his personhood, and his identity; or some fickle-minded Twi-speaking persons at home and abroad dogging Rawlings, Tsikata, or any other Ewe they can get their hands on with disgusting unprintable insults.

Now, what can Jeremiah Rawlings and Agyekum Kufuor do? Despite the acrimony that persists between Kufuor and Rawlings, these two personalities can easily prove to Ghanaians that they have the interests of all Ghanaians at heart and that an Ewe ex-President can get along with an Asante ex-President. Of course, we are all aware that Rawlings either directed or presided over the murders of those Akan judges, and the Asante/Akyem camp, the NPP, and Kufuor still find it difficult to let go. We also remember how Kufuor and the NPP tried to get back at Rawlings through his wife by putting Mrs. Agyeman Rawlings on trial for causing financial loss to the state, and Rawlings and his supporters cannot let things be. And the stupid tribal feud goes on.

Yet, I want these two grown “kids” to demonstrate to Ghanaians that they want to put a stop to this current stupidity and bickering between these two tribes by their wild supporters. Supporters, who, despite their good education and hiding behind the ruse that they are playing party politics, have degenerated into rabid sewer rats and have descended deep into the underground gutter of filth and vitriol. Any cooperation between Rawlings and Kufuor can flush out these rats, clean them up of their sullied perceptions and “cranial infestations,” which should go a long way in assuring Ghanaians that we can all get along again. I believe strongly that what all Ghanaians want to see is that we can live in this bubble without desperately gasping for breath as a result of this chuck-hold of tribal division and triviality that is suffocating the rest of us. So, are you two, Kufuor and Rawlings, men enough?

First, both should bury their pride. Then, Rawlings and Kufuor should hold well-publicized public and private luncheons and dinners together, shake hands and hug in public, travel the four corners of the country together, organize unity and reconciliation media events, and give uplifting positive speeches at the same times and in the same venues and promote and emphasize the spirit of tribal tolerance. Can you imagine the kind of positive message such collaboration of these two guys will send to all Ghanaians?

Until Rawlings and Kufuor are ready to display goodwill, brotherhood, and reconciliation between them, just for the sake of the rest of us Ghanaians, I will be tempted to label them NATION WRECKERS. Until then, the street-corner-type roguish thuggish pundits and uncouth biased opinionated “tribo-centrics” both overseas and here at home will continue to whip up tribal war sentiments on television, radio and the internet; they will widen the current Ewe-Asante/Akyem divide that Rawlings baked and Kufuor craftily iced. They will continue to kick up dust over our eyes as if they have real honorable intentions but eventually send us all on the “Road to Kigali” that they evilly paved.

Anyway, when are we going to get a truly tribal-neutral leader again, like the great Kwame Nkrumah?

Good day.