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Opinions of Friday, 23 June 2017

Columnist: Andrews Krow

Rawiling's influence lingers in Ghana many years after his retirement

Although Jerry Rawlings is on official retirement,his history and happenings in the country suggest that he could still play potent role in the country's politics.

Since his earliest days in power, Mr Rawlings has demonstrated that he doesn't necessarily needs powerful titles to exert reasonable control over the nation's politics.

In his party, much of his influence may be maintained by officials who owe their careers to him and are closely aligned to his philosophy.

People who years ago struggled to tarnish his reputation have suddenly come to accept his philosophy and have become the leading apostles of his doctrines.

He occupies a huge and enviable position in our history and still making serious impact on our contemporary politics.

Seen by many as controversial, Mr Rawlings has over the years adhered strictly to certain principles and tenets which have protected his political status both in Ghana and on the global stage. His,peasant values and egalitarian ideals, attracted the masses to his side and has enjoyed that warm political love from the 70s a marriage which is difficult to break.

The orchestrated lies and fabrications at the National Reconciliation Commission and invitations to appear before the BNI could not dwindle the love the masses have for him, walking through the airport holding his luggage as a,result of taking revoking all his diplomatic courtesies couldn't weaken his base. How relevant is Jerry Rawlings to our contemporary politics?

For sometime now the man has been quiet though intermittently,throw out few of his jabs which have come to be known as " boom" and anytime occasions where he speaks draws closer,his party members remember the existence of Yahweh, go on their knees to pray for God's intervention for the oldman not to release ballistic missiles.

Opponents of his party the NPP especially, also fast for days for Jerry to release punches on his for them to use as propaganda soundbites. That is how influential he is and will remain. Among Rawlings's key achievements is the welding of an almost fractious Ghana into a truly unitary state defeating subversionists who were sponsored by some self centered politicians.

A young military officer who was able to lead a government that transformed an almost collapsed economy into one of the best on the continent.

I remember the common jargon Ghanaians used during his earliest days "Rawlings Chain" Ghanaians went through hell under Limann and their situation worsened when Rawlings took over because of the bushfires, exodus of our professionals to neighbouring countries etc but finally, the chains became gold ornaments and beautiful smiles began showing on the faces of Ghanaians.

RAWLINGS AND THE NDC

This is another controversial subject difficult to tackle but let me try my best. He is the founder and has over the years played that role dexterously.

To the founder, he sees systematic weaknesses,not all is smooth sailing and to him,the party he bequeathed to his people remains somewhat brittle opaque and exclusive. In his last June 4th address,he called on his,party supporters to recapture the probity and accountability principle to revamp the pillars of the party. But he surprised all Ghanaians by staying calm throughout the period, he focused more on rebuilding the party which has helped to energize the rank and file.

The irony is that, some of the people who are vying to contest for the Presidential candidate slot, pretentiously try to draw closer to the founder to gain his support, and to also push their hidden agenda. Some of these latter day apostles of Rawlings, were the people who few years ago, led the chastisement crusade against the founder. Usual of him, he is just watching the political arena steadily from his Tefle base and will accommodate all who will reach him for his blessings. That is how influential the man is in our contemporary politics external and intra.

RAWLINGS AND THE NPP

The man who was once the number one enemy of elements within the NPP,the man who was seen as a threat to their survival so did all within their means to wipe him off, has suddenly become their apostle Paul, the scales have been removed in Damascus and his messages and sermons are recorded and kept sacredly. The NPP now sees his statements as the most potent political tool against the NDC. Nana Addo thanked him during his first address together with Kojo Tsikata and the NDC folks went mad. But the question is, do you think it was right and appropriate for Nana to have mentioned their names assuming without admitting that they played clandestine role to support his campaign?

No. No because, he should have known the likely consequences but he did that for strategic reasons and many fell for that without finding out the motives behind that statement. He played them against their party folks and to have a psychological grips over them but trust Jerry Hahah " you lie" he will explode at the appropriate time.

They still using every available means to neutralise the man but it won't materialise knowing what the man represents. They will invite him to seminars, make him main speaker etc all to play on his instincts but he will jump over the trap. Already, one of his former ardent critics Nana Addo has conferred the title "the most honest politician ever" on Rawlings which is documented and sealed.

I will continue in my next episode but my plea to all who try or are struggling to wash their tainted dresses using the powerful image of Rawlings to thread carefully. He is, above political petty politics, he commands huge respect which must be guided and protected and trust me soon we shall see golden bust of this great African on display for sale at our departmental stores and at various places on the continent. His adversaries may succeed playing their mischief but can never deface his powerful image and enviable legacies.