Feature Article of Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

Master J. John Rawlings, A Problem Child Of Ghana's Politics?

By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.*

There is an insufferable sense of injustice going on in Ghana, and right in

the eye of this storm, is Jeremiah John Rawlings. Young Master Jeremiah John

Rawlings, a veritable spoilt child who started smoking pot smuggled to

school from cadet connections in Koforidua, at a very tender age, has grown

up to become a problem child of our precious democratic dispensation*.* It

may be very instructive to go down the memory lane and analyse how we as a

people came to this, and what is the way out of this national political

quagmire. I shall find enough time and space for this in my next article on

this subject. This would definitely help to buttress my general point that

somehow, the NPP could also be a part of the Rawlings problem, instead of

being systematically a part of the solution, but I must confess my haste: I

am more anxious to bring to the fore, some of the urgent contradictions that

help to strengthen the Rawlingses, in spite of ourselves. The Rawlingses

enjoy their notoriety through the exploitation of the energies of even their

political adversaries. For, just as the strength of the park is the wolf,

the strength of the wolf is the park. A divided opposition to the Rawlingses

play to their advantage. Even at a time where they appear to be at their

politically weak point in their chequered carriers as neocolonialist

fascists dressed in revolutionary garbs, they seem to thrive on the suicidal

stupidity of some of the NPP leading members and supporters. The Rawlingses

have been the beneficiaries of cowardly, hypocritical, and ill-considered

rounds of applause, when it suited these politically naive individuals.

Words from Rawlings such as "go slow", "greedy bastards", "Team B",

"Konongo Kaya", etc have taken the centre-stage of the political diction of

most NPP supporters, as if they are not creative enough to make their own

slogans. (But, hey, this is a democracy, do what you want, but do not

complain when the guy feels too proud for your liking. This is just my

humble thought.) As they recite and parrot the Rawlingses with glee, they

become surprised at the level of confidence of the Rawlingses and the

impudence which comes with this.

As though this was not enough, people who should know better, prominent

among them, is the Honourable Dan Botwe, who even accuses the government of

not treating the Rawlingses well. Unless, he had his tongue in the cheeks,

such a development is extremely unfortunate. I think it is very important

for Dan to extract his tongue from his cheeks and come out in clear everyday

language, what he wants the Mills Administration to do with the Rawlingses.

I personally find the Mills Administration treatment of the Rawlingses is

quantum levels far better than the way the Rawlingses treated former heads

of state in this country. Apart from ex-President Hilla Liman, who was

allowed to live in poverty and relative peace, (albeit, amidst pushing his

wonky and rickety Toyota pick-up truck often on the busy Teshie-Nungua

road!) the rest were all literally tied to the stake and shot until dead by

firing squad, and without the slightest resemblance of due process or even a

semblance of a trial. Even the death of the former president Liman could be

blamed squarely on their shoulders, as the failure and or refusal by the

Rawlings-led PNDC to pay for medical expenses and prescriptions of the poor

man, did nothing to improve his health. Dan Botwe was very comfortable with

the treatment meted to the Rawlingses by the NPP Administration, which was

even harsher than what the NDC appears to be doing, so where is Dan coming

from? My own worry in all this is who benefits from this nonsense? I have a

lot of respect for Dan, and I am sure he will not hesitate to correct

himself if he actually said so.

There is not doubt that some NPP sympathisers anxious to clinch victory in

the 2012 elections have been unable to hide their pleasure at the developing

rift within the NDC. This is normal. The same applies to the NDC attitude

towards the Akufo-Addo Versus Alan Kyeremanteng rift, otherwise known as the

Titanic Akyem-Ashanti Mafioso Conflict. As one commentator put is, Konadu is

going to make the Akufo Addo victory look like another operation cold chop.

The metaphor sent some shivers down the spine. One rule of the great

fictional detective which hardly fails, when resolving crimes, is to ask the

question, who benefits? Are the Rawlingses now ready to mortgage a run-away

party to their arch-rivals and land their buttocks in butter? Sounds like a

reasonable deal, if they know what they are doing. Is the NPP capitalizing

on the controversy between Rawlings and Mills? Of course, who would not do

that? A strategic and opportunistic support for the Rawlingses may sound

attractive to those in the NPP who cannot see beyond their very flat noses.

What they face in the long run is the risk of legitimizing a fascist

dictator who has lost all legitimacy, and sending the wrong signals for

posterity. At a time when what is needed is more pressure on them to shut up

and remove themselves from the public space and allow Ghanaians to use our

precious national attention on more pressing issues, it is very wrong to

urge them on in their stupidities in any way!

Who is benefiting from this criminal inferno with specific plans for a new

construction? Instead of joking about the credit ratings of the Rawlingses

and which house suits them better, has any one thought of a maximum security

jail? I wonder why it has not occurred to any one that perhaps the reason

why they have no home is because they belong to nowhere other than prison?

Why should a couple that must have every reason to be ashamed of themselves,

have the guts to take the centre-stage at will, like spoilt children of

Ghanaian politics? What do you say to a thug and a bastard who refers to

people more decent than himself as bastards and dogs? And to think that they

can even entertain hopes of perpetuating such a dynasty! What do they take

Ghanaians for? What I wish to make clear is the fact that my political

opposition to Dr. J.J Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings

has nothing to do with their ethnic origins, Ewe or Ashanti, as this might

be the case of some people. My opposition to the Rawlingses is to uphold the

need for our history to teach the appropriate lessons to others like them

who, in the future might want to swindle the nation by violent means and get

away with it, murder, grievous and systematic human rights abuses, hypocrisy

and corruption, and to help render justice.

I think it is very important to uphold the principles that make these people

the political monsters that they are, rather than reducing the entire affair

into some personality and ethnicity-based one. We are building the

foundations of our democracy by the choices we make in our daily political

lives. If care is not taken, the message we would be sending for posterity

could be a blurred one because there are so many undercurrents, negative

forces with special-interest agendas, so much so that, there is always a

need to be circumspect before making public pronouncements on a subject in

which people have invested a lot of emotion already. Why should we even

bother with their accommodation? Who is complaining about our horrible

prison conditions where this couple really belong? Maybe, it is a good idea

to charge at them from all angles. I guess the Rawlingses deserve all the

charge they can get, enough for them the get the message clear: that they

have their heads close to the clouds up there on the Sugarcandy Mountains!

That whilst no one grudges them for having grandiose illusions about

themselves, a normal long-term effect of drug abuse, my own very profound

distress about their level of confidence, unbelievable sense of moral

uprightness, outrageous claims to be providing democracy and the respect for

human rights, etc., etc... As they wax rhetoric on their achievements, those

of us who should know, and do know better, are painfully reminded by this

impudence: the way the PNDC and their agents covered every square inch of

their disgusting behinds with entrenched constitutional indemnity clauses

before handing over power to themselves!

In fact, in plain everyday language, we were very lucky as a nation that the

Governor of the Bank of Ghana, did not bolt away with all our money, gold

deposits, or whatever national assets he could have laid his hands on, as is

often the case in other places where dictators flee from their palaces and

out of their countries. There could have legally been nothing that anyone

could do to bring such a thief to justice, because the Rawlings indemnity

clauses in the Transitional Provisions of the 1992 Constitution of the 4th

Republic of Ghana, even indemnifies the agent of the PNDC from the legal

consequences of such obvious crimes in this scenario. We were lucky that the

ministers did not decide to physically eliminate people they did not want to

see alive. They could have legally gotten away with it. Any way, so far, I

have been imagining the scenarios. I wish to apologize to all the victims of

the bloody PNDC dictatorship for this apparent gross indiscretion and

insensitivity on my part. I most certainly did so not for the want of

examples, but to illustrate and explain how nonsensical and intrinsically

evil, the Indemnity Clauses are.

I believe that whenever our history is not teaching the appropriate lessons,

it simply means there is something wrong with us. As a people, we do not

like thieves, and even though I do not condone mob-justice, the lessons we

give to thieves all over the country when they are caught are not of the

types that encourage stealing, as the people seek to convince future thieves

to beware of the fate awaiting them when caught. With the Rawlingses, it

looks as though our history is teaching the wrong lessons. The Nkrumah era

was marked by remarkable political tensions and violence in the country

which led to the passage of the Preventive Detention Act, 1958. Naturally,

as one listens to the perceived pains of the victims, on both sides, it was

a very sad and sorry part of our history that we must all come to terms with

and move forward.

As if that were not enough, Ghanaians have been treated to all sorts of

stupid ideas and experiments that met the fancy of a very well-known dull

individual whose academic records demonstrate a consistent pattern of an

educable mentally-retarded person. Quite literally under gun-point, the

people of Ghana had to live under the whims and caprices of the raving and

ranting Rawlingses for almost two decades. A pilot who failed his map

reading examination and current affairs, inserted himself in the seat to

pilot our common destiny, without the permission of anybody. Within these

two decades, they recorded the most barbaric and insanely brutal repression

ever known in our history. To add insults unto injuries, having conducted

their military campaign under the slogans of probity and accountability, the

only activity they reserved for this was the arrest and torture of those who

demanded of them the same standards of probity and accountability. And to

eternally silence the tax payer on whose sweat they base their arrogance,

and so that their victims shall never have a right to seek justice, they

introduced the indemnity clauses into the constitution of Ghana.

It is already difficult enough to live with the thought that a gang of

people could just take arms, just like regular armed robbers do, except

that, this time around, they took the entire destiny of the nation

exclusively in their hands and made those who disagreed face what they

called "revolutionary consequences". These thugs had a vocabulary that they

could conveniently use to kill, main, beat and torture countless number of

innocent citizens. They have made sure they would not be punished for any of

their crimes. The least one could have expected of them would have been a

respectable distance from the seat of power. I am slowly transforming all

the sentiments that passed through me when it became apparent that the

Rawlings so-called impatience with the Mills Administration and extremely

damaging criticism were not only as non-constructive as we thought them to

be right from the beginning, but in addition to that, it was also

opportunistic. These feelings have ranged from shock, disgust, frustration

and anger. But we must use our brains. We are one step ahead of them because

this time around, more people see them clearly as opportunists.

This is the most opportunistic phase of the Nana Konadu campaign. And they

should not be allowed to get away with it with the ease being currently

associated with it. It stinks to the high heavens, so much so that even Nana

Konadu herself seems embarrassed by her own campaign. She hails the black

stars like a front-runner in a race, she is making statements traditionally

reserved for Rawlings the man of the house. Even on the blog of her husband,

she seems to drown him with almost all the latest posts exclusively

dedicated to her. Yet, these little political never-do-wells have been

careful to hide their real intentions from the public right from the very

beginning. She seems even ashamed to admit the fact that, she also wants to

become a president. She is campaigning without saying what it is she wants.

In Accra, where people are used to traders shouting and selling their wares,

the Gas have identified prostitution as the only trade in the street where

the sellers do not shout out their wares like for example, the way kenkey

sellers do. Thus whilst it is normal and expected to hear for example, "hot

kenkey for sale", one does not hear "hot pussy for sale", even though there

are sex workers all over the place! The relevant question that arises here

is: What is Konadu selling that she does not want to say publicly? At least,

not for now, and why not now? Is it because her husband has failed to

sufficiently undermine the Mills Administration? Is she waiting for more of

those before?

Ghanaians are peace-loving and a forgiving population. That does not mean

they are the kind of fools that the Rawlingses seem to think they can take

for a jolly ride at will. There are limits to everything. Nana Konadu has

the right to present her candidacy. So do the people also have the right to

find out whether or not she was an accomplice to the murder of the three

high court judges, and a retired army officer on the night of June 30th

1982? And, more importantly, does the role she played in this affair qualify

her for the high office of the president of the Republic of Ghana, with all

the trust and responsibilities associated with such an office? In other

words, the recent forages towards the seat of power must amount to nothing

more than the unravelling of the indemnity clauses in the constitution. For,

as Rawlings himself must know, there are a thousand ways to kill a cat and

his wife, Konadu may also hold in her hands, another key to open up the

indemnity clauses. Just mark my words...

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!



* Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

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