Feature Article of Sunday, 18 September 2011

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

WikiLeaks: Kwesi Pratt's Insight On The Fall of Rawlings


Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

Reading Wikileaks on the Akufo-Addo wee saga, my attention was drawn to a
completely unrelated but very interesting revelation. I remember that when
Kwesi was seen openly supporting the NDC candidate, many were those who
accused him of inconsistency. How could the same person who had been jailed
several times by the PNDC of Rawlings, who has been a vocal critic of the
Rawlings' dictatorship, turn around and support a political party founded by
the same Jerry John Rawlings? It was considered as an unpardonable blunder
by the NPP and unthinkable.

Consequently, Mr. Pratt was given all sorts of names. Prominent among them
was "opportunist", " a Rawlings spy", "stomach politician" "naive" and so
on. Well, it turns out that the guy is far smarter than he looked to his
critics! From the WikiLeaks accounts, Mr. Pratt displayed an extra-ordinary
insight into the workings of Ghana's politics, and never gave up his
struggle against the Rawlings dictatorship. We now understand why his
support for President Mills was far from being inconsistent. Like the
Romans, Mr. Pratt's support for the NDC candidate was clearly the best way
to kill fire with fire.

With brilliant analysis and a rare display of political insight, the
Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper correctly predicted the fall of
Rawlings under an Atta-Mills Administration, and feared that the Rawlings
dynasty could prosper better under an NPP win in the 2008 Presidential
election. Thus by supporting the party founded by Rawlings, Mr. Pratt was
actually helping in the political demise of Jerry John Rawlings! What is
interesting is the fact that this was a time that most analysts were seeing
a perpetuation of the Rawlings era under President Mills.

Kwesi was one of the few Ghanaians who saw through the lie that President
Mills was a Rawlings Man and not "his own man". I am sure that at that time,
even if President Mills had come out to say, in his characteristic manner,
"My brothers and sisters, I am my own man!", few would have believed him!
But Mr. Pratt knew it even then! A lot of attention is being paid to a very
funny revelation in the same cable that “Nana used to smoke a lot of
marijuana, and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be
a cloud around him and you could see that he was high”. But just after that
we have the following insight into the insightful politics of the Insight
Managing Editor:

Kwesi Pratt is not just a principled, militant and courageous leader of
enlightened public opinion, but an intelligent, clever and deeply insightful

WikiLeaks, Reference id 08ACCRA1509, Subject: Ghana Elections: Political
Pundit Predicts Ndc Win, Source:

3. (C) On
the subject of the NDC, Pratt said that Atta-Mills was one of the most
incorruptible politicians in Ghana. It is just not in his character to
take bribes, and in fact that was why former president Jerry Rawlings
chose him as his running mate in 1996. About a year before that
election, Pratt said, Rawlings had paid a visit on Atta-Mills, who at
the time was the director of Ghana's Internal Revenue Service, to
check on income figures he had been given by his finance minister,
Kwesi Botchwey. When those tallies didn't add up, Rawlings lost faith
in Botchwey (who resigned shortly afterwards, following 12 years in
that position) and somewhat like Diogenes searching for an honest man,
Rawlings chose the political neophyte Atta-Mills as his
vice-presidential candidate. (NOTE: An interesting historical aside:
Rawlings and his first-term vice president, Kow Arkaah, never got
along well, but Arkaah's fate was sealed when Rawlings suddenly
attacked him, punching and kicking him, at a cabinet meeting on
December 28, 1995. Even after the beating, Arkaah stubbornly remained
in his position, and one year later, while he was still sitting as
vice president, John Kufuor, the opposition NPP flagbearer, chose him
as his vice presidential candidate, giving Arkaah the strange
distinction of running against his own government while still in
office for the same position he already held. END NOTE) ¶
4. (C) To
prove his point about Atta-Mills' character, Pratt said that Rawlings
had tried to extract a promise that Atta-Mills would allow him to name
four key cabinet positions -- Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defense, and
Finance -- in exchange for Rawlings and his wife actively campaigning
on Atta-Mills' behalf. According to Pratt, Atta-Mills refused, and
when Pratt asked him why, saying that he could have said ACCRA
00001509 002 OF 002 yes and then reneged on the agreement after
being elected, Atta-Mills reportedly said that he couldn't do that,
because he is not a man who can go back on his word. In the end, both
of the Rawlings have been campaigning vigorously for Atta-Mills
because, Pratt said, Nana Agyemang Rawlings is convinced she will go
to prison if the NPP is victorious. ¶
5. (C)
Repeating what the Embassy has been hearing from other sources, Pratt
said that Rawlings has no real influence over Atta-Mills. The two
men, whose personalities are diametrically opposed, have little in
common, but have arranged a political marriage of convenience that
will be annulled as soon as Atta-Mills is inaugurated. If the NDC
wins, Pratt is convinced, Rawlings will no longer have a political
voice that resonates with the people, and the victory "will put an end
to the Rawlings factor forever." In the case of an NPP win, however,
Pratt fears that Rawlings could gain a new lease on life in national
politics, re-emerging as a redemptive figure hailed by an army of
disillusioned and disenfranchised youth. They will lose faith in the
political system as represented by moderates such as Atta-Mills, and
more readily succumb to the spell of Rawlings-style demagoguery.

Kwesi Pratt therefore saw to it that the struggle to remove the Rawlings
ideologically bankrupt dictatorship is gone and gone for ever! Here,
therefore, is someone we need to listen to all the more!
**Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!*

*Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro*
*E-Mail: nanaakyeamensah@gmail.com*
*Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheOdikro*
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