It is clear that the fact that President Rawlings is still a very popular figure, especially with the ordinary folks of this country, almost four years after he has left office, is causing a lot of headache and heartache among a small cabal in the highest echelons of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
These persons blame all their misfortunes, both real and perceived, some of which were as a result of their own ineptitude and downright incompetence, on Jerry Rawlings and have vowed to visit vengeance on him, through means more foul than fair.
To achieve this end, soon after President Rawlings handed over the reigns of this country to Mr. Kufuor on January 7th 2001, these people went into the offensive with a blitz of media propaganda projecting the PNDC/NDC administrations headed by President Rawlings (or Chairman Rawlings, in the case of the PNDC) as corrupt.
Together with their paid mercenaries, the ideologues, and the plain “follow backs” (yele wo mio, as the Anlos would put it) in the media, they had a field day. At the height of the obviously orchestrated media campaign against the NDC, and President Rawlings in particular, Mr. Kwaku Baako Jnr., the Editor in Chief of the Crusading Guide, the man who told the whole world that he would gladly be part of any scheme to see to the demise of the NDC (a statement he later denies having made), published what he claimed were the details of foreign accounts of the “Rawlingses”.
The said accounts were said to have contained thousands, if not millions, of dollars. This was an obvious attempt to portray President Rawlings as a criminal who had looted the coffers of this country and has stashed the loot away in foreign banks.
Significantly, almost four years on, not a single word has been heard from any government official on this most serious matter. Not even to tell the people of this country that the government has taken over investigations into the matter. Nothing.
It has been suggested that government's silence on the matter is due to the fact that government is aware that the allegations contained in that publication were false, and since the publications were done just to damage the reputation and image of President Rawlings, government officials were loath to be seen to be coming to his rescue, and in so doing make him look good. This appears to be so, especially in the face of the close collaboration between Mr. Kwaku Baako Jnr. and National Security/Intelligence agencies and officials.
While these publications were going on, confidential documents relating to medical treatment of President Rawlings were leaked to the media. All in pursuit of the evil agenda to destroy him.
When all that failed, he was invited by the BNI for questioning on trump-up charges that are still not clear to a lot of people. Some say it was because he was advocating “positive defiance”, others say he was inciting people against the government. But, positive defiance or incitement against the government, are these not legitimate under a multi-party democracy? Yet, to make him look bad, he must be portrayed as having broken the law.
Indeed the NPP in opposition rallied people against government and government policies, and indeed led the people to defy the VAT law.
When this attempt to damage him also failed, principally because of the reaction of the masses of this country to the fascist method being adopted in the crude attempts to silence their hero, the then Minister of Information, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, fed the public with a blatant lie that President Rawlings had imported bulletproof vehicles into the country.
Of course, like all the previous lies, that also failed to stick, and they fell back on the lame excuse that the vehicles were suspected to be bulletproof. But if a government, with all the huge investigative machinery of state at its disposal, could not verify whether or not a vehicle is bulletproof; when that vehicle was imported through regular methods, and passed through customs, with all the relevant duties paid, and cleared, does that not speak volumes of the competence and alertness of that government?
The various attempts to, as it were, make Jerry Rawlings into a pariah continued on almost weekly basis. Hardly a week passes without one media house or the other putting out some misinformation about him. Some were about dinghies that are portrayed as speedboats, others were that he had gone to secure funding from a foreign leader to overthrow the government, or that he has assaulted a young man.
After a while, he appeared to have enjoyed some respite from the detractors, apparently because they might have thought that his image and popularity has been dealt a fatal blow with the Ashiaman assault story, and the anti-Rawlings agenda appeared to have subsided in the media.
However, just last week the campaign appears to have started all over again with the vilest yet of all accusations that has been leveled against President Rawlings by an Accra weekly, whose owner, who also happens to be the Editor, is a self proclaimed enemy of Jerry Rawlings.
This latest binge of character assassination appears to have been provoked by events of Thursday 3rd June 2004, at Mantse Agbonaa in James Town (British Accra), when President Rawlings was spontaneously mobbed by a large crowd of Ghanaians, with chants that he would forever remain the hero of the people of this country. Similarly, the next day, Friday 4th June 2004, at the commemoration of the 4th June 1979 revolt, at the arts Centre in Accra, a large crowd of Ghanaians defied the intermittent drizzling to be part of the event. These events certainly have signaled the anti-Rawlings cabal that far from his popularity waning almost four years after leaving office, he is rather getting ever more popular. Hence this latest childish and laughable to, of all things, call his sexuality into question. By Jove, the man is married with four lovely children, none of whose paternal parentage has ever been, nor will ever be, in question.
However, as it is clear that Mr. Chris Asher and his cohorts are interested in looking for homosexuals, it is strongly recommended that they talk to the National Organiser of the NPP, Mr. Lord Commey. He certainly has a thing or two to tell them on the subject.
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