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Opinions of Thursday, 11 October 2012

Columnist: Abaare, Cletus

Will Rawlings Sacrifice His shining Legacy?

…to gratify wife’s wayward ambition

By Cletus Abaare

Many political pundits, social commentators and Ghanaians are yet tight-lipped and trapped in an unfriendly drama of whether the Ex-president, Ft.Lt. Jerry John Rawlings of the republic of Ghana will agree and willingly put into gambling his hard earned legacy in the history of Ghana’s politics and West Africa at large.

For decades now Mr. Rawlings has been rated as the most prominent politician and Leader and role model to many people in Ghana but unfolding events surrounding his political status as the founder of the National Democratic Congress are indicative that the Charismatic and astute politician and leader is ready to give freely away his respect, honour and love from the people who made him who he is today.

Over the past few months Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings have been linked to the formation of the National Democratic Party, a supposed break-away party of the NDC, which was founded and nest by himself and won several democratically conducted elections until now.

Noted for his principality and justice nature, he has mysteriously remained silent on how his name is being used to push for the publicity of a party that cannot stand the test of time and that can only but cause destruction to his personality admired across the African Continent.

His spokesperson Kofi Adams is also unable to clear the mysterious air building around the respected name of his boss of being involved in the formation such a party that will definitely not make any impact in any election in the country now and forever.

Before going to press yesterday, there some suggestion in the media that Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has now gotten the support of her husband Jerry John Rawlings in her quest to destroy her own earned image in the name of competing for Ghana’s Presidency come December on the ticket of the National Democratic Party (NDP).

According to the reports Mr. Rawlings who till now had been silent of the formation of the new party, said he will support any political party which he finds is serious about morality and that he will, as he has many other times, support Nana Konadu’s venture.

The founder of the NDC allegedly remarked “To be quite honest, when you’ve walked in the shoes she has been through in 1979 etc, you might probably do what she is doing. I will support her as I do a good number of candidates.”

His wife, he said, has been very much involved in Ghana political culture for a very long time and deserves a shot at the country’s top office. In case of a loss, it will at least be a learning opportunity and investment for the future.

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings first intended to represent the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the presidential elections and competed with then favourite, John Evans Atta Mills, but lost woefully to him at the party’s national congress.

Soon was news of a breakaway group forming the NDP. Her name was associated with the group in its advent but it took some time before there was any indication she was remotely sympathetic to the new party.

“I am more in favour of parties that have high moral principles, if you walked in her shoes and the fact that many of these parties have lost the moral high ground, you will understand why she is probably doing what she is doing. But even if it does not amount to much … it’s an investment for the future,” the media reports stated

But this, if is true will certainly be one of the very distasteful decision a hero of Rawlings standing would attempt to engage himself in and is a very bad road to ending his hard earned image and reputation he has built over years. It will also not certainly be to the interest of his many admirers since nobody would like to joint a party that will never win an election.

The fact is Rawlings a seasoned politician and must not leave his teaming followers and run from a battle. Unlike many other leaders in Ghana's history, he led the country through the difficult years of economic recovery and succeeded in giving back to Ghanaians their national pride. Chazan (1983) observes "without Rawlings' strength of character and unwavering determination, Ghana would not have survived the Economic Recovery Programs (ERPs) of the 1980s put in place by the ruling Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC)."

Rawlings also instituted a transition from authoritarianism to multi-party democracy by attempting to decentralize the functions of government from Accra to other parts of the country. When the PNDC established the People's Defence Committees (PDCs), a system of cooperatives, it became a unique move never before seen in Ghana's political economy.

In 1992, Ghana held both presidential and parliamentary elections. Rawlings, who had initially resisted multi-party politics, was elected a democratic president and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) won an overwhelming parliamentary majority. The next elections were held in December 1996 and this marked a milestone in the fledgling democracy in Ghana; for the first time in the country's political history, an elected government actually completed its term in office, had an election contest, and secured a renewed mandate in a democratic manner. Through it all, the constant theme in Ghana's political and economic development has a lot to do with the Rawlings factor.

Many people in the country and across would waiting to see the actual standing of Mr Rawlings. Stay tuned