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03.10.2008 Feature Article

Change – a necessary evil.

'Change', a friend said, 'is impossible to predict'. Give me examples, I challenged and he mentioned one, then two and got stuck. What about ex President John Jerry Rawlings? My friend was at his wits end to justify his defence of the man he claims, he is ever prepared to lay down his life for. My impatience was getting the better part of me. Look here, my friend, change is possible to predict. Period! One can easily analyze a scenario and conclude whether a change was more likely to occur. Principled personalities hardly shift their stance on issues.

A story easily came to mind and it had to do with Nkrumah's assertion that chiefs who did not conform would flee and leave their sandals behind. Where have all those who have been calling me names and making nasty comments on my vigorous attacks against the Rawlingses, Mills and NDC gone to after the former President and owner of their nefarious contraption had stirred up the hornet's nest?

For the past few weeks, ex President J.J Rawlings, the man who believes he is the only person ordained may be by antoa nyamaa ( obviously not the Omnipotent God we serve) to rule this country till thy kingdom come, has been moving his arsenal from one Region to the other spreading his message of doom. People stood at rapt attention as the man whose regime could be compared to those of Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, and Sanni Abacha in terms of the number of people that were dispatched to the other world. And as is usual with him, he raged, raved, cursed, abused, insulted, threatened and blasphemed.

Infact, action speaks louder than words for time and tide wait for no one. Opportunity once lost cannot be regained for a stitch in time serves nine. Finally, one good turn deserves another. These are the true facts of life. Thanks to Wole Soyinka, we are better off than ever before. Rawlings and the NDC allege that Kuffuor and Akufo Addo have been practising ethnicity. I want people to realize that there is a difference between adopting the son of the soil attitude by asking the people to vote for you because you come from the same area as they are and making disparaging remarks about other tribes.. And so if Nana's wife appeals to Krobos and the Gas to vote for her husband because she is one of them, I see nothing wrong with such a statement. What I detest and I believe true Ghanaians do is an attempt to play the ethnic card by making some unsubstantiated and spurious allegations. Attempts to incite Ashantis against Ewes are very bad and every true Ghanaian must stand up and condemn such acts.

When Rawlings, Modestos Ahiable and others NDC allege that Ewes are being sacked in their places of work to be replaced by Akans without providing an iota of evidence, we all must rise above partisanship and condemn such action. One cannot use one or two isolated cases to conclude that Kuffour's administration is playing the ethnic card.

When it comes to appointment of Ministers, people must realize that, the Constitution which was drawn up under Rawlings instruction made it mandatory for the bulk of Ministers to come from Parliament. And since the NPP has only one MP from the Volta Region, it follows therefore that representation in the Cabinet from the Volta region will be very few. To rectify this anomaly, the voting pattern in the Region will have to change.

Infact, just listen to children who are the future leaders of this country talk about Rawlings boom speeches and you can discern from their mien that there is palpable fear within them. This fear must be placed squarely on the doorsteps of Atta Mills and his campaign team. This stems from the fact that, the owner of their contraption, Rawlings, a serial coup plotter has been going round charging at people who are pursuing their legitimate businesses, with all kinds of reckless allegations and insinuations. Who will cage this man who has been moving from place to place threatening fire and brimstone just like the Libyans and the Gabonese laid siege at the goal area of the Black Stars during Ghana's away football matches with the two teams?

I had expected the two Johns to take the steam off the sail of the other John and leave him isolated. But what do we see here? The two Johns are pre-varicating over attempts to make this John see the light and follow the path of righteousness. John Mahama, the Prince, who has overshadowed the King (John Atta Mills); John Mahama, the stranger who cries mores than the chief mourner claims that the Mills campaign team would not be distracted by Rawlings utterances, unpalatable as they might be. He alleges that the party cannot tie Rawlings up and prevent him from speaking his mind, since any such act will be against the right of the ex-President. And so, the ex President, having been given a blank cheque goes about to destroy all that has been rebuilt in the last seven plus years. He does not even show remorse and acts as if the country belonged to him and he alone. He continues with his boom speeches and says with emphasis that he sees nothing wrong with what he is doing and that nobody can stop him from speaking up his mind. He is asking those NDC members who do not know how the party was founded to shut up and be relegated to the background. Such a statement portrays an ominous sign for the future of this country. This is a nonsensical situation the NDC wants to plunge the country into and this is what I have been preaching against for a long time.

I asked the question, who will cage this bull in a China's shop? Who will tell this ex-President that his quixotic acts are bringing the name of the presidency into disrepute? He should wait and see the way President Kufuor will act and handle himself when he gets out of power. Maybe that is what he needs. The NDC claims the elephant is destructive, but the way and manner J.J Rawlings is going about doing things makes him thrice as dangerous and destructive than the lion, which is regarded as the king of the jungle. Can't someone call Rawlings to order?

Where does Mills stand in the stand off between Rawlings and the party? John Mahama has spoken, and his words portray him as an ineffectual leader. Even though he accepts the fact that Rawlings utterances are unpalatable to him and the party, he did not have the nerve to call him to order. Is he afraid of Rawlings? Is Mills also afraid of Rawlings? It appears both are.

Where are the leadership traits to be found in these two persons who are aspiring to lead this country? If they are afraid to call one of their own men to order, how can they look eye to eye with a superior foreign leader? Our party has been calling our leaders to order anytime they go out of their way. We do so in different ways to keep them in check, but this is not so with the members and devotees of the nefarious contraption. In our party, we showed we were not happy with the direction of our President by rejecting the candidates he sponsored for the National Executive positions. We kept the President in check when the NPP Congress did not endorse his candidate for the flag-bearer ship of the party.

But as I said, we cannot say so about the NDC. Whatever Rawlings says is final. He is indirectly, the mouthpiece of the NDC. The only time the NDC as a party went against the wishes of Rawlings was when Obed Asamoah was made the party's General Secretary. But even here, we saw the devastating ripples that occurred after that.

The NDC is the only party in country that has one man as founder, in contravention of the country's constitution. As a member of the legal profession, one would have thought that Mills would use his expertise to do the right thing. - Amend the party's constitution to bring on board other hard-working and dedicated party men to become co-owners. How could Mills stand aloof and watch Rawlings move from Region to Region, school to school, one traditional area to another and malign hard-working people of impeccable character, calling a sitting and elected President uncomplimenting names? When the immediate National chairman of the Great Osono Party, Haruna Esseku went haywire, the party placed a sanction on him. He was prevented from delivering the Chairman's address at the party's National Convention. So, the NDC, under Mills leadership should be bold enough to call off the bluff of Rawlings and tell him “enough is enough. We don't want you on our campaign trail. Back off.”

This is what we expect a person with presidential ambition to do. A presidential aspirant must have guts and this is what Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo has but Mills doesn't. Why has it taken so long for Mills to comment on Rawlings unpresidential utterances? When is he going to make a statement on them?

I bet, he will remain silent just as he did when Rawlings was committing one atrocity after the other. The party belongs to Rawlings and so he could do whatever he likes; we are not unaware of the beatings he subjected his Ministers and other Public Officers to. Some high profile ones include Kwesi Botchway, Owuraku Amofa, Ekow Nkensen Arkaa, Brigadier Mensa Wood and many others. But till date, the flag bearer of the Nefarious Destructive Cancer has not said anything on them. When is he going to speak on it? Now is the time. We want to know where he, Mills stands on Rawlings' atrocities.

Recently the Russian Supreme Court voted to rehabilitate members of the Romanov family spear-headed by Czar Nicholas who together with his wife and children were executed in the heat of the Bolshevik's revolution. But Atta Mills has kept a stony silence. I think we don't have to look far to see where the learned Professor stands. Since silence means consent and birds of the same feathers congregate together, it is my belief and that of majority of Ghanaians that the learned Professor and flag bearer of Rawlings personal property (the NDC) fully endorses all the actions taken by his master, J.J Rawlings.

When those of us with discerning minds talk about the mistake of electing Mills President of Ghana, some people devoid of patriotism and human feelings call us names. But our genuine fears are being enacted right before our very eyes. Here is a situation where J.J Rawlings, owner of the political zoo where his devotees are incarcerated, is moving about making wild and reckless and unsubstantiated allegations and inciting the masses against the legitimate elected government of the land and none of his party members have the nerve to call him to order, even though they claim his activities are hurting the NDC. The party doesn't have the mechanism to curb his excesses. What then would happen if they found themselves in the governance of this country?

He will throw darts into the system. He (Rawlings) will go for his political opponents and mete out instant justice to them and Mills will feel powerless to restrain him. This is why we are saying “Vote Mills and get Rawlings free”. A vote for Mills is tantamount to the third coming of the Rawlingses. Are we prepared for that? Ghanaians “shine” your eyes and do the right thing. A vote for Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo and Mahamadu Bawumia is a continuation of all the good policies put forward by the Kuffour-led NPP administration. To this end all patriotic Ghanaians, both young and old should strive to ensure that the air of freedom we are breathing now is not aborted prematurely.

“We have accepted the new dispensation as a matter of course with perhaps a sense of gratitude to an unseen force for a deliverance from the suspected but unnamed menace [Rawlings, Mills and the NDC]. Infact, those that the gods want to destroy, they first make mad, and that is exactly what Rawlings is doing to himself and the NDC.

We are indeed moving forward. No curve, no bend, no surrender. Nana + Bawumia = Peace, Progress, Prosperity and Development. NPP All The Way!

Daniel Danquah Damptey
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Daniel Damptey Danquah
Daniel Damptey Danquah, © 2008

This author has authored 286 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: DanielDampteyDanquah

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