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Opinions of Friday, 23 March 2007

Columnist: Oto, Kwadjo

Rawlings' accountability vs Kufuor's accountability II

President Kufuor has consistently demonstrated his commitment to make him and his government ACCOUNTABLE. It will be recalled that the NDC MP for Nadowli West and Minority leader, Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin dragged the whole President to CHRAJ on allegation of corruption of which the Minority leader himself knowing that he has no case later bowed out of the case. This is ACCOUNTABILITY at its best, for a sitting President to answer ACCOUNTABILITY call by the opposition leader in parliament. This is very rare in our political history and even beyond.

On the other hand, when NPP minority in parliament then demanded that the so called crusader of ACCOUNTABILITY, Mr. Rawlings should answer the US$5million corruption booty from the former Nigerian State looter Sani Abacha, Mr. Rawlings refused. Mr Rawlings (executor of 3 former head of States over corruption) together with the then NDC majority in parliament plus the then speaker of parliament swore heaven and earth that it would be over their dead bodies that Mr. Rawlings (President then) would give account of that Abacha booty. Mr Rawlings did not only break his vow of making himself ACCOUNTABLE and strengthening the notion of ACCOUNTABILITY and PROBITY but also took corruption beyond the shores of Ghana thereby encouraging corruption in Nigeria. In this case, the prophet and the prosecutor of PROBITY and ACCOUNTABILITY vehemently refused to make himself ACCOUNTABLE.

Consistently, President Kufuor has become the citadel of true ACCOUNTABILITY by making him and his government ACCOUNTABLE, establishing new institutions in charge of ACCOUNTABILITY such as Office of ACCOUNTABILITY, Serious Fraud Office and strengthening existing institutions. Mr. Rawlings after crippling the media and injecting fear into the people of Ghana went ahead to debilitate the judiciary by killing some of the judges and torturing others. As part of his agenda, Mr. Rawlings consciously weakened all the institutions that would make him ACOUNTABLE after killing, jailing and displacing many as part of his so called ACCOUNTABILITY campaign. On 6th March 1994, Mr. Rawlings used such an important occasion as Independence Day and called for exodus jailing of journalist. What for, Mr. Rawlings? So that no one can hold you ACCOUNTABLE? All these were indeed, miscarriage of the notion of ACCOUNTABILITY and PROBITY at the hands of the crusader, Mr. Rawlings.

President Kufuor in his continuous demonstration as the quintessence of ACCOUNTABILITY and PROBITY took the principle beyond the borders of Ghana and became the first African President to make himself ACCOUNTABLE by acceding to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The APRM makes President Kufuor the pacesetter and the true crusader of ACCOUNTABILITY and PROBITY not only in Ghana but on the whole African continent. I am sure this even affected his elevation as the AU Chairman. This Mr. Rawlings can never do and will never do but on the contrary he took corruption to the international level by encouraging the former President of Nigeria Sani Abacha to loot his country.

Mr. Rawlings after whipping women naked in public, burning others with tires around their necks, killing, jailing, bottle shaving and displacing others again swore heaven and earth not to give ACCOUNT of how he pays his children school fees abroad, the bullet proof land cruisers and the swollen oversees bank accounts. Even when constitutional ACCOUNTABILITY body like CHRAJ found members of his government guilty, Mr. Rawlings who stole power by force, organised elections, supervised the elections and handed over power to himself, actually issued a white paper to cover offences he had killed some people for perpetuating that same offence.

This is an answer Mr. Rawlings gave to a question in an interview with the international newsmagazine, NEWSWEEK, which was published on April 17, 2000. Will you leave office with any regrets or ambitions unfulfilled? This was his answer “I regret that I could not do more for my country and people than I have been able to do”. Mr. Rawlings killed and jailed our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters as part of his policy of making people ACCOUNTABLE for what they could not do for Ghana. This he promised to do but failed through his own confession. But President Kufuor’s NPP government has not killed him or jailed him. What Mr. Rawlings and the NDC should know is that making people ACCOUNTABLE is not by firing squad, public flogging, identification hair cut or jailing people through kangaroo courts.

Article 50 of the NDC’s party constitution actually set out June 10 as a recognised ACCOUNTABILITY day. Even that the only thing the half Ghanaian Mr. Rawlings knows is to execute full blooded Ghanaians as part of his one sided fake ACCOUNTABILITY notion but refused to make himself ACCOUNTABLE when the axe fell on him. In fact Mr. Rawlings as a President was a big mistake.

As the biblical saying goes, I put before you today good and evil, but I will urge you to choose good. Fellow Ghanaians, I put before you today Mr. Rawlings’ NDC government and President Kufuor’s NPP government. But I will entreat you to choose NPP government come 2008 so that as a country, we will not go through what we went through under the umbrella of former President Rawlings.

Mr. Jerry Boom as he calls himself was indeed a disaster and an accident as Ghanaians we could have avoided. But like we did when he hid behind Prof. Mills to be voted for in 2000 and 2004, let us be mindful of the fact that Mr. Rawlings and the NDC are a big disaster and accident we are going to avoid in 2008

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