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One Man’s Swedru, Is Another Woman’s Sunyani   
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Hmm, life is something ooo, today you are up there, tomorrow you are down. Even when you are down and nobody bothers you, you take it like that ooo. But if you are down and people with all manner of legs decide that they will also walk on you some, then it means mangana ya zo.

You see, in this world, the man who is down fears nothing because he already knows his position in life. Haven’t you heard about ‘he that is down fears no fall’? When you are down and you protect your space strongly, you do not care about those who are at the top. After all, one day one day they will come down and meet you there. By that time, you will be the senior prefect. So people who are down are more comfortable and secured than those who are up.

But you see, hmmm, man must go up too oooo. In the local parlance, it is said that some have their downfall or ascension in the morning, some in the afternoon, while others have theirs in the evening. In the same vein, some get to ascend the throne or leadership per the NDC in Swedru while others have their downfall and calculated humiliation in Sunyani.

In life, people have fun memories of places and times that made them what they are. That is why one can see inscriptions on houses in Accra like ‘Obuasi House’, or ‘Takoradi House’ in Tamale. What these may mean is that the owners of those houses might have gotten their monies for those houses in particular towns or cities they migrated to and worked.

When I had the opportunity to do a short programme in Egypt, Cairo to be specific, I saw a shop which had the inscription ‘Gold Coast’. What came to my mind suddenly was that this owner might have lived in my Gold Coast of old and made fortunes from there. Such situations fit the Akan proverb which says ‘kwae a agye wo no, yenfre no kwae wa’. To wit, the forest which saved you is no mean forest. There is always a nostalgic feeling about that place. On the other hand, if one’s sojourn in a particular place brought misfortunes and ill luck, it is normal for one to shudder if the thought of such a place comes to mind.

A little over a decade ago, the NDC met at the commercial town of Agona Swedru in the Central Region of Ghana. It was the final lap of J.J. Rawlings’ hold on this country. The Swedru Sports pitch was the venue and as was expected, all those who mattered in the NDC at the time were present.

Those were the days when the Rawlingses held sway. Madam was the monarch of all she surveyed, very splendid in her ‘hollandi’ and her African headgear. Her cough literally became a command; her presence sent shivers down the spines of appointees of her husband’s government, and anyone of them who was not seen paying obeisance to Her Majesty Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings could be dismissed by the close of the day. At Swedru, President Rawlings, after dealing with the opposition NPP, and having virtually committed an act of contempt in a case of the Republic versus Kofi Coomson and the Chronicle newspaper, proclaimed Prof. John Evans Atta Mills as his anointed son to take over from him. I saw Nana Konadu waving her handkerchief in support of the presidential anointment.

What happened between that time and last Saturday is very much known to many of us. At Swedru, a new king was born to the NDC. The Pharisees in the NDC wanted his blood but could not have even a drop of his sweat.

They left the party and formed another one, but they made sure that Prof. Atta Mills did not become the president of this country in the 2000 elections. The Rawlingses, in spite of the disaffection they courted for themselves by declaring Egya Atta a political neophyte, hitherto unknown to the party until 1996 as the heir apparent, never disserted him. They goaded him on, supported him morally and perhaps virtually picked his campaign bills for the elections. He failed to make it.

To re-echo their trust and confidence in him, the Rawlingses once again offered their maximum support to Egya Atta and in the process, courted the displeasure of one such faithful person like Dr Obed Asamoah, one of the most faithful and the longest ministers to have served in the governments of the Rawlingses. Obed was heckled and booed at their congress at the Accra Trade Fair Centre when he was bidding for the national chairmanship of the party. He suffered a similar fate at Legon during their congress to elect the flag-bearer of the party for the 2004 elections.

To crown it all, Obed further suffered a threat to his life at Koforidua in 2006 for the election of chairman and other officers of the party. But for the swift intervention of the police, Obed might not have been the same as he is today. People who were much closer to the Rawlingses fell out with them because of the trust the Rawlingses had in Egya Atta. They never gave him away even when it became apparent that some members of the party had lost confidence in his ability to win and lead this nation.

Perhaps the Rawlingses still had confidence in his ability to win the 2008 elections, which he did, but were highly disappointed in his leadership skills and style. That has been the point of departure and the genesis of the conflict which culminated in the Sunyani debacle.

While Swedru made a president out of an otherwise unknown political person, a day and place Egya Atta will forever be nostalgic about, Sunyani last week became the waterloo of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and virtually eroded the political fortunes of an otherwise astute political person with some 19 years of organizing women for political purposes which made the NDC what it is today. Those were the days when Egya Atta was ‘dzeing his fie asem’ on the campus of Legon. So while Swedru made a hero out of Egya Atta, someone Nana Konadu undoubtedly had contributed to raise from what Wole Sonyika would describe as political obscurantism, Sunyani made a villain of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings by those who support Egya Atta.

What the future of the Rawlingses in the political landscape of this country would be will be determined by time. There is this story about a couple, Kaka and Tika, who settled in an uncultivated forest. They took all the risks in managing the place, building it into a habitable place for all to live.

Kaka and Tika had children. Then came a time when Kaka thought he needed a linguist and a confidant in his kingdom. He decided to bring an outsider, who had never been tested in the art of governance, to be his second in command. That man was called Kagali. He initially did not create problems in the Kaka kingdom until he was named the heir apparent in the Kaka Kingdom since Kaka was old and therefore could not govern again. This decision generated a lot of protestations from among Kaka’s children but he never budged. Kaka gave Kagali all the support he needed in his new position as the head of Kaka Kingdom, in rain or shine.

In fact, so grateful was Kagali that he promised to consult Kaka 24 hours a day. Over time, the style of governance and leadership style of Kagali displeased Kaka to the point that he was told to go to hell when he complained to Kagali. Kaka became so angry that he virtually described Kagali as a useless person who was working with bastards who were greedy as well. The actions of Kagali also infuriated Tika, the wife of Kaka. So in the course of the year, when the kingdom was going to celebrate its festival which was also a period for the kingdom to determine whether to allow Kagali to continue to rule or be replaced, Tika decided to also be at the kingdom square to challenge Kagali for the leadership of the kingdom.

Kagali, who by this time had entrenched his position with the full support of the greedy bastards, used all the tricks at his disposal to galvanize support at the festival grounds and humiliated both Kaka and Tika. So humiliated were Kaka and Tika that they went home weeping.

The couple, in the first place, was oblivious of the fact that their time was over. And even if Kagali was incompetent, which many agreed he was, the kingdom obviously was not looking for the return of the couple. However, the agonizing defeat and its concomitant humiliation was enough for them to part ways with Kagali. So instead of Kaka, Tika and Kagali, singing together harmoniously for the total applause of the audience, Kaka and Tika parted ways sorrowfully with Kagali.

As to whether Kagali can successfully ascend the throng again without the supporting voice of Kaka in particular, only time will tell. Kagali has new friends; Kaka and Tika have virtually lost their kingdom to an unknown Kagali who has a very bad voice for any kind of song except to say ‘my brothers and sisters and with God on our side’, and his greedy bastards. That is how the world is. Kaka and Tika are nursing their injuries while Kagali and his greedy bastards are rejoicing. Hmmm, mmre dane ampa.

Please give me two tots of mahogany bitters to check my internal smoothness level, after all, what?
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