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Is Rawlings Serious?


Is former president Jerry John Rawlings a secret card carrying member of the ruling NPP?

It is just as well I ask this obnoxious question because his recent flirtation — his bromance — with President Akuffo Addo and open adulation of the NPP point inexorably to an obsession, and to a man who is politically adrift, embittered and determined to  “sock it” to the NDC, the party he founded.

In an interview with Bola Ray, Mr. Rawlings was clearly in his element, insisting with a mixture of glee and mischief that the NPP was a shooin for the election in 2020, will be hands down winners, no questions about that.

Here was the former macho man exuberating about the NPP and casting doubt on his own party’s ability to regain power: “These people think they can unseat this man–Akuffo Addo— in 2020? the NPP after only four years? No.”

Now, we all know the former military strongman is controversial and famous, as it were, for his fiery speeches and bombast.

But for the founder of the nation’s premier opposition party to publicly state without any qualms or equivocation that its perennial nemesis, the NPP, is a sure bet for the 2020 general elections is, well, above unusual; it is downright betrayal of the worse kind.

Even in the topsy turvy world of Ghanaian politics, Rawlings bravado is absolutely stunning. Utterances of the kind Rawlings made are usually the stock in trade of party underlings, the non consequential members of the organization whose statements carry little weight.

Rawlings, however, carries a big stick which is to say he has considerable influence in Ghanaian politics, particularly so in NDC’s circles where he is a revered figure. His shameless flirtation with the NPP denotes a troubled NDC and amplifies the continuing internal wrangles within the organization.

Granted Mr. Rawlings has a bruised ego — he feels disrespected and completely sidelined by the current leadership of the NDC, did it not occur to the former president that it would have been prudent, wise and statesmanlike if he had kept his innermost feelings about the NPP entirely to himself and not share them with the public?

At the very least, he would have spared the barrage of taunts that foes have hurled the NDC’s  way and erased doubts that have been planted in the minds of thousands about the party’s resilience and ability to rebounce after suffering an embarrassing electoral defeat.

Ironically, as Rawlings and the NDC deal with the fallout from his foolishness, the NPP laughs all the way to political nirvana.

There is no doubt that the NDC is in a whole heap of trouble — Rawlings inexplicable endorsement of the NPP painfully suggests that —- and if the pettiness, jealouses and carping continue, the party would once again find itself explaining to its millions of supporters why it lost a pivotal election to the NPP.





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