Propelled by an envious gusto, Former President Jerry John Rawlings stormed a China shop last week, removing all the wares on the shelves and hurling them in all directions.
It was an unproductive effort at reliving the past whose nostalgia gripped him so badly that he could only vent his bottled-up anger on former President John Agyekum Kufuor with a litany of attacks, unprovoked.
Mr. Kufuor’s UN Climate Change appointment also combusted the situation further, since after all, both of them are former heads of state albeit with varying qualities.
The venue was a school in the Volta Region; his audience, students, some of them the age of his grandchildren; and his objective, to infect them with his stock-in-trade contagion of envy and ethnocentrism.
Like others who consider the former President a walking aberration whose words should be despised, we wanted to ignore the verbal venom, but for the age of his audience and his indifference to the effect of his contagious and bloodied reminiscences on the students.
His resonating notoriety, now repulsive to many Ghanaians, has lost the appeal it used to command when he lied about his hatred for the inequalities in society and his promise of rectifying the societal anomaly.
So much water has passed under the bridge and we now know him more than we did when he lied to junior ranks in the colours to support him with the insurrection whose repercussions Ghana is still suffering today.
Why would an adult and a former President carry students along a memory lane that was so bloodied that reference to it evokes nightmares in some individuals and families?
From justification for the unnecessary murder of former heads of state and hundreds of other Ghanaians to why he would not allow his colleague former President Kufuor to sleep, lumped into a speech not germane to the theme he was restricted to, triggers one thought: the gentleman requires specialist attention, if he is already not receiving one.
Laundering the verbal garbage from the former President is an impossible feat akin to seeking a needle in a haystack, yet some who seek his attention and other favours try to do just that. Decent Ghanaians are not asking Rawlings to shut up: they want him to be measured in his remarks – an important attribute of statesmen. Statesmanship is not an automatic accolade or title. It is earned, not accorded to those with coup entries in their CVs and continue to make unguarded and irresponsible remarks. They would not qualify to be statesmen even if they were once heads of state when their remarks are irresponsible and divisive.
Won’t allow former President Kufuor to sleep? We cannot believe that Mr. Rawlings, at his age, would so expressly put out his inordinate hatred and envy for a man who rarely mentions his name.
Apparitions or ghosts haunt individuals who deserve such treatment in several forms. Excessive hatred for people who do not even remember they exist, hallucinations about being chased or about to be descended upon by people on trees, are some of the ailments they suffer.
Source: Editorial/Daily Guide
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