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Rawlings Finally Acknowledges “Times Are Hard In Ghana.”

“Ghana is hard” so says former President Jerry John Rawlings. It is safe to assume therefore that the truth has finally hit Mr. Rawlings in the face like a ton of bricks. I wonder why it took him that long to acknowledge the harsh  realities of the current economic and financial conditions and to decide it was time to demonstrate solidarity with long suffering Ghanaians chafing under immense and overwhelming financial difficulties.

Given his place in Ghanaian society and his past history of speaking his mind on a variety of important national issues, much was expected of the former president.

The least Ghanaians wanted the former military strong man to do was to say something about the hard economic times and to highlight their financial plight and hopefully in the process, push the current NPP government to do more in terms of creating jobs and reducing the prices of basic consumer items.

But for much of the past two years, Mr. Rawlings did not do that; he failed miserably to live up to the expectations of the Ghanaian public.

Instead, he deliberately chose to look the other way even as living conditions got worse and complaints about the failure of the NPP government to provide solutions mounted.

Not that Mr. Rawlings’ did not desire to put the government on the spot, or chastise it for pursuing policies that have not translated into meaningful gains for Ghanaians.

His strategy of silence was designed largely to spite his own political party the National Democratic Congress with whom he had been in a long running battle over ideology and direction.

Such were the differences between Rawlings and those in the party who thought he had gotten too big in his shoes that the former president did not make any effort to hide his animosity towards the party he founded.

So, he looked for ways to sabotage his own political organization. He began by openly throwing his support behind the ruling National Patriotic Party, knowing very well that it won’t sit well with the NDC.

Next, he enthusiastically endorsed the NPP’s policies and at one point, committed the cardinal sin of shamelessly heaping praise on President Nana Akuffo, describing him as a good man and incorruptible.

So, why the sudden change in Mr. Rawlings attitude? When did it dawn on him that the party he is in love with is presiding over a very weak and anemic economy?

Mr Rawlings claims his own difficulties in making ends meet roundly convinced him that times are hard in Ghana. I don’t know about you, but I won’t buy that explanation for a minute.

And the reason is simply this: Mr. Rawlings is trying to draw parallels between his financial status and that of the folks he once ruled. That in my book is a classic example of false equivalence.

The truth of the matter is that Mr. Rawlings epiphany has a lot to do with the discovery that he is backing/supporting the wrong horse.  He has began belatedly to see what Ghanaians knew a long time ago —- that the NPP is grossly ineffective and has been largely a dismal failure at governance. Welcome to the dance, Mr. Rawlings.

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