I am Nathan Gadugah, one of the ‘adopted’ sons of the Rawlingses. Unlike many adoption processes, I initiated the move to become a part of this powerful family- without their consent- at least for a day. Why? Well I want to know what goes on in the house, in the minds, in the hearts of a family unit with an astonishing knack of making the political headlines for good or for bad reasons depending on which side of the political divide one belongs to.
And the day within which I chose to play the adopted son of the Rawlingses could not have been more appropriate.
My adopted father-ex-president John Rawlings has finally confirmed that he will be on the campaign trail of the NDC, the party he founded; the party he fell out with and vehemently criticized under the late President John Mills; the party whose flagbearer he now admires and admonishes to get rid of the babies with biting teeth and the evil dwarfs.
On that same day, my adopted mother-Mrs Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was on Adom FM, urging voters to vote out what she says is the incompetent NDC government. She is still in court battling to be roped into the December elections as flagbearer of the breakaway National Democratic Party, (NDP) after she was disqualified for failing to complete her forms. Before then, she played coy with the media; hide and seek with the NDC; catch me if you can with the NDP but finally she decided to be bold. To lead the NDP, a party with no history, no track record but with a solemn pledge to restore what they claim are the principles of probity and accountability and which they say, have been thrown to the dogs by the ruling NDC, the party they broke away from; the party my adopted mother was a flagbearer aspirant of and lost overwhelmingly to the late president John Mills.
With 30 days to go for the 2012 elections, I must admit I am even more confused now as an adopted son of the Rawlingses than I was, watching them from the fringes as a practicing journalist.
I am fascinated by the Bill/Hilary Clinton political story; intrigued by incredible family stories in which husbands support one party and wives the other; a brother supporting one party, a sister the other. But when I have my mother, not only as a supporter of a party but the flagbearer, and my father not only as a supporter of another party but still its founder, then my political choices have been made all the more difficult.
Who do I support, my mother or my father? And what about my distant uncle, Kofi Adams? His job as the spokesperson of the Rawlingses has become even more complicated. Will he speak for Mrs Rawlings as the NDP flagbearer and in what capacity or will he speak for Mr Rawlings as the controversial founder of the NDC. No wonder he was quiet for sometime until he broke the news about my father joining the campaign of the NDC.
Four years ago, the circumstances were hugely different. My dad was mobbed on political campaign platforms by thoroughly fanatic supporters of the NDC. So was my mom. Never mind if the same love those supporters had for my dad was transferred to my mom.
Those days I could attend campaign rallies with Ezanator, my sister and will feel the aura of invincibility all around me. But I can’t do it anymore. Should I join my mother with the NDP and chastise the NDC the party I have supported all my life or join my dad with the NDC where he no longer commands that power and influence as he did four years ago. What will Ghanaians say?
Is my adopted family a genuine case of a liberal political family where my mom can wake up and decide to lead a political party which political pundits say can never win political power in the next 50 years; and my dad decides to stay with a party he, not too long ago described some of its members as greedy bastards, babies with hard teeth and evil dwarfs; or we are just as confused as ever, trying hard to relive the glory days and hold onto the echelons of power.
The main reason i chose to become the adopted son for a day was to find how my mom, now with the NDP will relate with my dad still with the NDC and how my siblings will play out in this political melee.
Will my dad still refer to my mom as 'Naanaa my sweetheart' as he affectionately did in one of those political platforms or that was just a charade to create the impression that all was well with the family when according to a wikileaks gossip that all has not been well between the two of them because of the busy schedule of Mr Rawlings.
But really does my father wield the same power, charm, and influence on the NDC, on Ghanaian voters as he did four years ago? Does he hold the balance of power as he did four years ago? Will my support of the NDP or the NDC change anything in the 2012 elections? I wish I have answers to the above questions.