When you cut your political teeth in tribal war-torn Bolgatanga, in the Upper-East Region, like Alhaji Iddrisu Bature, then it becomes quite plausible for one to imagine a New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the lookout to eliminate the bloody and rambunctious Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, especially if like the editor-publisher of the so-called Al-Hajj newspaper, you also have the unenviable history of having barbarically stampeded your political rivals and opponents into twenty years of involuntary exile, for crimes that are only best known to yourself. Then, of course, you cannot help but live life with your heart constantly in your mouth, for fear of being generously repaid in kind.
Perhaps this is what Alhaji Bature meant when he recently admonished his mentor and founding father of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), against what the likes of the editor-publisher of the Al-Hajj newspaper perceive to be Sogakope Jeremiah’s open and brazen support of the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Needless to say, any avid student of realpolitik, in general, and Fourth-Republican Ghanaian political culture, in particular, knows full-well that what a humiliated and virtually ostracized Mr. Rawlings has been doing in the wake of his wife’s massive defeat in the NDC presidential primary, in the Brong-Ahafo regional capital of Sunyani by sitting-President John Evans Atta-Mills, has been to simply campaign against the re-election of his long-time lieutenant and former protégé.
And while, indeed, such electioneering tack could redound to the benefit of the NPP flag-bearer, nonetheless, it bears reminding NDC cynics and schemers like Alhaji Bature that there was a Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Ghana’s national political landscape long before the meteoric emergence of the then-Professor John Evans Atta-Mills. At any rate, campaigning against President Mills does not in any way, shape or form, whatsoever, mean that former President Rawlings is, in effect, campaigning for his former lock-step lieutenant’s most formidable political opponent. It simply means that Mr. Rawlings intends to exercise his democratic right to free speech. It is also rather amusing to recall that Alhaji Bature made no such claim against former President John Agyekum-Kufuor, when the latter was widely accused of indirectly campaigning against his immediate successor as NPP presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
But what is even more laughable is the downright fatuous implication, on the part of Alhaji Bature that, somehow, eight years in the august seat of governance had not adequately prepared a supposedly Rawlings-hating NPP constabulary to vengefully eliminate the man who has single-handedly executed more Ghanaians than Osama Bin Laden was able to achieve in the World Trade Centre apocalypse; and that it has to take another NPP government, this time one that is headed by the former MP for Akyem-Abuakwa South and the architect of the historic Repeal of the Criminal Libel Law/Code, to deal a proverbial Final Solution to the veritable political nuisance that is Chairman Jerry John Rawlings. If such logical absurdity makes sense to anybody, other than Alhaji Bature and the “Trokosi” National Congress, then I would be fully prepared to renounce my Ghanaian citizenship, ethnic identity and culture.
Still, one cannot wholly blame Alhaji Bature for so shamelessly and criminally attempting to frighten Mr. Rawlings with the largely self-inflicted death of Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Needless to say, its very vindictive and criminal history makes the Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress far more likely than any other major Ghanaian political organization to attempt to orchestrate the corporeal liquidation of the humiliated former chairman of the so-called Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
And so, clearly, Alhaji Bature needs to come up with a far more creative pretext and a plausible reason as to why Mr. Rawlings would be better off to vigorously campaign for a manifestly incompetent President Mills than half-heartedly grabbing at straws, as it were.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Dorkordicky Ponkorhythms” (iUniverse.com, 2004).
The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com