On Saturday August 24, the internet broke with a viral video and stories of ex-president Jerry John Rawlings, when he was asked by journalists about what he made of the PPA rot, while on his way to vote in the main opposition National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary primaries in the Klottey Korle constituency where his daughter, Dr Zanetor Ageyman-Rawlings is the incumbent MP, Mr Rawlings said: “No, I haven’t” heard of it.
It must have come as a rude shock to everyone as it did to me, the above statement attributed to the former president.
Judging from his body language, it was clear that he was not prepared for that question. He should have just taken a pass, but knowing who Mr Rawlings is, the traitor in him won’t let him.
Mr Rawlings, has been like that, since Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, took the oath of office on January 7, 2017.
A man who was known for speaking his mind and standing by the courage of his conviction, has suddenly become a proverbial Monkey ‘who sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil’.
If the question the journalist asked was on the economy, I would have pardoned him and say he has so much on his plate and as he himself, has claimed years ago that he does not know what economics is, but not corruption, because it came as a shock to many Ghanaians, who have followed Mr Rawlings, when he first burst onto the political scene.
Corruption is an area, where Mr Rawlings made his name, it is a canker he abhors and those who worked closely with him during the PNDC and NDC era, will tell you he does not pat an eyelid to punish his appointees.
If his heart still beats even faintly on corruption, Mr Rawlings would at least have condemned the action of the embattled PPA boss.
If I have learnt anything since 2017, it is that in politics, only interest matters and prevails. It doesn’t add up whether these personal interests are at the detriment of the masses.
Personal and selfish interest! Interest against the masses! Not even a politico can be exempted from this generalization.
In 2008, when Akufo-Addo, first run for the presidency, Mr Rawlings, threw a lot of salvos at him, hear him:”The NPP are bringing a thief to take over from another thief,” he said, referring to Nana Akufo-Addo and President Kufuor, and added that there was no difference between the two.”
He continued that “the NPP leaders are a bunch of thieves; they are greedy and very selfish. They have looted the national coffers and see how they are shamelessly flaunting their wealth around in the midst of humiliating conditions of majority of the people”.
Jerry John Rawlings was formerly known for his fierce critiques and diatribes against the person of Akufo-Addo. Deep-seated was he in this enterprise that he even quizzed that “that short man, what is his name”.
In 2017, however, when Mr Rawlings foresaw that his personal interest was in jeopardy if he didn’t form a synergy with Akufo-Addo, the rather agent of destabilization, he quickly humbled himself and embraced the administration to satiate his selfish interest.
Today, the erstwhile corrupt people are now the only people that understand the suffering of Ghanaians. What an irony! The rest, as they say, is history.
What is it that Presidents, John Evans Atta Miils and John Dramani Mahama government of yore had done that the present Akufo-Addo government has not replicated?
Talk of lopsided anti-graft war. Talk of arrogance of power. Talk of disrespect for the entire citizens. If there is any difference between presidents Mills, Mahama, Akufo-Addo, it will be in terms of the enormity.
Today corruption, has been institutionalized, we even have traffic of corruption. Someone mocked the president on his Facebook, when he posted that “Please Mr president, we beg, let us finish discussing one scandal before you produce another, you are creating traffic in our minds.”
This post captures succinctly the mess we find ourselves with this administration.
Today, the erstwhile corrupt and war monger in the eyes of Mr Rawlings, is now the only option for Ghana.
A lot of people, both within the party he founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and well-meaning Ghanaians, were amazed when the former president, who hitherto could smell corruption miles away, claimed he has not heard of Manazeh’s expose’ of the PPA boss.
If Mr Rawlings has any moral fibre, he will know that the buck stops on the desk of the president. If corruption and lawlessness is being perpetrated under Akufo-Addo unabated, then I strongly suggest he is ultimately responsible as a leader.
Mr Rawlings, should have known by now that, Akufo-Addo, is not an angel of moral as he has wont to be betrayed, because all he has accomplished since 2017 are attempts at pulling the wool over our eyes, but in vain.
Not too long ago, Pastor Mensa Otabil, General Overseer and founder of International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), said that he no longer watches or listen to news but rather National Geographic.
According to him, the media in Ghana are so “depressing” and full of “mediocrity” – a situation, he said, compels him to prefer watching foreign TV channels that show documentaries about animals rather than wasting his time listening to local radio or watching local TV stations.
Mr Rawlings, could probably have also joined the likes of Otabil, who have lost interest in our local news.
He is also no longer interested in what is happening in the country, because by doing so, he will not have to confront Akufo-Addo and the NPP.
Mr Rawlings, is oblivious of what is happening in the country, but, in fairness to Mr Rawlings, one needs to understand that when your mouth is full, you do not talk.
Mr Rawlings’s role requires that he speaks consistently, in line with his personal convictions, but now he has become a praise-singer with the skills capable of soothing the troubled soul of his benefactor Akufo-Addo.