A lecturer at the Central University Law Faculty says Dr. Valerie Sawyerr’s claim that former President John Rawlings is selective in criticising corruption in the country makes Dr. Sawyerr a hypocrite.
Yaw Oppong believes, Dr. Sawyerr – the former Deputy Chief of Staff for ex-President John Mahama – lacks the moral authority to call Mr. Rawlings a hypocrite because she too has remained quite while Mr. Rawlings attacked persons not belonging to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Valerie Sawyerr stirred controversy early this week when she wrote an explosive article that condemned former President Rawlings and former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, of hypocrisy for their constant attacks on the NDC and former President John Mahama.
Mr. Rawlings and Mr. Amidu have both, in different ways, described the NDC under John Mahama as the most corrupt.
However, in that article, Dr. Valerie cited many corruption allegations under the current administration that have failed to elicit the kinds of criticism from Mr. Amidu and former President Rawlings, suggesting that the two NDC stalwarts are deliberately carving up disaffection for the opposition party.
That article received a strongly-worded rebuttal from Mr. Amidu and kick started an old debate about the appropriateness of assigning the ‘NDC Founder’ status to Mr. John Rawlings.
Discussing the matter that raged on over the week on Joy FM/Multi TV news analysis programme, Newsfile on Saturday, Mr. Oppong said he is convinced Mr. Rawlings is only cleaning his house first.
Dr. Valerie’s criticisms against Mr. Rawlings, he said, rather “cast her in the mold of hypocrisy.”
“When last week former President Rawlings took on former President Kufuor, nobody took [Mr. Rawlings] on…He even compared [Mr. Kufuor] to a convicted criminal…Nobody condemns President Rawlings when he criticises others,” the private legal practitioner said.
“The point really is that they think he is being selective. In fact, a person can speak his mind about almost everything, but we know that charity begins at home we are told.
“How can we expect him [Rawlings] to come out and try to take that big lumber from your eye when he has his own problem,” he demands.
Mr. Oppong sees former President Rawlings’ vehement criticism of the NDC, but not the NPP, as to cleaning his own slate before criticising others.
‘Simple turf war’
The respected Lawyer, however, sees the current misunderstanding that has hit the opposition party as nothing serious, convinced that it should clear away soon. “What is happening is just a simple turf war. I hold the view that at every point in time people should be given the chance to express their opinion they have hidden in their minds and heart about people,” he said.
He commended the NDC leadership for demonstrating “sterling qualities in ensuring that they tame or cool down their foot soldiers.”
According to him, following the defeat of the NDC in the 2016 elections, the rank and file of the party used to mass up at the party headquarters to register their anger, however, the party leadership has managed to redirect that anger to close scrutiny of the current administration’s every move.
“Especially those in Parliament are doing that very well. At every opportunity, they give the rank and file a chance to direct their fury at government and not at the party headquarters,” he observed.