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The discomfiture is that our “unconstitutional” constitution which ushered in our 4th Republic for our “security and stability” approves murder including of Judges and of a nursing mother at the apex of her profession, Mrs Justice Korantendg Addow so that all the talk of girl child education and women’s emancipation sit uncomfortably woven into our constitution which does not care two hoots about the dichotomy between reality and rhetorics.
The 31st December Women’s Movement by the indomitable spirited first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, amid its controversies, did its women’s empowerment bit, but it did not heal national broken hearts and festering wounds. Neither did Reconciliation under President Kufour appease those who cannot be brought back to life nor make victims of the revolution whole.
Please do not hasten to misunderstand what I am NOT saying. I am not saying there were no developmental initiatives under President JJ Rawlings. It would be unseemly if his 19- year tenure had zero traction. Of course, We should give him due credits for health, infrastructure, education and whatever economic impetus etc, but without distortion.
For example, we should not say that the GIPC was started by President Rawlings when it was in fact started by Prime Minister K. A. Busia as the Capital Investment Board headed by Dr Donkor Fordjour.
*What is startling though is that after President Rawlings “shined his eyes” away from social idealism to understand the dynamics of harsh global politics and structurally adjusted our economy with retrenchment and all the associated IMF/World Bank Medicines for which he is applauded for pragmatic socio-economic stability; President J. A.Kufour stunned us upon his arrival, right on the heels of the Rawlings exit in 2000 and had our “black- starred” country crowned – a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)!
So that, after all of President Rawlings’ successes, some people even swear that it is HIPC that saved our economy from ruin. This is certainly an oddity in our economic history. But such is the politics of discord and democratic dissension!
Surely, it is almost surreal that our memorable military / civilian President J.J. Rawlings is silent in death as we recall his zeal, boom evocations and stated commitment to populist power.
But, towards the end of his life, he seemed a lonely, frustrated figurehead, ostracised from the top hierarchy and losing power and influence in the party he founded. His booms against his own NDC successors had lost lustre. His newly found alliance with the opposition NPP sitting President and his relative silence on current public issues on corruption seemed somewhat suspect.
Corruption unearthed under the Rawlings administration including those outlined above were not prosecuted by H. E Akufo Addo as Attorney General in a seeming tacit policy to let bygones be bygones except select cases to appease the masses. Does this in part underly quid -pro- quo Presidential friendships?
The interesting, circuitous and sad testimony, however, is that President Rawlings’ vehement anti-corruption crusade ended on a bitter unrelenting irony, just before his death when the former S.P. Amidu handed to him the alleged mother serpent Agyapa corruption syndication
Report before his resignation.
The Agyapa deal advisors are the same databank and Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori- Attah who managed the secret Africa Tiger Mutual Fund with trademarks not unlike Agyapa
created under President Rawlings during Divestiture implementation, with 20% equity of each divested entity. This national assets derivative fund has since disappeared like quicksand without any transparent trace or accountability So that all that glitters is not gold. What exactly would President Rawlings have done about the Agyapa deal to resolve the Agyapa impasse and did he have the moral gravitas to act? Oh well, the Agyapa saga has rolled over. We wait to see how it will roar on in the future.
As a generall rule, seized Power pronouncements and “heavens” in manifestoes often have the treachery of reversed profound promises. This is why in December 2020 when Ghana arrived at a place between a rock and a hard place where it was said that the choice was between two intertwined evils; Some prayerful fellow Ghanaians sought Yahweh, the God of all the earth, the Lord whose battle it is, and duly exercised discernment so that, have we not interestingly ended up with a rather very frenzied split Parliament, a distinct Speaker from the opposition and Presidential election petition struggling onwards? Alas President JJ , is not here to witness our unfolding democratic evolution.
We did see the beginnings of an H.E JJ. Rawlings re-visit to his revolutionary past. Was he on the verge of a near -death confession or admission and repentance of things that must haunt the conscience which are prerequisites to the forgiveness he had already obtained in the 92 constitution? The answer, God knows, is gone with the proverbial wind. And we also do not know his secret pact with God.
Ghana’s greatest tribute to President Rawlings’ memory should not be to willy -nilly recite “Probity, Accountabilty Transparency and social justice” which remain fully unrealised in our corruption inundated culture and unjust society as though our motto “freedom and justice” were a divine mockery. We must actualise it in our private, corporate, institutional, public and national lives in a Ghana that needs a change of heart.
Alas! Farewell Papa J.
The writer can be reached via email at busiafordemocracy@ yahoo.com