Monday, December 22, 2014
Folks, the call by former President Rawlings to his wife (Nana Konadu) to return to her political family (the NDC) provides material for my second opinion piece on happenings at the just-ended NDC delegates’ congress in Kumasi.
Rawlings had said that Nana Konadu played a cardinal role in the founding of the NDC and helped it win elections. According to him, while no one could begrudge his wife for deciding to break from the NDC owing to happenings at the time, he thought Nana Konadu was better off returning the fold of the NDC. (See more at: http://graphic.com.gh/news/politics/35793-nana-konadu-must-come-back-home-rawlings.html#sthash.n0jKI3ir.dpuf).
As is to be expected of a not-well-focused politician, the Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Dr. Josiah Aryeh, quickly reacted to Rawling’s suggestion, saying that “the NDP has not yet considered joining its mother party, the NDC.” According to him, if the NDC has considered calling the NDP back, the party (NDP) members have to hold a meeting and collectively agree as to whether to return or not. In an interview with Citi News Dr. Aryeh, said it has “never been on the NDP’s agenda” to return to the NDC.
“…We believe in plurality of opinions and we have to take decisions collectively. If it comes to a particular point where we must take a decision, we will take that decision collectively democratically. If former President thinks that is the way to go…his opinion is respected…we have to also consider it within a meeting and come to a collective decision.” (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=339997)
It amazes me how Dr. Aryeh would be so out-of-control on this issue. For his information, ex-President Rawlings wasn’t asking the NDP to vanish or collapse itself into the NDC. He was specific in his suggestion that the NDC should make efforts to bring back his wife into the party. His wife, not the NDP!! Couldn’t Dr. Aryeh have been politically astute enough to separate Nana Konadu from the NDP? Or does he think that Nana Konadu is the NDP and the NDP, Nana Konadu? If so, what will be the future of this party that he upholds and represents as its National Chairman? A pathetic soul who would have made more strides in the NDC had he not sold his conscience to the NPP for a mere pittance only to be found out and disciplined!!
For purposes of clarification, let me quote directly what Rawlings said that was reported:
“Let us invite our mother Nana Konadu to come back home. I hope she can hear us, I hope she can see us but then again, can you blame her?” he said, explaining that although his wife left the party in 2012 to form her own party, she cannot be blamed for her decision to leave.”
Side attraction: The comments by Madam Akua Donkor that debunked criticisms by political opponents seemed to have set the tone for Rawlings’ entreaties. He was reported as being impressed by Madam Donkor’s viewpoints. Yes, Ghanaian women have their role to play in local and national politics, but “if the there is not there”, they shouldn’t force it to be “there”! That is what Nana Konadu hasn’t been able to contain, which is why she is neither here nor there!!
Nana Konadu to return to the NDC to do what spectacularly? A lot of water has passed under the bridge; and Nana Konadu already knows where she stands. If she doesn’t, then, she is indeed politically wayward. Can she not bring herself to know why despite all that he is, her husband couldn’t prevent the forces that re-shaped the NDC (reducing his so-called status as “Father-and-Founder” to absurdity)?
Let’s remember that “cultism” is the bane of political parties. Those that seek to remain vibrant go beyond cultism and survive. It is principles that nourish political parties, not personalities!! The Rawlingses have their surrogates in the NDC but they cannot do anything to restore the Rawlings “mojo” to be deferred to as the be-it-all-and-end-it-all for the party. Times have changed and new circumstances in the post-Father-and-Founder-of-the-NDC era have their own dynamics. The NDC deserves better.
Many who left it because they couldn’t use it to serve their political ambitions either went further astray into the political wilderness or returned to become more sober and respectful of the forces that determine the ebb and flow.
If you doubt it, ask the elements constituting the useless National Reform Party of Goosie Tanoh, Dr. Obed Asamoah’s Democratic Freedom Party, or any other (including those who flirted with the NPP and CPP).
Folks, anybody guided by conscience will have a political home and stay therein, no matter what happens. Those who obey the wind end up as Nana Konadu doing. Terrible things happen to those who don’t stop, look, and listen before leaping into the political vortex!!
Again, we need to know that it is not the NDC that is asking her to return “home” but her husband. This kind of crusade has its own political twists, which I will tease out in my opinion piece.
Here is the rub, after all. Both Rawlings and his wife are crafty and politically nimble. Those who don’t know them will rush to dismiss them n uncomplimentary language as their opponents have been doing all these years. Those who know them will caution against their being thrown away with the Ghanaian political bath water because their political manouevres are intricate and cannot be appreciated and counteracted easily. History informs me as such.
Take, for instance, the successful insertion of themselves into Ghanaian politics on June 4, 1979, and December 31, 1981, and all that they did to survive the whirligig of the times. They are still active because they know how to play their cards. In the nearly 20 years that Rawlings ruled Ghana, he left no one in doubt about what made him loom large on the Ghanaian political scene. His wife basked in that image and launched her own political career through the 31st December Women’s Movement. Only a purposefully ignorant person will fail to appreciate the overpowering presence of the Rawlingses in that era.
Even after leaving office, they commanded more public attention than their political opponents whose agenda of revising Ghana’s history within the context of the Rawlings phenomenon took the centre-stage of their partisan political manouevres. They failed woefully only to turn round t9o snuggle to the Rawlingses for political succour at Election 2012. They were well-dodged and haven’t learnt any useful lesson to know how to deal with the Rawlingses. That is why the recent claim by Nana Konadu that she won’t contest the Presidential elections in 2016 but would rather throw her weight behind the NPP’s Akufo-Addo makes me laugh my heart out loud. The Rawlingses are playing games that those who don’t have the capacity to unpack cannot know or be prepared for.
They know that their very survival depends on how they position themselves to continue to be relevant. And they are already assured of the benefits because of the structures that they put in place and have continued to nurture all these years. I am a Rawlings follower and know what I am talking about, even if I sometimes take matters to a different level to condemn or criticize them whenever possible. Anybody who follows the Rawlingses must know why; and it shouldn’t be difficult for such a person to know why abandoning the Rawlingses is a Herculean task. Those who jumped the ship that Rawlings brought them on may have their own stories to tell; but who will listen to them to make any difference? Rawlings remains a “movement” because a MOVEMENT he is destined to be!!
Can we say so of his wife? I don’t think so. Many reasons may be used to support my stance, but whatever there is to deflate her is not difficult to fathom, especially after Rawlings left office and she ended up being prosecuted by the Kufuor government. But for Kufuor’s cowardice and inconsistency, she would have been imprisoned. Beyond that, her credibility problems associated with the dastardly kidnapping and murder of the three High Court judges and retired Army Major (Sam Acquah) aren’t anything to be proud of.
More pronounced also are her own political miscalculations. When she decided to undercut the late President Mills in pursuit of her ambition to become the NDC’s flagbearer for Election 2012, she sowed a seed that would blossom to destroy her political career. Happenings at the Sunyani Congress confirmed everything and sent her into a tail spin that prompted her leaving the NDC. In that period, her husband was struggling with his own problems as strenuous efforts were being made to divest him of the status of “Father and Founder of the NDC”. While Nana Konadu took the easiest way out, Rawlings refused to break ranks with the NDC. He remained, even if he maintained his rancorous relationship with the forces undercutting him. So has he been to date, despite making utterances and behaving in a way that was clearly detrimental to the interests of the NDC.
As Nana Konadu left the NDC to form the National Democratic Party, she sought to torment the NDC. We can easily recall her claims over ownership of the emblem of the NDC and how she sought to rip the party off. Her persistent lambasting created serious problems, but the NDC proved her wrong by winning Election 2012, which worsened her plight.
Apparently left with nowhere else to go (after all, her NDP cannot win any election in Ghana for what it is, made up of disgruntled political novices known for their bad records than anything that they can offer Ghanaians to win their confidence, trust, and support), she gravitated toward the NPP and joined it in criticizing the Mahama-led administration to create the impression that it is woefully incompetent. Ghanaians know better.
Nana Konadu has been at the crossroads all this while and needs a leeway, which her husband has adroitly carved with his suggestion to the NDC to consider recalling her into its fold. This suggestion raises serious questions: Was it the NDC that kicked her out or she kicked herself out of equation? And she was even a national executive officer at the time she allowed her political ambitions to take a better part of her aspirations in Ghanaian politics!!
So, if she took the initiative to desert the NDC, why should the onus now be on the NDC to bring her back into the fold?
You see, folks, both Rawlings and his wife know how to play their political game so they can remain on the political horizon. For now, they are straddling the two camps (NDC and NPP), and are likely to laugh all the way to any part of the world whether it is the NDC that remains in power or the NPP that takes over. They are cleverly spreading themselves thin for some relief, no matter who rules Ghana. That is how they are doing things, which is what I want to draw attention to.
In the long run, whether the NDC recalls Nana Konadu or she recants and r4eturns to her political home, the truth remains that she is not acquitting herself properly and will forever be remembered as such. Why is it difficult for her to know that once Rawlings is gone, she must go too? For all the nearly 20 years that Rawlings ruled Ghana, she was his shadow, criss-crossing the political landscape and making no effort to hide the fact that she was the one to be obeyed. What again is there for her to display? We know where we’ve come from and where we want to go next. If Nana Konadu can swallow her pride and murderous political ambitions to know that even the might eagle flying above finds time to perch, she should regain the credibility and respect that she has lost by her own acts of indiscretion and unguarded political talk. The urge to return to the NDC lies with her, not the NDC!!
The final nagging issue is: What has Rawlings been discussing with his wife about her future political direction? And being the husband, what has he told her about returning to the NDC? Instead of making the appeal to the NDC to create the unfortunate impression that Nana Konadu’s decision to desert the NDC stemmed from the wrong done her by the NDC, why don’t he simply have a “pillow-talk” with his wife for her to know things better and how to retrace her steps to the NDC?
I have read a deeper meaning into this yeoman’s job being done by Rawlings; but I will end it all here by saying that the NDC has been doing well without Nana Konadu’s presence and will continue to do so. If she knows that she can’t survive without the NDC, then, the onus of rediscovering her political direction lies with her, not with the NDC. Can she swallow her pride and do what is logical? Probably, she may claw back some goodwill if she faces the truth that her political ambitions scare Ghanaians because they have the makings of a Rawlings dynasty. Ghanaians won’t tolerate such a dynasty. So may it be for others who are basking in the glory of their fathers’ accomplishments. No room for any dynasty in Ghana!!
I shall return…
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