You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2009 02 05Article 157142

Opinions of Thursday, 5 February 2009

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

The NPP Must Act Or Save Us The Rant!!

Go After Rawlings If He Is Guilty!

Not a day goes by without these NPP agent provocateurs disturbing the peace by asking others to either expose Rawlings or call for his investigation. For a while, I just ignored the drivel. Now, I am going to give them a response. Whether they will like it or not is a different story.

When the NPP came to power, some of us begged them to clean house. We asked them to thoroughly investigate Rawlings and his NDC coterie and jail all those who are found wanting. Instead of doing a good job, they went for the low hanging fruit and jailed a few. As I write, all of them have been freed by Kufour. I have never seen such blatant abuse of the presidential power of pardon. This precedent established by Kufour is horrible and a huge setback for our democracy. It also leaves us with the impression that most of the trials were political in nature and aimed to advance NPP political goals. This sacred presidential power is supposed to be used to address special circumstances not wholesale political bargain. Hopefully, it won’t slow the NDC in its effort to clean house and rebuild the trust of our people in their government.

I believe now, as I did then, that Rawlings has a lot to answer for. I have never shied away from asking that the so called holy worrier be made to face the same standards that led to the execution of innocent folks like Felli, Amedume and the rest. If Rawlings can kill people for corruption, I don’t see why his wife for example, should be allowed to buy Nsawam cannery, a government property, for nothing, when he is in power. I don’t care whether she intended to use the factory to send women to the moon or heaven. Given the bullying attitude of her husband and his ruthlessness, who in his right mind could have said no to the ex-first lady? A lot went wrong under the watch of Rawlings and the NPP should have investigated that in a fair and equitable manner. Indeed, many more troubling issues made it critically urgent that Rawlings should be investigated. Never mind his new found wealth as published by the Nigerian magazine (Ovation?). Then there is the education of all his kids overseas! Where did all the money come from? Even the cement scandal!! I know many want answers to these questions.

Now, despite the convincing case for investigating Rawlings, the NPP chose to do nothing. The closest they came to, was the staged reconciliation hearings designed to burnish the image of the NPP, tarnish the image of the NDC and all else, and furnish assets to the kith and kin of the NPP who lost property during the reign of terror by Rawlings. Incontrovertibly, folks like Siaw and B. A. Mensah have their property back but the mastermind of those acts is still free. Yes, a few other non-NPP folks got something back too but they were included just to throw the dogs (bloodhounds) off the scent trail. If you think I am lying, look at how this ex-gratia canard was positioned. When the heat got to these crooks, they reminded us that Rawlings, the same person that they want investigated now, is also to enjoy those same benefits. These people operate by using others as cover. So, the NPP wants us to believe that even though Rawlings is guilty of all the crimes that they allege, he still should get 6 cars, 2 houses, 1 million dollars seed money and a fat vacation from the taxpayers? My friends, you see why the NPP cannot be taken seriously? Now that they are out of power, they want innocent citizens like you and me, to do the dirty work, so they can come back to power and treat us with disdain again. If the NPP had just done the bidding of the people by cleaning house and being good stewards, they will still be in power. We won’t be fooled again by these selfish ingrates.

For 8 bloody years, the NPP had power, cash and the files to go after Rawlings. Not in the form of a witch hunt, but to make sure that he has not looted from us to live in the lap of luxury. What did the NPP do? Absolutely nothing! Instead of manning up and working on behalf of Ghana, they used Rawlings for selfish political gain. These people are so self centered and utterly myopic. The NPP assumed that by demonizing Rawlings with accusations like coup attempts and boom speeches, the NDC will never come back to power. The NPP was never worried about what Ghana could gain if they drew the line in the sand and brought a new era of accountability to the fore. Decent Ghanaians wanted a government that will clean house and do their bidding for them. Of course, the NPP had its own designs on corruption and tribalism even as it continued to demonize Emperor Rawlings. They seem to forget that when people are hungry and they see fat cats mired in corruption all around them, life will not go on as usual. This reminds me of a saying by a tiring mother to her kids. She says, if mama aint happy, aint no one gonna be happy in the house! Sure mama aint happy and our NPP brothers and sisters are sniffing the salt waa waa. “You go talka for sergeant”!! Walai!!

Folks, now, the tide has turned and the NDC is in power purely because of NPP greed and misrule. The NPP gave us the NDC. This is the gospel truth. Why then do these NPP blowhards want people like me to keep calling for the investigation of Rawlings and his crooks for the umpteenth time? Kufour came in and tasted power. No amount of convincing about the need to amend to the constitution and repeal the indemnity clauses appealed to him. Power sweet he thought!! These detractors have either short memories or simply enjoy muddying the water. The reality is that the NDC is firmly in power. Just as the NPP did not go after the rotten nuts among them, the NDC, I doubt, will spend time going after Rawlings. I don’t side with the latter stance but this is Ghana that we are talking about. So in a realistic way, some of us are calling for what is possible. Look, the good news is that cyclical partisan prosecution based on genuine investigations and facts is better than nothing. It is indeed good for Ghana. Obviously, I will like the NDC to go after all criminals from all sides. But will they do it? Your guess is as good as mine. I hope somewhere along the line, we will stop this finger pointing ruse and do what is best for Ghana regardless of partisan stripes. When the elephant loses it umbrella, all hell surely breaks loose! Yes, all hell breaks loose but we will not loose our poise and determined focus till the house is sunlight clean.

The bottom line is that the NPP had a wonderful opportunity to go after Rawlings and his gang. For whatever reason, they failed to do so. Perhaps it was fear, cowardice or lack of foresight. The full blown corruption within NPP, capped by an absent president, made it even harder to go after NDC crooks. If the NPP really thought Rawlings was corrupt, why did they allow him to call Kufour and Nana Addo thieves? I mean at a time when NPP had power? Now they want to saddle us with this Rawlings scare and the need to investigate him. If the NPP with power and cash, could not investigate Rawlings, how do they think people like me can investigate him? Telling the NDC to investigate Rawlings at the moment, is a faint echo in the wilderness called Ghana. The fact that the NPP could not go after Rawlings should not stop some of us from asking that NPP crooks be dealt with ruthlessly. Our focus is on the immediate past. If the NPP comes to power again, it may consider focusing on Rawlings again. For now, we want house cleaning by the Mills regime. Here is the thinking, if Mills cleans house, it will raise the stakes and make subsequent governments aim high. It will also make it uncomfortable for Mill’s men to steal even as they point fingers. The spotlight is on the NPP quislings and we will not be distracted by these Rawlings catcalls.

Let me lastly say to my NPP friends. If you left Ghana with a functioning democracy and the rule of law, why can’t you use the sanitized and potent system to go after Rawlings if you think or know he is guilty? If the system is sanguine and sound, go use it. Ask the AG to investigate Rawlings. Prove to everyone that even the opposition in Ghana can have a say in a post NPP democracy Ghana. After all, is the NPP not the best thing to happen to Ghana since slice bread? Go for it NPP!! Perhaps living fruitfully in a system that you help create is the best test case for political reality. Please leave us alone for the moment as we assess NPP damage to our dear county Ghana. Ours is the business of Ghana and we will side with anyone who has our country at heart. So long as you show love for mother Ghana and do her bidding, you can count on me. Some of us will not stop till we get this country moving in the right direction. Please join us and stop the distractions. I love Ghana, don’t you?

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman

(Also known as the double edge sword)