Last week, Professor George Ayittey, prefaced his brilliant piece on the shenanigans of Rawlings by declaring that he was not a card-carrying member of the NPP. Also, he intimated that he had not received a pesewa from anybody to write what he wrote.
As much as I agree with the internationally acclaimed professor, I thought his disclaimer was not necessary. I strongly believe that as a people we should not be ashamed to defend a government and its policies, especially if those policies and programmes fall within our ideological prism.
I consider myself a militant liberal democrat. And each time I reach for my keyboard to comment on national issues, I am influenced by liberal democratic principles and ideals. I am willing and ready to defend this philosophy and accept the consequences that come with it. On occasions, some readers have written to me to label me “ a Kufour lackey or an Ashanti tribalist”. I thought it was important to set the record straight.
Last week, the nation was treated once again to another comic relief. A coalition of opposition parties held once again what are now becoming familiar press conferences to lambaste the government for recruiting “undesirable characters” for the national security apparatuses. In particular, they took exception to the influence of former NLC and NRC operatives in the current security set up. Also, they alluded to the importation of arms for a so-called militia. There was even this ridiculous assertion that the Kufour government is planning to build a one party state!
One could have laughed off these allegations except that those who were making the accusations are important political figures.
The thought that came to mind was: where were these politicians during the Rawlings' regime, which was the longest, serving government in the history of our dear nation? Why did they not comment on the most ruthless security system ever operated by any government in the country?
Rawlings' government built a very aggressive offensive as well as defensive security system, which was able to ward off potential threats to the survival of that government. Revelations from the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) clearly confirm that “Rawlings' boys” left nothing to chance even if it meant abusing the legitimate rights of individuals, businesses, and journalists to express themselves. Journalists were jailed or had human excreta sprayed in their premises. Opponents of the government disappeared. Properties were destroyed and so on.
Now these politicians have the temerity to question the legitimate methods being used by a national security system, designed to protect a democratically elected government. The current security operatives are well-trained professionals. The methods they are using to safeguard the country are not any different from those used by security agencies of mature democracies in Europe and North America.
The opposition politicians are only crying wolf because they know that should there be an uprising that leads to the overthrow of the current political dispensation, they would not even have the luxury to hold a press conference to make their views known. African strong men do not like to be contradicted.
Of course, it is possible that some of the opposition leaders may be hoping that what they cannot legitimately win through the ballot box, they could hope to gain something through a violent overthrow of the government. They have no conscience.
It is preposterous for the opposition leaders to accuse the Kufour administration of attempting to institute a one party state. Should the people return the NPP to office, it is because they appreciate its policies and programmes. Voters everywhere in the world identify with governments that work to meet their hopes and aspirations. The winning formula for any government is by correctly gauging and responding to the needs of the people through effective delivery of programmes. If the NPP is able to sustain the course and remains united, it could become the party of choice of the people. It will not be because of a cleverly designed plot.
Those who are in doubt should study the fortunes of the Liberal Party of Canada, which has ruled that country for most of its history. Canada is one of the most humane and economically advanced societies in the world. And most of this achievement can be attributed to the Liberal Party of Canada. Interestingly, nobody is accusing the Liberal Party of Canada of making Canada a one party state.
If the opposition parties want to be taken seriously, they should stop the scare mongering. They ought to be told that the surest way to electoral success is the mobilisation of financial resources, effective organisation on the ground, impeccable logistical support and above all, the use of their brains (strategic thinking). If they lack these elements, then they should stop polluting our ears and minds on imagined or impending doom! Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.