I have bought a card for Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings. It reads: “He’s slow and we don’t know where he’s leading us but don’t fonk with Mills. Told ya, mother-fonkar.”
I hope it brings her some joy as she broods over the humiliation she suffered over the weekend in Sunyani, where she only managed a mere three percent of votes cast in the NDC presidential primaries.
If we were still in the dark days of her husband’s brutal tyranny, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings would have ordered an identification haircut, complete with broken bottles, for whoever advised her bid for the mandate to lead the NDC into electoral battle by wrestling the leadership of the party from the sitting president. Even now, I will bet my last pesewa that she has slapped a few people in her campaign team or heaped vituperations on a good number of them.
Why wouldn’t she?
What happened in Sunyani was a crashing humiliation; a resounding rejection of the Rawlingses. And now, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings is the butt of many Ghanaian jokes. With such an emphatic defeat, probably the most embarrassing anyone has suffered in Ghanaian politics, the jokes are not going to end soon.
Nana Konadu should have seen it coming. Or at the very least, she should have heeded the wise counsel of those who told her not to run. Sadly, those she listens to are either sycophants who tell her what she wants to hear or people who are so afraid of her that they are more than happy to play along with her, hoping she self-destructs.
Self-destruction is what happened to her in Sunyani on Saturday. After huffing and puffing for so long, the mighty Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, even with the support of her husband, the founder and CEO of the NDC, could only garner a paltry 90 out of over 3000 votes.
It’s a very welcome end to the dreadful, forgettable era. The NDC doesn’t belong to the Rawlingses anymore and the delegates in Sunyani delivered an emphatic message that Jerry Rawlings and his wife can go to hell. A little over a month ago Rawlings made remarks which were largely interpreted as a warning that if his wife doesn’t win the mandate to lead the party into next year’s elections, “the inevitable will happen”. Now, we are all looking on, with a smirk on our faces, waiting for the “inevitable” to happen.
We don’t know what exactly it’s going to be. But it could be that the Rawlingses will pull out of the NDC to go and form a new party. That would be a very foolish thing to do. If the party they founded almost 20 years ago has so comprehensively rejected them, I don’t see how the Rawlingses can succeed anywhere else with an infant party. Their best bet will be to remain in the NDC – but on the fringes. That would help them preserve and protect the little that remains of their political dignity.
The booing and jeering they got in Sunyani at the hands of their own NDC followers should be proof enough of what I’ve been saying since Nana Konadu launched her bid for the presidency: Ghanaians are simply tired of the Rawlingses. They have been allowed to ride roughshod over this country for far too long and in Sunyani, thankfully, NDC faithful decided to put a stop to their machinations, borne out of sheer greed and vindictiveness.
The only way for the Rawlingses to redeem themselves is for them to take a complete break from politics for a while. They should take a long vacation on an island somewhere in the Caribbean. When they return, they should just stay mum and refrain from commenting on anything anyone does for at least two years. By just looking on, Jerry Rawlings and his wife will realise that the NDC and Ghana will do just fine, even better, without them.
In any case, Rawlings hasn’t been making much sense with his speeches lately. Very few people outside of his inner circle can claim to have gotten the point of his address in Sunyani on Saturday. His speeches have become so senseless that when he speaks the only thing we are able to take away are the ludicrous, incomprehensible stories he has resorted to telling. Most of us pretend to find the stories funny but we turn around to ask each other: “what in heaven’s name was he talking about.”
A couple of years without any public speaking engagement – at least not of the vitriolic sort he’s is noted for – should give Jerry Rawlings some time to organise his ideas and bring some more coherence to his thoughts. Then when he speaks again – say from 2016 – most of us will sit up and listen, hoping he’d make more sense than he’s been making lately.
For his wife, the battered, humiliated mother-fonkar, let’s all hope she’s finally come to the realisation that she’s better off sticking with gari-frying and palm-oil extraction. That crashing defeat in Sunyani should help her accept the fact that she will never be president of this country. The best she can do for us all is to help her husband enjoy his retirement, focussing on helping to raise their grand-children, one of whom might just be able to lead this country someday, if he or she doesn’t use the Rawlings name.
Mrs. Rawlings could also take advantage of her party being in power (assuming she and her husband are sensible enough not to break away to form a new party) to build the network to enable her go back to her beret-wearing, gari-frying ways. It isn’t much but it’s one of the best ways she knows of helping Ghanaian women. Her sorry run for the presidency must have caused a lot of ambitious women to question whether a woman can ever try for the highest office in the last. It’s one of the most devastating drawbacks for women empowerment in this country but she shouldn’t even make an attempt to do anything to repair the damage she has caused. She should just go and fry more gari as an income generating venture for the poorest of Ghana’s poor women whiles we look for untainted, more humane, less vindictive, non-Rawlings women of vision to participate actively in decision making at the highest level of governance in this country.
As I said months ago, any woman can be president of this country, but certainly not this mother-fonkar.