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Opinions of Friday, 19 March 2010

Columnist: Ahiabor, Kwame

Rawlings Stop Hogging the Mic

In my view, Rawlings and Nkrumah are the most recognizable personalities Ghana has produced. I respect Rawlings for handing over power in 2001 without a fight and I also respect his effort to get his party back into power. I remember him being the first public figure to arrive in Tain during the 2008 elections.

However, his criticism of Mills and his ability to run the country is beginning to rub me the wrong way. Rawlings is acting like Allen Iverson. In 2009, the former 4 time NBA scoring champion signed with the Memphis Grizzlies. The coach of the Grizzlies decided that Iverson would not play with the starting lineup. Iverson became a distraction to the team. He started voicing his displeasure in the media and ended up leaving the team because he could not start. Rawlings is becoming a distraction much like Allen Iverson.

Rawlings wants things done a certain way but President Mills seems to differ with the Rawlings’ way. I don’t think Bill Clinton agrees with everything Obama does. I can bet you Bill Clinton doesn’t agree with the way Obama is handling the healthcare issue in the U.S. but you will never ever hear him go on and on about the way it.

Rawlings keeps harping on the injustices in the last administration. Come on people, Rawlings has no right to talk about past injustices period. If he feels someone from the previous administration unfairly treated him, then he should take the person to court and let the slow legal system in Ghana compensate him. I’ll just keep my comments on the “Who born dog?” statement he made to myself because he is a senior citizen.

At the end of the day, whether its NDC or NPP, we all want what is best for Ghana. Mills has shown that he has what it takes to be elected president just like Rawlings, Kufour and those before them. As the founder of the party, Rawlings needs to stop putting their party business out in the streets. It only gives the opposition more to work with. There is only one mic and anytime Rawlings speaks, he takes away from what the Mills Government has to say. This is my suggestion for Rawlings:

1. Achimota Secondary School has a health crisis going on. Please focus your energy on trying to fix it. As a Akora, I have not heard Rawlings or his wife talk about it.

2. The JSS/SSS system needs to be fixed. I don’t know if this would mean scaling down the curriculum or what but adding your voice to that issue will probably help.

3. University of Development Studies (UDS) needs more infrastructures to facilitate learning on campus and you can help raise funds in and outside of Ghana.

Anytime Rawlings gives a sound bite, it takes away from any important sound bite President Mills or any member of his government can give. If Rawlings loves Ghana as much as he loves hearing himself, he would focus his energy on building better educational institutions to help the youth. Rawlings’s criticism of President Mills reminds me of Kayne West running onto the stage when Taylor Swift was giving her acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs. Jerry John Rawlings, stop hogging the microphone!!!!!

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