Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Issues Ezenator Rawlings Must Confront Head On

It is painful to see Dr. Ezenator Rawlings being so super-careful and groping to find a way to establish herself in Ghanaian politics. Yet, she has a lot going for her. She should simply be her usual self: earnest, creative, outspoken, hardworking and compassionate.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being President Rawlings' daughter. She has as much a right to participate in our nation's politics, as all Ghanaians of sound mind do - if they are so minded.

She must not allow the fact that she is former President Rawlings' daughter to become an impediment for her in her career as an activist politician.

Here is some free consultancy for her: To begin with, she ought to make the point to Ghanaians that she is in politics to give back to society - and because she believes that Ghana needs more servant-leaders who are prepared to mix in with ordinary people and work with them to improve their quality of life.

Her recent health walk initiative and lobbying for the dredging of the Klottey lagoon show what stuff she is made of. They are exemplary examples of community leadership in action - and show what a difference someone like her can make to the future of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

And it is that future that ought to be her focus in the NDC party. Good, young, honest, creative and hardworking leaders with a moral compass are sorely needed in all the political parties - if our nation's moral fabric is not to be completely eroded.

She has complained of  vote-buying by some of her opponents in the NDC primaries for the Korle Klottey constituency. It is instructive that whiles she works to improve the lot of others less fortunate than herself, her cynical self-seeking opponents are buying votes instead.

She should make the point that there is a pressing need to halt the takeover of political parties (across the spectrum) by monied vested interests.

She must state clearly and unequivocally that some of her energies will be devoted to that national transparency and accountability challenge as an activist politician.

 She must tell Ghanaians that on a purely human level, she feels the pain and trauma that victims of the excesses of the 1979 and 1981 military coups suffered - and that like many younger generation Ghanaians she wished that that had never happened.

Naturally, she should state the obvious: that she loves and respects her father, just like all normal daughters do - and that she is proud of the fact that from being a military ruler, he finally ended up as a democratically-elected  leader of Ghana, who handed over power to the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), when it won the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections with a majority.

She should also make the point that she knows that there are some who will say that her father was dragged kicking and screaming to commit to making Ghana a standard bearer of African democracy - but that that's OK with her too.

Above all, she must commend her mother's contribution to empowering women from all classes in Ghanaian society throughout her adult life. The demand for gender parity, now, made recently by Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, should be Ezenator's big political idea too.

Many men in our country don't seem to realise it, but Ghana will never move forward, if a law isn't passed reserving half the seats in Parliament for women.

When that happens, it will change the nature of Ghanaian society in  positive fashion - to the wonder of all Ghanaians. Such a development will help hasten the day when Ghana finally achieves gender parity - spurred on by the nation's empowered women legislators from across the spectrum. Ezenator Rawlings must be in the vanguard of that particular battle.

She can end by saying that she is definitely her own woman - and not an appendage of her parents: for which reason she would henceforth not be answering any questions posed to her by the Ghanaian media about them. She is not their spokesperson - and has no wish to speak on their behalf.

As everyone in Ghana knows her parents are not shy and retiring types - but are an outspoken and plain-speaking couple who are perfectly capable of answering questions posed to them by the Ghanaian media themselves.

Finally, why does Ezenator Rawlings not contact the founder of the NGO, Solar Sisters, Katherine Lucey, and get them to work with her to assist disadvantaged women in the less affluent parts of the Korle Klottey constituency, to enable them sell robust solar lanterns, without first having to make any upfront payments?

Perhaps she could even get the energy company Vivo to sponsor such an empowering initiative for marginalised women in the Korle Klottey constituency - and elsewhere in Ghana?

 One hopes that Ezenator Rawlings, who has charisma in abundance, will have the nous and gumption to confront all the issues outlined above in her own inimitable way. Good luck to her!

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