Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Why Ghanaians outside should criticise Rawlings regime

A rejoinder to a letter published on September 9, 1985
Some people close their eyes to reality and also refuse to think that Jerry Rawlings' tyranny poses threat to the survival of generations of Ghanaians. Such people are either off their rockers or their heads are buried in the sands up to their ankles.

Zulema, Los Angeles (Talking Drums, September 9, 1985) should have the remaining of his fingers go up to himself. He fumed, probably for lack of elucidation, at "attacks" on PNDC and its chairman Jerry Rawlings by "runaways". He and his types must be aware that most of the "attacks" on Jerry Rawlings and his regime are rooted in the impregnable rock of constitutional, economic, social and political arguments.

As a Ghanaian patriot, who quite early on had premonitions of the danger to the country from Rawlings, Rawlings. Abbey, Tsikatas Ahwois, P.V. Obeng, Chris Bukhari Atim and their like, I chose London, for the simple reason that it is the centre of world communications, to wage fearless attacks on a diabolical PNDC. Most of the compatriots I left behind in Ghana have been sought for and destroyed by Rawlings' elimination squad'. Everyone chooses the type of terrain he could conduct his fight well against the infamous PNDC. Why should I leave my beloved motherland to attack a monstrous regime? After all, it is not a luxury to live in London especially, as I am used to the village life in Ghana.

The following are some of the crucial issues that motivate me to write, for instance, to Talking Drums.

1. Jerry Rawlings just after his coup had the cheek to declare at Tamale that Ghana's independence was just for flag and anthem. Apart from being derogatory remarks used by ex- colonial rulers and their sympathisers, it was sacrilegious to those who dedicated their lives to Ghana's independence. Ghana contributed immensely to the freedom of most of the African countries.

2. The chairman of PNDC is against a government based on the logic of a one man one vote political arrangement backed by a constitution.

3. In vain and clumsy efforts to brainwash the Ghanaian populace so as to divert attention from the enormity of PNDC organised treasonable crimes, the radio, televisions and the newspapers are no less than mere media for the spreading of wild lies and cheap propaganda. The leadership is intolerant to balanced debates on national issues that affect the destiny of the Republic of Ghana.

4. Freedom of movement and associations have been curtailed with unbridled repression, just to perpetuate the morbid ambition, inordinate and selfish desires of Jerry John Rawlings.

5. The reckless economic policies of the PNDC, who are nothing but ignorant men and women without economic and political foundations, have sunk the country further down to the lowest ebb. Flooding the markets with "commodities" bought with usurious private banks' loans, which the average Ghanaian could not afford to buy is an insult to the pride of the Ghanaian citizenry. Although the quislings of PNDC are trumpeting that Ghana is a better place to live under

Mr Kofi Akosah Sarpong of Freetown, Sierra Leone (Concord September 12, 1985) quipped that Rawlings is doing everything appropriate to make Ghana great. By what means, Mr Akosah Sarpong did not elaborate.

Mr J.H. Mensah in a brilliant treatise on page 17 (Talking Drums, July 29, 1985) succinctly wrote inter alia:

"The 'economic success' that has been achieved under the IMF/PNDC model programme is surely a hoax, impressive to media and other foreign visitors, but carrying very serious consequences for Ghanaians both now and in the future. . . To repay private sector debts with loans for the IMF is to put the country into a much more difficult straight jacket. The repayment of IMF debt takes absolute precedence over every other use of the nation's resources ." unquote.

6. The tactless approach to revive tribalism, which Ghana took so many years of efforts to dampen, is damnable. Rawlings and his PNDC is presiding over Ghana, a nation now so divided on tribal lines with the majority tribes seething with discon- tent. A serving Ambassador had the nerve to write a book to give boost to the whims of decadent tribalism, he is still at his post representing unitary Ghana.

7. Institutions like the civil and public services, courts, the armed forces, have been disorganised with PNDC's sadism. Though some of these institutions needed reforms but not to the extent, they have been rendered unworkable.

8. On the lines of ideology, Rawlings could not grasp the essence of any coherent political thought.

Rawlings is the sort of man, Mr Lionheart Ofutugbeh on page 1763 (West Africa, August 28, 1985) was comparing with the astute Late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. In practical politics and clarity of political thought, Jerry Rawlings is not fit to be compared with any known Ghanaian head of state including, of course, other successful coup makers.

This does not mean that the leader of the last government supplanted did not show ignorance to state that "Ghana" and "agriculture" were the ideologies of the President and his vice respectively. How possible, in the science of both theoretical and practical politics?

The remarkable feats of Kwame Nkrumah greatly advanced the causes of Africa's liberation and initial successes of an attempted unification. The less said about Rawlings, the political charlatan of the latter half of the 20th century, the better.

The regime of Rawlings is mired in overall policies, based neither on logic nor equity, hence it needs to be constantly attacked; from which corner of the globe is irrelevant.

Ntim Gyakari, London

talking drums 1985-09-30 Ghana Now Inconsistencies and Realities - Miriam Makeba