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16.01.2009 Politics

Rawlings still has coup mentality - Ohene Ntow

By The Statesman
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The comments by former president Rawlings on Wednesday 13 have drawn sharp criticism from various quarters with some expressing concern about the possible effects on the nation's stability.

Former President Jerry Rawlings expressed concern about President John Mills"s inability to sack all former state officials of the Kufuor Administration and questioned why he was treating their exit from office with kid's gloves.

He said failure to do so would amount to failing and disrespecting the Ghanaian people who elected the NDC and President Mills into power.

He noted that it makes no sense to remove former President Kufuor from office but maintain his assigns.

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Ohene Ntow says the comments by the founder of the National Democratic Congress, Jerry Rawlings come from the mentality of a coup mentality.

According to him, Mr. Rawlings" comments are "out of place' and "outdated' and will not make any 'meaningful contributions to the entrenchment of democracy and maturation of democratic institutions'.

Speaking on the 13th January edition of Eye Witness News Nana Ohene Ntow cautioned the ex president to rethink his approach to national issues and measure his comments as they could have damaging effects on the stability of the nation.

He said the former president's comments create a crisis because they run contrary to the pronouncements declared-President Mills made in his inaugural address of running a government devoid of political vindictiveness.

He urged the former president to not present himself as seeking to undermine the authority of Prof Mills or the democratic culture the people of Ghana have fought so long to build.

A senior political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Asuman Johnson agreed with the views espoused by the NPP Secretary, saying that the comments portrayed 'elements of a coup mentality'.

He noted that the 'country has not come out of a coup d'état' and thus there should be no rush to change officials of the former government as it could disturb the smooth running of the wheels of governance.

He pointed that even if there was a need to change them, a more methodological means needed to be adopted. He noted that if the former president had legitimate concerns to express, he could have done so behind closed doors.

He cautioned President Mills not to 'lose his head' over the comments of the former president and pointed out that the time was right when Ghanaians were 'going to see the real Mills' adding that 'it will be really unsettling for both the former president, Jerry Rawlings and the NDC as a party'.

Concerning the implications of the comments of the former president on the fortunes of the Mills administration, Dr. Asuman said Mills had an 'in-house battle on his hands' and said he was going to be saddled with it throughout his tenure. 


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