The Death Of Jerry Rawlings And Vision 2020

The late Former President Jerry John Rawlings The late Former President Jerry John Rawlings

Article 36, clause 5 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, state that

".....within two years after assuming office, the president shall present to parliament a coordinated programme of economic and social development policies, including agricultural and industrial programmes at all levels and in all the religions of Ghana".

In accordance with this provision, the late president who birthed the 1992 Fourth republican dispensation, Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings in 1996, presented to Parliament, 24 years action plan dubbed "Vision 2020", which provided a framework within which the country can realize the long-term vision of raising Ghana in to the ranks of the middle-income countries of the world.

Those who conceived Vision 2020 had envisaged that Ghanaians would usher in the New Year 2020 as one of the best economies Africa. We shall then beat our chests and celebrate one of the emerging economies in the world and a shining example for the continent.

Back then, Vision 2020, looked like it will never come to pass, it was a far-off dream, a year never to be seen soon, but as fate will have it, the man who championed it, died in the year, we were to fully realize his vision of accelerated development.

Vision 2020 is a comprehensive development policy document, which was to serve as a source document for other agencies of State to develop their own development plans.

Unfortunately, like many of the laudable ideas that failed to see the light of day, Vision 2020, was no exception.

Politicians in this country, have the tendency to abandon anything their predecessor started, be it good or good. The race for ownership of legacy and immortality on their part is to blame for this sad phenomenon.

Governance is a continuum or development as they say is never in abeyance, but political rhetoric's, such as what did you do as a government, i.e. infrastructure, is partly to blame for why every government wants to start everything afresh.

As a believer in the Supremacy of the Almighty God, I am of the informed opinion that, every leader has his role cut for him. Some will be to build infrastructure, some to build institutions, some to ensure peace and stability, some economic empowerment, some social cohesion etc.

Fate has a place in the affairs of men. Jerry John Rawlings, who championed Vision 2020, did not know that the year, he wanted Ghana, to live the true meaning of the Black Star of Africa, was the year, he was going to die.

He had a dream, a dream of accelerated development for the country, a dream where the natural resources of the nation, will be shared equitably, but in that dream, he did not see that, his own light was going to go off in that year.

Man it is said proposes but God disposes. Although, President Jerry Rawlings did not last in office to see the realization of vision, as he left office in 2000, he laid a foundation that has become the cornerstone of everything we do in this country.

Death, has a way of reducing every man to nothing, who would have thought that, a simple decision of when, where and how to bury Jerry Rawlings, will become an issue. Indeed, the memory of the dead is a warning to the living.

I cannot say for certain as a country, whether we have achieved half of what we set out to in 1996, when Vision 2020, was launched but I can say, we have come very far. We are a work in progress and but for the last four years, when our development agenda was truncated by the forces of evil, who are in office today, Ghana would have been the Malaysia or Indonesia of Africa.

That Ghana has the potentials of growth is not in question. The country is hugely endowed with immense human and natural resources. However, reading the history of this country is akin to a painful journey of misplaced priorities, missed targets, failed leadership, capricious avarice and shattered expectations.

No matter the criticisms of the policy document, Vision 2020 was not derailed because there was no clarity in the language of the document, or the framers were not smart enough. It failed because ideas have never been in short supply in Ghana, but implementation and continuity, have always been the bane of our progress as a country.

However, despite my best hopes and wishes for Ghana, I must admit that the dark clouds have been persistently gathering over the country in the past four years.

We now have a Ghana where a minute few (elite) thrives, a significant few (working class) survives, and the majority (poor masses) barely exist, this is not the Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings dreamt of when he launched vision 2020.

Ghanaians, will come face to face with their destiny today, they will be choosing between the light and darkness, progress and retrogression, hope and despair, John Dramani Mahama, represents the future president Jerry John Rawlings had for this country, he is our light at the end of the tunnel, I call on Ghanaians, who have the country at heart to vote for him to continue the good works he started.

John Dramani Mahama, is calm, calculated and collected. He has constantly articulated his vision of Ghana in the next four years. A Ghana, where corruption is well ameliorated, a Ghana producing, transmitting and distributing thousands of megawatts of electricity and thus triggering increased investments, increased production, increased spending, increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increased per capita income.

President Rawlings, will rest peacefully knowing that the country he sacrificed and labored for is returned to the hands of those who mean well for it.

His death must mean something to Ghanaians; although an Iroko tree has fallen, he will be happy knowing that his death was not in vain.

He sacrificed himself so the future generations, will be proud of their heritage.

I pray that the soul of President Jerry John Rawlings finds peace with the Lord.

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Source: By Abdul Razak Bawa/