“Most people are yet to recover from the traumatic shock of the December 7th election results. “But I will have to state that if we turn our backs to our history us a party, we cannot escape the responsibility for the result”.
“I kept providing the warning whenever and wherever I could, and in public as well. “But no, once again the uncouth and uncultured in our party and government chose to insult and disrespect some of us” (Rawlings, 2016).
Let us face it, though, some of us will remain in puzzled countenance if former president and the founder of the NDC Party J. J. Rawlings does not come out of his redundancy and rescues his beloved NDC Party from the people he inexorably describes as “babies with hard teeth”.
However the alleged sour relations between the founder and some of the current national party executives, the indefatigable Rawlings unconditional love for his brainchild (NDC) has not tapered off, not by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, one does not have to look far for the evidence of his devoted attachment to the party he autographed with his blood. Yes, his recent speech to commemorate the 31st December 1981 revolution was a clear manifestation of his unbridled attachment to the party he founded in 1992.
“Need I remind you that the NDC was built on principles and values that emerged as a result of circumstances that led to our birth?”
“The fallen heroes we honour today expect of us in the least, never to relapse into those same old days. But that has not been the case.
“In the wake of the revolution we made pronouncements that summed up the state of affairs that prevailed then.
“I admonished back then that; “Ghana should be a land where it will be accepted practice and norm that those who earn the privilege to govern, should administer in humility, conscious that they are the servants of the people and are ready to submit themselves and their actions to public scrutiny and accountability” (Rawlings, 2016).
If we take a stroll down memory lane, on 15th May 1979, a group of disgruntled junior army officers led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings failed in their insurrection against General Fred Akuffo’s regime, which culminated in the arrest and trial of Rawlings.
However, a group of army officers who happened to be Rawlings’s apologists revolted on 4thJune 1979; broke jail and released Rawlings and his cohorts.
After successfully deposing General Akuffo and his Supreme Military Council (SMC) government, the mutinous officers went ahead and formed their own government, which they called as the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and appointed Flt. Rawlings as their chairman.
Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters vowed to lustrate the country of the rampant sleaze, corruption and social injustices which instigated their coup d’état.
So in their attempt to purge the country of the perceived injustices, they carried out what they termed “house cleaning exercise”,–they dealt with perceived offenders arbitrarily.
The cabals proceeded with their intentions and callously murdered prominent people including General Fred Akuffo, General Kutu Acheampong, General Akwasi Afrifa and many others.
After getting rid of those they saw as threat to their hidden agenda, they decided to conduct general elections for political parties in the same year-1979.
Following the successful conduction of general elections, Dr Hilla Limann and his People’s National Party (PNP) emerged victorious in 1979.
Nevertheless, Rawlings and his cohorts did not give Dr Liman the opportunity to carry out his mandated responsibility. For Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters unfairly kept criticising Dr Limann’s administration for what they perceived as economic mismanagement, until he, Rawlings, decided to depose Dr Limann.
To fulfil his lifetime ambition of becoming the head of state, J. J. Rawlings and some obstreperous army officers took arms and succeeded in overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of Dr Hilla Limann on 31st December 1981.
Rawlings subsequently formed a government which he called the Provisional national Defence Council (PNDC) and appointed himself as the chairman.
Although the PNDC government boasted some seasoned politicians, the vast majority of the military personnel who headed the core Ministries were novices in the political terrain.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the PNDC regime back then, adopted a seemingly disastrous Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), which was introduced under the auspices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In a way, the apparent unfavourable Economic Recovery Programme culminated in a catalogue of hardships. And on top of the harsh policies which threatened the economic fundamentals, the population had to clutch itself for food shortages, a situation which the world press somehow ignored in favour of the concurrent Ethiopian famine that resulted in millions of deaths.
But then again, perhaps, the 1983 famine was comparable to that of the Ethiopian famine back then. Nevertheless, Ghana’s famine was not hyperbolised by the global media.
In a way, both Ghana and Ethiopia back then, were ruled by uncompliant military dictatorships that looked on cluelessly and somehow unperturbed whilst the citizens endured widespread hunger.
And, as food shortages escalated in Ghana, some traders started creating artificial shortages of goods by hoarding them so as to charge exorbitant prices at a later time.
In his weird attempt to get rid of sleaze and corruption, many Ghanaians were unjustifiably murdered or tortured mercilessly for apparent infinitesimal offences.
Regrettably, however, some market women were stripped naked in the public and whipped for either hauling their products or selling on high prices. While their male counterparts were shaved with broken bottles and whipped for offences that would not even warrant a Police caution in a civilized society.
As if that was not enough, three eminent high court judges and a prominent army officer were barbarically murdered by PNDC apple-polishers on 30th June 1982 for carrying out their constitutionally mandated duties.
The PNDC apologists savagely murdered the three eminent high court judges because their judgement did not go in their favour.
Even though Rawlings supplanted power under the pretext of acting as a peripheral Panacea, he spent a little over eleven years before lifting the ban on political parties in 1992.
As a matter of fact, Rawlings succumbed to the internal and external political pressures for him to step down and allow multi-party democracy.
Subsequently, he lifted the ban on political parties in 1992 and resigned from the military simultaneously and put himself forward for election.
Following his retirement from the military, Rawlings went ahead and formed a political party, which he named as the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a progeny of PNDC.
J. J. Rawlings contested and won two elections and completed two terms in office-96 months (democratic rule) before retiring in January 2001.
He soon became the former president and took a back seat as prescribed by the Ghana’s 1992 Constitution. Thus, the stage was set for other qualified people to take over the presidency.
It is also worth mentioning that former President J. J. Rawlings’s 228 months (military, 132 months and democratic, 96 months) administrations only managed to destabilise Ghana’s micro economic indicators.
While on his retirement, former President Rawlings would now and then contribute to the national discourse. As a matter of fact, he has been keeping the successive governments on their toes. He has thus earned the accolade, Dr Boom, for his vociferous and no nonsense approach.
To be quite honest, former President Rawlings has remained the chief critic of his own ruling government. Indeed, he does not shy away from pointing out his NDC government’s incompetence and corrupt practices.
Rawlings stresses: “With the passage of time a few too many selfish and greedy characters soon began to jump on board. “There were some good people; very good people but leadership and the command structure did not empower them to override those who were destroying the party and the government”.
Apparently, the ungrateful cabals in the NDC Party have been plotting evil against the very person whose brainchild (NDC Party) has made them ‘somebody’s’.
“Former President Jerry John Rawlings is not happy with elements in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who are allegedly baying for his blood.
“He is surprised that recent attacks on him have been orchestrated by people within the NDC, the party he founded.
“The ex-President cited the recent petition presented by the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) leader, Henry Lartey to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) asking them to investigate circumstances under which he (Mr Rawlings) reportedly received an amount of $5 million from the late Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha, as gift in 1998.
“Mr Rawlings says his own people in the NDC are behind the ploy to sully his hard-won reputation” (See: ‘$5m Abacha cash, NDC chasing me-says Rawlings’; dailyguideafrica.com, 18/10/2016).
In fact, am not least surprised that some elements in the NDC Party could go to an extreme extent of bringing the name of their party founder into disrepute. After all, hasn’t the party General Secretary Asiedu Nketsia, once called Rawlings a barking dog?
Besides, Haven’t the NDC’s boisterous brats (the babies with sharp teeth) who are not privy to their party’s history been upbraiding Rawlings all the time for expressing his grievances over the rot in his party?
In so far as I am not a fun of Rawlings, I do not think the man deserves all those effusions from the members of the party he worked strenuously to bring to existence.
It is against this background that Rawlings is relishing the opportunity to clean the party he cherishes so much.
Former President Rawlings thus stresses: “I have worked with good people all my life. “I have worked with bad people all my life, some wicked, some with character defects but evil natured people must be kept away”.