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Opinions of Thursday, 23 July 2009

Columnist: Kamil, Abubakari

Rejoinder: I Blame Rawlings

By Abubakari M. Kamil

I read the article, “I blame J.J. Rawlings” by Abdulai Hanan R. Confidence on ghanaweb.com dated 19th July, 2009 with a mixed feeling. Indeed, I wasn’t privileged enough to have read the said article by Sarpong Justice but I do believe that if Abdulai Hanan’s claim is anything to go by, then the former should be castigated with all the seriousness it deserves.

Too frequently, Ghanaians refer to the economic development of countries like Malaysia and South Korea without recourse to how these countries have risen above tribalism, sectionalism, religiosity and any other nonsensical associate that continue to deepen our differences as a people. It is significant to state that, in 1957, the CPP, then the ruling government becoming conscious of the evidence of sectionalism, religiosity and ethnicity into our political arena; a very perilous advancement, passed the Avoidance of Discrimination Bill which outlawed parties and political groupings based on religiosity and ethnicity. It is perhaps, refreshing that as part of the democratic system in Ghana, a political party must show proof of having offices across the country before it is given a certificate to operate. These underscore the commitment and preparedness of this country to eschew tribalism inter alia but rather ensconce unity among the citizenry.

For me, I do not believe any group of Ghanaians is more superior to others and any attempt to do that would plunge this country into a pandemonium. There are great and valuable lessons we could learn today from the mistakes of Rwanda, Somalia and the likes.

Again, the utter as regards our first couples’ outfit during president Obama’s visit must end now! These cheap talks emphasize our love and penchants for appearing what we are not. In other words the condition of our economy should reflect on every aspect of our lives. We need as a people to encourage simplicity at the upper echelons of our government and make constructive criticisms rather than these subjective and despicable analyses of personalities that direct us to no where but instill a selfish pride into our leaders to live beyond “our” means

While I acquiesce to the admonition of Abdulai Hanan, I’m confident he could have made an excellent submission without his last paragraph.

“Anyway, I do not blame this Phantom Sarpong but Rawlings. If Rawlings had not given up to democracy, there would have been nothing like 1992 Constitutions not to talk of Freedom of Speech enshrined in it. Today, anyone can vomit at the most pleasing sight. Very pathetic!”

What was his rationale? That Rawlings ought to have continued as a military leader? I beg to differ. History is there to educate those of us who are living and to chart a new path for the young. By all standards, Rawlings martial regime, particularly the 1981 coup d'état is arguably the worse that has happened to Ghana since independence. It was marked by gross human rights abuse and anything horrific you can imagine. It is never justifiable to come to power through the gun otherwise all the democratically elected governments this country has ever known, at one time or the other warranted a military intervention.

Indisputably, Rawlings has given Ghana the benefit of his leadership and his position in the Ghanaian history however intensely contested is well secured; but let no one be misguided that he has divine right to Ghana.

I can only understand Abdulai Hanan’s caption since the mention of Rawlings makes it catchy and most likely to be read by either the latter’s fanatics or foes and consequently left him with no preference than to end the way he did which certainly taint his background and beliefs – taking from his previous articles – as a lover of democracy and the rule of law.

From the foregoing, I congratulate Abdulai Hanan for him writing ability but quick to summon him to try as much as possible to come out with unambiguous and distasteful articles which does not reconcile with his personality.

The author is a former Student Leader, from the University for Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus. He is now a Community Development Officer of the Opportunities Industrializations Centers International, OICI, Tamale. Email: kingkmal@yahoo.com. Cell: +233-244-068660