For three consecutive election seasons, he held up the right hand of the former Legon tax-law professor, looked Ghanaians straight in the eye, and insisted to hundreds of thousands of party members, supporters and sympathizers and, in fact, anybody who would listen that, indeed, short of himself, the now-President John Evans Atta-Mills was the best man to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) not only to a presidential victory, but also towards the lifting up of Ghana from the abject morass of grinding poverty into the enviable economic status of a First-World country.
And, quite interestingly, indeed, three times Ghanaians shockingly proved to Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings that both his moral and political credibility did not amount to a half-pesewa. And so for most Ghanaians, the lurid confession by Dzelukope/Sogakope Jeremiah on May 4 instant that the now-ruling National Democratic Congress “lost the chance [of ] retaining the presidency [come 2012] in the first week of President Mills’ administration,” is only a virgin epiphany to the pathologically stolid and those bread-and-butter-minded Ghanaians who had not been studiously observing the trend of political affairs in the country over the course of the last three decades (See “NDC Lost 2012 in the First Week of Mills’ Reign – Rawlings” Modernghana.com 5/4/11).
Needless to say, the foregoing reveals at least two negative things about the longtime Ghanaian strongman, neither of which would come as news to the proverbial average Ghanaian citizen and avid spectator of our national political football. One, is the clearly incontrovertible fact that Mr. Rawlings lacks good judgment and common sense; and also that his judgment on who best qualifies to lead the so-called National Democratic Congress, after he was quietly shoved off the scene by Messrs. William Jefferson Clinton and Kofi Annan, has tended to be selfishly predicated upon the question of who is servile enough and all-too-willing to ensure that the Indemnity Clause flagrantly appended to Ghana’s 1992 Fourth-Republican Constitution continues to hobble the salutary unfolding and functioning of true democracy in the country.
On the latter score, President Mills has amply demonstrated that he ranks second to none, as was recently evinced by Tarkwa-Atta’s brazen railroading of parliamentary authority, and credibility, by unilaterally establishing a patently unconstitutional and extra-parliamentary Constitution Review Commission (CRC).
The second and most dangerously negative aspect of the character of Mr. Rawlings is his pathological narcissism and abject “Kwaku Ananse” type of megalomania, which makes the career coup-plotter believe that until he is dead and buried, or perhaps even cremated, and thoroughly removed from the scene, Ghanaians have no other alternative but to acquiesce to the governance of their national affairs from his bedroom. This is, in fact, what his still raging epic battle for the total monopoly of the National Democratic Congress’ political machine is primarily about. And how best could this be smoothly negotiated than to have his own wife replace the man who best typifies what it means to be knighted as a Rawlings trusty?
To be certain, it appears as if Mr. Rawlings deliberately shoved a clinical weakling – both moral and corporeal – like President John Evans Atta-Mills down the throats of both the members and supporters of the NDC and the nation at large, in order to suavely facilitate the political usurpation of his wife and staunch criminal accomplice.
Mr. Rawlings also has this cynically projective way of blaming others, often the ideological collective, for his own fatheaded decisions gone awry. On the perceived political failure of President Mills, for instance, this is the manner in which Mr. Probity and Accountability chose to cast matters: “Let’s not allow ourselves to make this mistake again. It may be painful, nervous and jittery[,] but that is the only medicine we have to take. Let’s wake up to the reality. The truth is staring at us in the face but some of our comrades up there seem to be intoxicated and have lost touch with the reality on the ground.”
Actually, it is the unconscionable and shameless Mr. Rawlings who clearly appears to have “lost touch with the reality on the ground.” And, of course, that reality is squarely the fact of him thinking that he can continue to fool the Ghanaian electorate as and whenever he so decides. Maybe some well-meaning NDC member in good standing and of remarkable repute ought to admonish the former strongman to stop playing Russian Roulette with himself and the collective interests of Ghanaians at large before it is too late. And if he should crave the proverbial handwriting on the wall, we would not hesitate to point him to the tragic and humiliating fates of Messrs. Gbagbo, Mubarak, Mainasara and the raging case of his good, old friend and patron, Col. Muammar el-Gaddhafy.
And if, indeed, Mr. Rawlings wants to really talk about “justice and accountability, respect and trust for one another,” let him look straight and squarely into the eyes of the children and relatives of the brutally assassinated Ghanaian Supreme Court judges and spew such guff.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
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 a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and the author, most recently, of “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011).