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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Rawlings is Undermining President Mills’ Authority

It is very unhelpful for President Mills to say that “If someone will do it for me so be it,” in reference to a visit by Ex-President Rawlings in Brong Ahafo in which he allegedly visited military formations and inspected guard of honour. To say, “If someone will do it for me so be it” when the President has not authorised him to visit military formations and inspect guard of honour is a dangerous act that could undermine the security of our nation and destroy our fledging democracy. I am sure President Mills knows the security implications of allowing someone with a record of coups to visit military installations, inspect a guard of honour, visit military formations, and forcefully enter restricted areas at the airport to take pictures when the president has not authorised him to. 

If someone could freely visit military installations, inspect guard of honour, issue warnings to the president then what does it entails? First it shows a president who is not in control of affairs neither in his party nor the nation. Second, it shows a President whose constitutional power and authority as the commander-in-chief of the army are being undermined daily by the supposed founder of his party and has no idea how to react. Third, it shows a weak and a frustrated president who is unable to tame his party officials and could only bark when his ability to govern is constantly being undermined. It shows a President who is doing all that he can to avoid collusion with his former boss but is constantly being taunted and invited for a fight.

The recent utterances and actions of Jerry Rawlings coupled with his profile as a serial coup maker, should be a major concern to Mills and all those who subscribe to democracy and rule of law. The activities and behaviour of the former Chairman of AFRC, PNDC and founder of NDC should be a major concern not only to President Mills but also to our development partners. 

Those who can read negative security signals can testify that what Rawlings is doing now is nothing but a preparation for what will happen in future should he decides to break ranks with Mills. Rawlings is slowly building support in the army and weakening the standing, loyalty and support of the president. He is appearing friendly to the army to boost his popularity while undermining the position of the commander-in-chief.

What is so serious is the way the army officers welcomed him and allowed him to inspect the guard of honour without asking the most crucial question as to whether Rawlings had authority from the President to inspect the guard of honour and visit the military formations. 

Should the current warnings and criticisms by Rawlings degenerate into power struggle between him and Mills, it is obvious that the army will choose Rawlings because of the support he is building. This is exactly what happened after the AFRC had handed over power to Limann.

Rawlings has demonstrated ample evidence that he has no patience and stomach for democracy, pragmatism, and politics of inclusion. He has enough record to show that he can easily breakaway from whoever has been his ally. The breakdown of his relationship with the likes of Boakye Gyan, Totobi Quakye, P.V. Obeng, Obed Asamoah should be a reminder that he Rawlings cannot keep a permanent friend. We all know what happened to Limann after he had said Rawlings would not overthrow his government. Rawlings struck less than three years after handing over power and continued as a dictator for another 19 years. 

We are all witnesses or at least some of us are witnesses to his barbaric regimes that saw all but one ex-heads of states of Ghana killed in cold blood. I need not to remind Ghanaians what will befall its political and business leaders if Rawlings utterances and actions transform into deeds. The truth is that Ghanaians are familiar with what Rawlings is currently doing and paid dearly for tolerating it. 

To avoid the repeat of the AFRC, PNDC and the incursion of the military into the politics of the country, President Mills should not allow Rawlings the free hand he is currently having in entering unauthorised security areas and taking pictures at the airport, visiting military installations and inspecting a guard of honour when the president has not authorised him to. It is also important for President Mills to constantly review the security situation in the country and as a matter of necessity check his own security team to avoid any disloyalty.

Rawlings and his henchmen will say anything to discredit popular opinion that he has a diabolical agenda by visiting the military installations but we all know that actions speak louder than words and that is true when dealing with Rawlings. 

As the situation stands today, it is only President Mills and Parliament who can restrict Rawlings from doing what he is doing and therefore the onus is on them to either stop him or allow him to undermine the Constitution of the Fourth Republic and eventually overthrow the government. 

By Lord Aikins Adusei
(Political Activist and Anti-Corruption Campaigner)

1 comment:

Yipe said...

Methinks there are a lot of similarities with the situation in Kenya where even people are now saying that the brutal and rapaciously corrupt regime of Daniel Moi is preferable to President Kibaki.

Mills sounds just like Kibaki. It makes one wonder what is the use of elections if the MAN IN CHARGE remains the same person we kicked out democratically through the ballot.

What we need is change. People of integrity with no ties whatsoever to past leaders, who should probably be cell mates of Charles Taylor at the Hague.

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