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12.10.2019 Feature Article

Rawlings Often Speaks with a Forked Tongue, But…

Rawlings Often Speaks with a Forked Tongue, But…
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He is the human equivalent of the chameleon, so I don’t often take his observations and many of his pronouncements seriously, except where he has proven himself to be the guiltiest of many of his own tirades and criticisms. For example, I have every good reason to unreservedly agree with the Founding-Father of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, when the former Chairman Jerry John Rawlings describes his former protégé, cabinet appointee and former President John Dramani Mahama as the most corrupt Ghanaian leader in the country’s postcolonial era. On the latter count, it is quite obvious that Mr. Rawlings cannot be contradicted by any avid observer and/or student of the postcolonial Ghanaian political scene and culture because the Chairman of the erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) is the veritable epitome of corruption himself/itself.

I mean, isn’t it common knowledge that it was Chairman Rawlings who invented the criminally kleptocratic policy of cannibalizing state-owned housing properties as private properties for himself and his PNDC cronies and associates, such as Mr. Ebo Tawiah? The man who summarily executed the honorable likes of Air-Vice Marshal George Yaw Boakye and JOY Amedume, for simply daring to borrow money from the bank to pay for the construction of homes for themselves and their families and not paying back these legitimately contracted loans on schedule, would also have written into Ghana’s Fourth-Republican Constitution, the inalienable right of retiring Ghanaian leaders to wantonly sponge on the resources of the taxpayer, almost as if they were the architects of Modern Ghana without whose selfless generosity our very nation would not have come into existence. Indeed, it was this demonic spirit of rank corruption that prompted a thoroughly defeated President John Dramani Mahama to fatuously and scandalously demand to be gifted the official residence of the Vice-President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana in the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election.

Anyway, at a recent NDC cadres’ conference in Edweso/Ejisu, in the Juaben District of the Asante Region, Ghana’s longest-reigning strongman was reported to have told the youthful conferees that the leadership of the political party of which he is widely recognized, by acclamation, as the founder, that is, the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress, is fully aware of the fact that they have absolutely no chance of clinching victory in next year’s general election. Chairman Rawlings is also reported to have added, for good measure, that this stark and grim reality notwithstanding, some of the movers-and-shakers of the NDC have bulldozed their way into assuming powerful positions in the party with the false pretense of occupying Jubilee House come December 7, 2020 – actually January 7, 2021.

The leader of the quondam Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) noted that these major party operatives were actually spoiling for the possibility of reconstituting the government in 2025, and not 2021, although they cynically would have their cronies and associates believe that they were within horizon-reach of occupying Jubilee House. Mr. Rawlings could very well have had at least two quite realistic reasons for making the observations attributed to him. The first of these reasons is, of course, the seemingly well-established pattern whereby either of the country’s two major political parties which happens to be voted into power gets to stay put for the next 8 years or two electoral terms. The reason, of course, is clearly the fact that President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been so impressive in his performance at the helm of the nation’s affairs that a politically enlightened Ghanaian electorate would simply not be inclined towards being rudely returned to the Dark Age of Dumsor, and the apocalyptic collapse of at least half of all privately owned Ghanaian businesses as well as state-owned enterprises.

Indeed, not much is often said or written about the complete collapse of state enterprises which resulted in the summary sacking of hundreds of thousands of otherwise highly qualified and able-bodied employees and administrators from their jobs and into the hopeless abyss of the humongous pool of the country’s unemployed. Well, the stark fact of the matter is that under the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo, there has occurred a seismic paradigm shift, which means that short of losing his, so far, admirable grips on the needs and aspirations of the Ghanaian citizenry, especially the Ghanaian electorate, the New Patriotic Party is highly likely or well poised to being retained at Jubilee House for at least another 8 years, as predicted by some political preachers and pundits. But, of course, this is absolutely by no means a done deal. Mr. Rawlings’ quite all-too-realistic prognostications and all, much will definitely depend on how President Akufo-Addo and his associates and minions, going forth from now, manage the people’s business.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 30, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

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