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Opinions of Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Columnist: Bediako, Alexander

What Is It That Rawlings Has To Learn From Kufour

What Is It That Former President Rawlings Has To Learn From Former President Kufour, Mr Asuma Banda?

Sometimes it amazes me when people who are highly placed in society speak with gross ignorance and absence of logic! The recent public advice issued by Asuma Banda gives me a similar dissonance.

He was reported to have said that "Mr. Rawlings could use more tactful and diplomatic means to admonish President John Mahama rather than taking him to cleaners in the media all the time." and that "Mr. Rawlings must learn the statesmanship of Mr. Kufuor, who, in his view, commands respect amongst the top echelons as well as rank and file of the main opposition New Patriotic Party due to his statesmanliness".

Does the commanding of respect amongst the top echelons of our society resolve the problems and challenges Mr. Rawlings is talking about? Without talking openly and honestly, the so called 'top echelons of our society' see all of us as fools! And who is telling Mr. Banda that President Mahama is concerned or worried about Mr. JJ Rawlings' public outcry against the canker that is eating deep into our values and leaving millions of Ghanaians in a state of confusion?

I think Ghanaians will be better served if Mr. Kufour joins Mr. Rawlings in the crusade against corruption and other social challenges that are confronting us as a country; not what Mr. Asuma Banda believes should be the case!

Indeed, what credibility should we place in a man who endorses corruption and described it as something that is as old as Adam? A man who has actually consolidated and institutionalized corruption in Ghana? What is there for Ghanaians and in particularly for Mr. Rawlings to learn from Mr Kufuor? Kaii! What is statesmanship? Is it about those who pretend that all is well with us and receive praises and patronage from those who benefit in one way or the other from them? Statesmanship should be about those who are consistent in fighting the collective course of our society.

If we should go by Mr. Asuma Banda’s own logic or suggestion, how come he, Mr. Banda, did not take his concerns to Mr. Rawlings in private but chose to address Mr. Rawlings through the same medium he is accusing Mr. Rawlings of? This kind of hypocritical posture must not be countenanced in our public political space.

We are familiar with how businessmen and their likes patronised leaders of our time in an attempt to seek favour. But President Mahama prohibited his ministers from receiving hampers last Christmas. Is Alhaji Banda aware of it? I believe President Mahama is happy that Mr. Rawlings is leading the crusade against corruption irrespective of where it is found or practiced; and I think that, that must be the stand of any leader who is interested in fighting corruption!

As Anthony Giddens advises, "political life is nothing without ideals, but ideals are empty if they don’t relate to real possibilities". Let no one deceive you that Mr. Rawlings is doing something wrong; he is in fact, a real national asset. He is not like the sycophants and boot-leaking personalities who we find around our leaders these days. The fight against corruption and other social anomalies is not one man's business and sometimes our leaders need our help. This is why the public frontal approach by Rawlings should be commended, not hypocritically gagged.

By Alexander Bediako