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Opinions of Saturday, 26 May 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

This world isn’t fair my brethren: Did Rawlings really call Kufuor an evil geezer?

I must admit, I became numb momentarily upon skimming through former President Rawlings’s chilling innuendoes and aspersions aimed at former President Kufuor and former President Mahama (See: Kufuor is evil, Mahama a rogue-Rawlings Jabs; Abusuafmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 25/05/2018).

Former President Rawlings is reported to have opined that former President Kufuor is “evil”, and former President Mahama is a “rogue”, who wilfully destroyed the country.

Ex-President Rawlings pontificated bizarrely: “I know with my integrity when I die, I will go to heaven but when I see these corrupt leaders, I will ask permission from God and flog them. “If they don’t leave heaven for me, I will go and leave the heavens and join Satan in hell because I cannot stay in the same place with them (Abusuafmonline.com).”

Well, what can I say? I am really struggling to find any euphemistic words that will depict my irreversible puzzlement. I am indeed dumbfounded. Wonders shall never end, they say.

In fact, anyone who has a passing acquaintance of the revoltingly ugly events which took place during the 1979 and 1981 truculent and inconsequential coup d’états would be extremely surprised to hear that former President Rawlings is evocatively passing judgement on former President Kufuor and former President Mahama.

After all, hasn’t it written: thou shall not judge? And, didn’t the greatest teacher even rebuke his disciples over their hypocritical condemnation of the adulterous woman?

Jesus Christ indeed admonished his disciples when they brought a supposedly sinful woman before him: "he, who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

I would thus beseech former President Rawlings to keep passing judgement on others if he is without a sin.

Well, I am not going to pass judgment anyhow, but for the sake of balanced annotation and to set the records straight, I shall grub into the melancholic and regrettable events which took place under former President Rawlings’s despotic Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) regimes respectively.

It is important to note that Rawlings bamboozled onto the scene under the pretext of redeeming Ghanaians from the existential economic mismanagement and wanton corruption, but he couldn’t even get rid of the rampant sleazes and corruption in his PNDC and NDC administrations, let alone the entire nation.

The founder of NDC, J. J. Rawlings, paradoxically, goes about preaching probity and accountability, but fails to practice. For isn’t it somehow ironic that someone who bamboozled onto the scene under the pretext of eliminating the widespread sleazes and corruption would turn to a fantastically corrupt former Nigerian president Abacha for a hard cash gift?

For more news on Nigeria’s former president Abacha’s alleged gift to J.J Rawlings, see: (Nigeria’s Abacha gave me $2 million and not $5 million-Rawlings: citifmonline.com/.../nigerias-abacha-gave-me-2m-not-5m-rawlings-conf... ; ‘Abacha’s $2 million gift to Rawlings: Vitus Azeem is only after the truth’,: www.ghanaweb.com/.../Abacha-s-2m-gift-to-Rawlings-Vitus-Azeem-is-o... ; ‘Rawlings must return Abacha’s $2m gift-Nigerian journalist’: www.ghanaweb.com/.../Rawlings-must-return-Abacha-s-2m-gift-Nigeria...).

It would be recalled that after deposing General Akuffo and his Supreme Military Council (SMC) government, J. J. Rawlings and some mutinous officers went ahead and formed their own government which they named as the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and appointed Flt. Rawlings as their chairman in 1979.

Rawlings and his coup making minions vowed to lustrate the country of the alleged rampant sleazes, corruption and social injustices which instigated their coup d’état.

So in their desperate attempt to purge the country of the perceived injustices, they carried out what they termed “house cleaning exercise”,--they dealt with perceived offenders capriciously.

The villainous cabals went ahead with their intentions and savagely murdered prominent people including General Fred Akufo, General Kutu Acheampong, General Akwasi Afrifa amongst others.

In fact, after annihilating those they perceived to be a threat to their hidden agenda, they decided to organise general elections for political parties in the same year-1979.

Subsequent to the successful conduct of general elections, Dr Hilla Limann and his People’s National Party (PNP) emerged victorious in 1979.

Regrettably, however, Rawlings and his cohorts did not give Dr Liman the breathing space to carry out his mandated responsibility.

Unfortunately, Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters unfairly kept criticising Dr Limann’s administration for what they perceived as economic mismanagement, until he, Rawlings, decided to overthrow Dr Limann.

And to fulfil his lifetime ambition of becoming the head of state through the back door, J. J. Rawlings and some obstreperous army officers took arms and succeeded in overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of Dr Hilla Limann on 31st December 1981. That was indeed a treasonable offence.

Rawlings subsequently formed a government which he called the Provisional national Defence Council (PNDC) and enstooled himself as the chairman.

Although the PNDC administration back then assembled some seasoned politicians, the vast majority of the military personnel who headed important Ministries were novices in the political scene.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, Rawlings’s administration adopted a seemingly calamitous Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), which was introduced under the auspices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Regrettably, the vast majority of tangible national assets, including the state owned enterprises were allegedly sold to friends and families for pittance. His own wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings was reported to have bought the Nsawam cannery.

In practice, the apparent unfavourable Economic Recovery Programme culminated in a catalogue of hardships. And, on top of the harsh programmes and policies which threatened the economic fundamentals, the population had to brace itself for food shortages, a situation which was comparable to the concurrent Ethiopian famine that resulted in millions of deaths.

Besides, the initiation of the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD) did nothing to improve the unfortunate situation as untold hardships permeated many households.

Starvation, in all honesty, visited the vast majority of Ghanaians, and hence developing revoltingly ugly collar bones which the humorous Ghanaians renamed as “Rawlings Chain”. That was indeed the pernicious extent of the hunger.

In their weird attempt to get rid of sleazes and corruption, many Ghanaians were unjustifiably murdered or tortured mercilessly for apparent infinitesimal offences.

Regrettably, some market women were stripped naked in the public and whipped for either hauling their products or selling on high prices. While their male counterparts were wickedly shaved with broken bottles and whipped for offences that would not even warrant a Police caution in a civilized society.

As if that was not enough, three eminent high court judges and a prominent army officer were barbarically murdered by PNDC henchmen on 30th June 1982 for carrying out their constitutionally mandated duties.

They were indeed murdered on inconsequential reasons.

The PNDC apologists savagely murdered the three eminent high court judges because their judgement did not go in their favour. According to the National Reconciliation’s Council (NRC) official report in 2003, not less than 200 people vanished without a trace. They were callously exterminated while carrying out their normal day-to-day living activities. Ghana’s revolution days under the jailbreaking founders of the NDC, so to speak, could be likened to: “in the China of “the Great Helmsman,” Kim Il Sung’s Korea, Vietnam under “Uncle Ho” , Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah”.

Even though Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters supplanted power under the pretext of acting as a peripheral Panacea, they slyly spent a little over eleven years before lifting the ban on political parties in 1992.

Rawlings, as a matter of fact, succumbed to internal and external political pressures for him to step down and allow multi-party democracy.

Subsequently, he lifted the ban on political parties in 1992 and resigned from the military simultaneously so as to contest election.

Following his retirement from the military, Rawlings and his jailbreaking cabals went ahead and formed a political party, which they named as the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a progeny of PNDC.

To the amazement of discerning Ghanaians, the power intoxicated founder of the NDC, J. J. Rawlings appeared as a chameleon by idiosyncratically metamorphosing into a civilian president in 1992.

As a matter of fact, former President Rawlings memorable achievement was to send us to the membership of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).