By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
At the just-ended delegates’ congress and primaries of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, the founding-father of the party and Ghana’s longest-reigning strongman, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, had occasion to throw the following open invitation to his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, as follows: “Let’s us invite our mother, Nana Konadu, to come back home. I hope she can hear us; I hope she can see us” (See “Asiedu-Nketia: NDC Won’t Beg Nana Konadu to Return” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 12/24/14).
The call was quite curious because just a couple of days later, the former first lady roundly rejected the same. But what her refusal highlights is clearly the fact that the days when Togbui Avaklasu, I, wore the proverbial pants – those bloody AFRC and PNDC days – are way long behind us. Initially, I had thought that the former president must have had a frank bedroom chat with his wife over the matter before he put the same before the delegates’ conference, as a suave face-saving way of having a hopelessly defeated Nana Konadu resume her once dominant role in the affairs of the faux-socialist party. It may just as well strikingly reflect the long-rumored strained conjugal relationship between the bloody and jaded couple.
For those of us avid watchers of the career of the bloody couple, however, such call was, at best, a long shot. This is because about the only terms upon which Nana Konadu can be expected to rejoin the hawkish and grubby fold of the movers and shakers of the National Democratic Congress, would be for President John Dramani Mahama to summarily renounce the possibility of seeking a second term in office. But, unfortunately for Konadu, already, the Bole-Bamboi native has made it patently clear that he has absolutely no intention, whatsoever, of stepping down for anyone else.
And on the preceding score, of course, ought to be recalled the fact that in 2011 when Mrs. Rawlings parted ways with the National Democratic Congress, in order to either co-found or assume the leadership role of the National Democratic Party (NDP), it had been in the wake of her epic humiliation by then-President John Evans Atta-Mills, the man Nana Konadu had grown such a loathing and revulsion for that she wanted to unseat him in order to win back her husband’s old job, so as to be able to subject Ghanaians to another bloody bout of political witchhunting and the summary and radical liquidation of her political opponents.
In the lead-up to her Sunyani Fiasco, the Life-President of the 31st December Women’s Movement had been virulently and incessantly accusing the recently deceased President Atta-Mills of having unwisely given up on the “revolutionary” agenda of the Chairman, by which latter reference was meant the massive and unrelenting prosecution of all cabinet appointees of the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party government.
The fact of the matter, though, is that it was not that President Atta-Mills had not studiously followed the vengeful cause of his former boss, the retired Ghana Airforce flight-lieutenant. It was just that the former University of Ghana Law School professor had crushingly lost the first tranche of his prosecutorial targets, among them a former Finance Minister, and come to wisely, albeit belatedly, conclude that the best way to go at it was to concentrate the bulk of his fast-flagging energy and attention on forging an atmosphere of political stability, if an appreciable level of national development was to be achieved.
Since then, Mrs. Rawlings has spent most of her time either badmouthing the very people who facilitated the wanton exploitation of the Ghanaian people, as well as the peremptory domination of the latter by Chairman Rawlings, first as an absolute ruler – some have called him a “Benign Dictator” – and a civilian and “democratically elected” premier for a combined total of twenty years; during this period, it is important to note, the Chairman’s over-ambitious wife had been frenetically scheming to assume the country’s fledgling democratic reins of governance by hook or crook.
It is also significant to recall that following the selection of the now-President Mahama as running-mate of the then-Candidate Atta-Mills, Mrs. Rawlings hopped from one radio station to another vehemently denouncing such choice and claiming that not only could the now-President Mahama not be trusted – Nana Konadu had not bothered the least bit to explain precisely what she meant – but even more importantly, the selection of the former Rawlings Communications Minister was not valid until her husband officially consented to the same.
That Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, however defiant she may be, appears to have conclusively come to the realization that she is an effectively and permanently defeated politician, was recently summed up by the former ceramicist on Ghana’s TV3 as follows: “I worked hard to build this party [i.e. NDC]. But even when you build a house, you build the house because you want to live in it… and you find that robbers have taken over your house and the house has been desecrated in some way and you have the chance to move into a smaller house somewhere…. If you are not staying there, then that’s your problem.”
Put in simpler terms, Nana Konadu is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, a grotesque sort of Catch-22 situation. Still, though, the relevant question to ask here is this: Precisely who created these Robber Barons and Baronesses that Nana Konadu is talking about and, of which, by the way, she is the undisputed Queenpin?