The politicization of Rawlings’ death is inhuman, crude, tactless, and totally senseless. Let me start with the senseless part.
The craving for sympathy votes began with the death of Professor Atta Mills. But till today, I have not read any research that attributed Mahama’s victory to his death. People have forgotten the good governance of Attah-Mills, an economy growing at global record rates, unprecedented infrastructural development from the new oil money, sound fiscal management resulting in single-digit inflation for his entire rule, and a solid track record of respect for rule of law and human beings.
Why do people think it is the death of someone that can bring them victory and not track records and ideas? Where from this most morbid political strategy?
It is even more senseless in the case of Rawlings because, at the time of his death, Rawlings was a spent force. Alive, despite publicly throwing his support first behind his wife and then later Akufo-Addo, both lost. Now that he has died, people suddenly think he can earn them sympathy votes?
Unlike Mills, Rawlings isn’t a sitting president, and because he had sacrificed the national goodwill he enjoyed, on the altar of his wife’s presidential ambitions, he no more commanded the clout he once had. It won’t suddenly change in death.
Rawlings was a great man, one of the greatest in our history. But he was also human, guilty of weaknesses, and who engaged in fights with others. Are the others, devils for not folding their hands and watching him punch them? Isn’t politics in itself a game of opposing forces?
Does that mean we can’t be humane in death and accord even political opponents the respect they deserve for service to our nation? Akufo-Addo might have fought Rawlings in the past. And so? The NDC too must have fought Rawlings in the past. And so? Please this is getting too crass!
The senseless craving for sympathy votes is very dangerous too. We saw it during Mills’ era. To counter the supposed sympathy votes that Mahama was supposed to enjoy, the NPP invented a most baseless and puerile theory and fed it to an utterly gullible nation, that Mahama killed Mills.
Then finally, a very healthy Aliu Mahama must also suddenly die to bring some measure of parity to the sympathy vote calculations, allowing Akufo-Addo wear an all-white to the funeral to campaign on the funeral ground.
Call it a conspiracy theory if you like. But the open, callous, and shameless fight over sympathy votes over the years portrays our political class as heartless and evil occultists who would stop at nothing to grab political power. Thus the consistent death of people presumed to hold sympathy votes, close to elections should raise eyebrows.
Rawlings was not a saint. He made his own mistakes in life. But he has achieved enough to earn respect to his memory rather than being used as a voting currency. Anybody who loves Rawlings would wish for the whole nation to come together in quiet reflection to honour his memory and legacy.
Anybody openly attacking others and seeking to claim sympathy votes is crude, machiavellian, and dangerous. That goes to the likes of Atubiga, members of the NDP, and any others who are working either publicly or clandestinely to vilify others in order to paint themselves as the ones more qualified to receive sympathy votes on account of Rawlings’ death.
In summary, the open fights are disingenuous because the protagonists would not get the votes they crave for. But worse of all, they expose our political class for the evil that they are, people who stop at nothing, including prominent lives, if in their misguided judgments, they think it would allow them to gain or maintain their hold of a political feudal structure that enriches a few and impoverishes the lot.
Shame on them!