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Opinions of Sunday, 13 June 2010

Columnist: Sidibe, Abdul

Rawlings: a huge liability to the NDC part 2

Mr. Rawlings rants and demands from the current government are not just illogical and unreasonable, they also call in to question his principles and gratefulness. His unnecessary attacks on the Mill administration have given impetus to his political distracters and critics about his motives and how he perceives the future political and economic development of the country.

The former President’s scuffles with Professor Mills started when he tried to impose his preferred running mate down Mills’ throat. Mr. Rawlings’ reason, somewhat reasonable, was that there is the need to promote women in national politics. But equally reasonable was the counter argument that the party should be interested in winning the elections than just appeasing a constituency in the country. Besides, Vice President Mahama was more popular among the voters NDC needed to attract in order to win the elections. In that tense debate in 2007, Mills prevailed. The NDC, after being pronounced dead by many pundits is in government again.

Also, he got most of what want from the party. His demand was that women should have prominence in the Mills government. The party chose the country’s first woman Speaker of Parliament, and the first woman Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Ironically, the candidate he suggested to the party as running mate is the current Attorney General. What else does Rawlings want either than his unrelenting desire to impose his wishes on the government and publicly an NDC it when those wishes are not met.

It is also important to note that in almost every major decision comforting the party; Rawlings was always on the wrong side of the debate. Just as he was wrong when he refused to compromise and allow for a competitive congress to select the NDC flag bearer for the 2000 election. He choose the Swedru declaration instead, and that back fired on the party leading to the formation of the Reform Movement and the subsequent NDC lost of the 2000 election.

Mr. Rawlings arrogantly thinks that he was solely responsible for the NDC 2008 victory. As result, he wrongly assumes that the ruling government owes him everything. But he failed to recognize that it was precisely because of the lack of him in the 2008 campaign that ensured the party’s success. When the party placed it 2000 and 2004 electioneering campaign on Mr. Rawlings’ shoulders, they lost both elections.

In fact the NPP defined 2000 and 2004 election campaigns as referendums on Rawlings, and anytime he spoke he was mocked and insulted with indignation. His image sank to its lowest during those periods. In the early 2000s it was a travesty to be associated with Rawlings or the NDC. The mere mention of Mr. Rawlings on radio elicited insult from hundreds of callers. Those who supported the party, especially on university campus hide their party affiliations. We were students at the University of Ghana at time. We remembered how the NDC got one vote in Commonwealth hall in the 2000 elections and the Vandals went looking for the lone voter.

The people Rawlings is attacking and insulting in public today are the ones that revived and revitalized the NDC after the 2000 election lost, and as a result help rescue his name and image from total obliteration by the NPP government. Dr. Tony Adu, Mahama Ayariga, Haruna Iddrisu, John Mahama, and Dr. Kumbo just to mention a few of them, are the ones who go on radio and television stations to defend the party and Rawlings sometimes oddly. There are those who acted as party agents, travelled the length and breadth of the country to campaign, and acted as party soldiers on the ground. These individuals deserve some appreciation, if not praise from Mr. Rawlings. The attacks on them and the government is an act of ungratefulness on the part of former president. The attack on them is complete betrayal of eight years of effort with limited resources. It is a betrayal of Tsatsu and others who suffered eight years of legal torment from the NPP.

There are those who left the party after 2000. Some chose a different career path and left politics all together. Most stayed with the party, but decided to disengage from its day to day activities. Those who chose not just to stay in the party, but get actively involved in it deserve to be rewarded and not attacked and insulted by the party founder at no provocation what so ever.

The silence of the party leadership on the actions and public pronouncement of the former president is deafening. If attempts are not made to call him to order he will destroy the party and in so doing damage himself. It is in the NDC’s best interest to curtail Mr. Rawlingses. He is undermining party unity and cohesion, the two ingredients needed for any election victory. The NDC leadership should please end this cult of Rawlings and bring some sanity in the party.

The annoying aspect of this is that whiles Rawlings was spewing his unwarranted venom at the administration in Tamale. Some people were wearing T-shirts urging his wife to contest the NDC primary against a sitting NDC president. Rawlings was oblivious to the signal he is sending Ghanaians about himself and his lack of grace. Little did he know that he using June 4th anniversary to campaign for his family. Needless to say that if the principles of June 4th were so important to the country, it will not be used as a political campaigning platform for the Rawlings family.

But Rawlings, it seems, is not politically savvy. He claims he believes in the core principles of June 4th. But yet he was the primary violator its principles by stage the 31st December coup and unsitting a constitutionally elected government through the force of arms. Is he not as corrupt, if not more corrupt than the people he much hate? He could remove his military uniform and contest election in the third republic. The fact he chose to use the force of arms instead tells a lot about his so-called probity and accountability than it does the corruption of those he attack.

Rawlings need to be told categorically that those who defended him in the past did that not because they see him as a mini God. But it was the legacy of the NDC they are protecting.

Rawlings is such an ungrateful person. His lack of principles is overwhelming; if not, he wouldn’t need torch light to see in day light those who stood with him in darkness.

Abdul Sidibe

agolumusah@yahoo.com