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… “Is he in town?”- Ghanaians ask
Ghanaians have been astounded by the quietness of former President, Jerry John Rawlings, in the midst of numerous scandals that have hit the Akufo-Addo government and also, the many blunders, human right violations; abuse of office and ongoing persecution of innocent Ghanaians, particularly members and sympathizers of the opposition National Democratic Congress.
They say; the unexplained silence of the founder of the biggest opposition party is not only shocking, but also deafening; compared to his inexorable lashing of the John Mills and John Dramani Mahama administrations.
According to these people, while the former President may not be under any obligation to speak to the ills of the Akufo-Addo government, the sudden and “abrupt loss of his voice since the inauguration of Akufo-Addo as president on January 7, lends credence to reports he worked against his own party (NDC), to be kicked out of power.”
The five month-old Akufo-Addo government has severally come under severe rebuke from well-meaning Ghanaians, including some of government’s known backers as a result of some “strange” decisions of the President and, actions and/or, inactions of some appointees and activities of the ruling party’s vigilante groups.
The infractions by the Akufo-Addo led-government has compelled some of their strong patrons including, the former moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Prof Emmanuel Martey, Political Science Lecturer and now a fully paid-up member of NPP, Dr Amoako Baah and some NPP-tainted Civil Society Groups to have had cause to condemn the government.
President Akufo-Addo was widely criticized for appointing 110 ministers and deputies, the largest by any government in the history of this country, although he (Akufo Addo) campaigned and won power on the pledge of “protecting the public purse”.
His government has also been harshly condemned over the recklessness exhibited by some appointees and the raiding of courts and offices by the ruling party’s vigilante groups.
The state sponsored thugs attacked and locked up state institutions among them, NHIA, NADMO and YEA offices and went on unauthorized seizure of vehicles and harassment of innocent citizens.
The Akufo Addo administration again came under attack following the President’s plagiarized speech and his attempt to skew the history of Ghana by downplaying the achievements of the nation’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and the recent disappearance of $30million worth of cocaine from the Tema ports.
Other criticisms of the administration included President Akufo-Addo’s sudden shifting of goal posts on NPP campaign promises including, the much talked about Free SHS, payment of contractors within hundred days, payment of DKM customers, reductions in transport fares and light bills and the scrapping of the Energy Sector Levy. The dismissal of civil servants appointed during the NDC era, the Parliamentary bribery scandal, Ameri sponsorship of the Addison committee, persecution of officials and supporters of the biggest opposition party and, the appointment of friends and relatives by the president to sensitive positions among others, have been widely discussed.
In all these, no word has so far come from the former President, Jerry John Rawlings, who is also the longest-served Head of State and who has criticize all governments after him save, the Akufo Addo led administration.
One topical issue many had expected Mr Rawlings to wade into but surprisingly, has maintained a deafening silence was the public altercation between NPP Northern regional Chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu and the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, who also doubles as the governing party’s National Women’s Organizer.
Many Ghanaians and Social commentators including Kwesi Pratt, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Alhaji Bature Iddrisu among others have condemned the act and called for severe sanctioning of the duo.
Alhaji Bature on UTV last Monday, chided both Bugri Naabu and Otiko for indiscipline arising from the belligerent stances of the NPP leader, now President, Akufo Addo. He cited Akufo Addo’s militant comments such as “all die be die” and “Atiwa kuraa y3kyer3 bibi kakraa woho” which he has since refused to retract and/or apologize as; what is emboldening his followers to act same.
On his part, the Managing Editor of The Insight newspaper, who had earlier questioned why Otiko was still at post, said the leadership of the party did the right thing by sanctioning the two senior members of the governing party.
“The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Council does not do police investigations. So that is not an area that the Council of the NPP can go into. They cannot ask the Police to invite any of them to provide evidence in the ongoing allegations. It is not their duty. Indeed what the National Council of the NPP can do is simply what they have done. They have noticed misconduct, they have punished misconduct appropriately. As for inviting Bugri Naabu or not inviting him to come and help in criminal investigations, it’s the duty of the Police. Unless you want the NPP to do the work of the Police,” he said on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji programme Saturday.
Kweku Baako, will rather prefer harsher punishment for the duo. He predicts that, even though, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba may have not been relieved of her post, she “may not survive” next ministerial reshuffle.
Despite these harsh criticisms from well-meaning Ghanaians, former President Rawlings and wife, Nana Konadu, who continually jabbed the NDC and its officials since 2009 have maintained deafening silence to the ills of the Akufo-Addo government.
Former President Jerry Rawlings and Nana Konadu fell out with the NDC weeks after the late President John Atta Mills was sworn into office and both relished seeing the party leave power.
Rawlings supported her wife to form the National Democratic Party after the former first lady was handed a heavy whipping in her bid to lead the NDC into the 2012 election at the party’s congress in Sunyani in 2011.
The pair and some of their admirers have made it at an article of faith to brand heavyweights of the NDC as corrupt and underserving of governing this country. In the 2012 polls when John Mahama was made the sole NDC candidate following the death of Prof John Mills and he retained power thereafter; the NDC founder was reported saying the party would have lost if the late tax Professor had not died.
In one of his senseless attacks on the late Professor even after his demise, Mr Rawlings said “I said it over and over, NDC would have lost terribly had God not called the Prof.”
In the four year rule of Mr John Mahama, the NDC founder and Nana Konadu never ceased jabbing his administration and its officials, accusing them of stealing from state coffers.
The Rawlingses, particularly; Nana Konadu, intensified their campaign to get the NDC out of power few weeks to the 2016 elections after they had variously predicted and implored Ghanaians to reject the then governing party at the polls.
Not even the controversial decision by the NDC leadership to clear daughter of the Rawlingses, Dr Zanetor, to contest on the party’s ticket in the Klottey Korle constituency as its parliamentary candidate, was enough to pacify the former first couple.
Months to the 2016 elections, Mr Rawlings spent time extolling the virtues of his once fiercest rival, Nana Akufo-Addo while, constantly punching the Mahama/NDC administration with a charge of institutionalizing corruption and visiting untold hardship on Ghanaians.
In June 2016, former President Rawlings stunned the world when he rubbished accusations by members of his party that Nana Akufo-Addo was corrupt. He categorically stated that; he (Rawlings) can attest to the integrity and credibility of then NPP flag bearer, now President, Akufo-Addo.
“Fortunately for them, (referring to the NPP), they have a leader who is not known for messing around with material things,” Rawlings said of Akufo Addo.
When Nana Akufo-Addo dislodged Mr Mahama and the NDC in last year’s election, former President Rawlings again described the emergence of the two Presidents, Muhammadu Buhari and Nana Akufo-Addo, as “divine intervention” because of their respected anti-corruption credentials.
Despite Mr Rawlings’ stiff stance on issues, particularly corruption, he is yet to be heard commenting on negative happenings in Ghana under the Akufo-Addo led-government including, the appointment of 110 Ministers and deputies, maiming and chasing out of people from offices, allegations of corruption among others.
This, some say, is “surprising because the old man has carved a niche for himself with his boom speeches…but it appears he has “soft spot” for Akufo-Addo that is why he is unable to speak to any of the ills of his government.
Source: The Al-Hajj