Rawlings cannot be a good example of a statesman
When the one-time Air Force pilot, who had twice seized power and led the two bloodiest regimes in the history of national politics, converted the entire governance structure into a political party in 1992, using national resources, he was hailed as the founder of the National Democratic Congress.
When he put down his military fatigues and assumed the national Presidency, he was hailed by his party gurus and footsoldiers as the best thing to happen to Ghana. Up till now, there are people in the NDC who seem to believe that before the advent of Jerry John Rawlings, this country had never known democratic rule.
But truth is that only a thin line divided the former Air Force pilot’s rule as a dictator, and the so-called civillian President of the Republic of Ghana, which he became later. Throughout his administration, Jerry John Rawlings never saw anything good about any other administration, aside of the anarchy he created, and which was christened by his sycophantic followers as a constitutional administration.
As a military dictator, he supervised over fraud in gargantuan figures. The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and the Provisional National Defence Council both extorted monies from businessmen who fell foul of the draconian laws introduced by the military oligarchy.
Billions of cedis were launched into both the AFRC Account 48 and PNDC Account 48. For the records, both accounts and the billions of cedis disappeared into thin air.
When Jerry John Rawlings was asked about these accounts, his response was that he was not an Accountant. In the civil regime of NDC Mark One, Jerry Rawlings presided over fraud of gargantuan magnitude. And it was under Rawlings, when Ms. Cotton, an unemployed African American, was handed over US$20 million of state money to grow rice in the Volta Region.
Even when evidence emerged that Ms. Cotton did not know what she was doing, the state still doled out the money. As it turned out, ministers of state fully benefitted from the venture.
In another bizarre case, the government of Flt. Lt. Rawlings issued a White Paper to exonerate senior members of his administration, who had been investigated by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and pronounced to be corrupt.
By the time he left office, several state properties under divestiture had been sold to close associates of the former President. The Nsawam Cannery, for instance, was sold to the 31st December Women’s Movement, led by Mrs. Rawlings, his wife.
In spite of the sleaze he presided over, Mr. Rawlings has been lampooning any and every administration that has ever taken centre stage of governance in Ghana. He made it a point of calling ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor Atta Ayi, after Ghana’s most notorious armed robber.
Even when the man he handpicked, in the person of deceased President John Evans Atta Mills, won power, Jerry John Rawlings made it a point of calling him names until he departed to glory.
The Chronicle is of the view that Jerry John Rawlings cannot be a good example of a Statesman. That is why he should not be taken seriously. He appears to be seeing the ghosts of the many Ghanaians who were dispatched to the next world under his watch.
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