By Bismark Bebli
THE FORMER President and Founder of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has given President John Evans Atta Mills conditions to fulfill, in order to ensure unity between them. According to him, if the President honors these conditions, he (Mr. Rawlings) was ever prepared to even serve as his gateman for twenty-four hours.
He claimed that some of the party members were being used as ‘lorry tyres’, including himself. “When you people get up, you talk about unity, unity of what; with the President? If he is able to do what we are talking about, I will be his gateman for 24 hours. I will unite with him, but would he thoroughly investigate the murder of Issa Mobila, the police, the Ya-Na?”
Advancing his argument at the 29th Anniversary celebration of the 31st December 1981 coup d’etat, the NDC founder, who was at his screaming best, said unless and until President Mills took a decisive action on the alleged corrupt activities of the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) ex-ministers and the murder of 34 women, as well as other atrocities committed under Rawlings’ own regime, it would be difficult for President Atta Mills not only to unite with him, but for the ex-junta head to vigorously campaign in the 2012 general elections.
Mr. Rawlings said he could not understand why President John Agyekum Kufuor could call him a liar, and tag the current appointees of President Mills as corrupt officials, obviously forgetting that he set the tone for attacking government officials.
Ex-President Rawlings told his audience that due to the inability of President Mills to thoroughly investigate the massive allegations of corruption under the regime of former President Kufuor, which was used by the NDC during the 2008 election campaign, Mr. Kufuor now has the moral right to call him a liar.
“What! Mr. Kufuor to have the moral right and authority to call me a liar, and call the Ministers as corrupt, for what, when we know that his regime was the most corrupt in the history of this nation… I don’t blame him, if some of his Ministers are jailed by now, Mr. Kufuor would not have the moral right to call me a liar.
If the government had set up a commission of inquiry to unravel the allegations of corruption against them, they would not stand there and touch the President and his Ministers. Look at the kind of decisions taken by some of their judges,” he screamed.
The NDC founder was of the view that fears entertained by the government that any attempt to prosecute the former Ministers would be described as witch-hunting, was neither here nor there. “There is nothing like witch-hunting. If we have forgotten the killing of 34 women for just a few years now, then we would soon forget the criminal activities of the NPP.”
According to him, during his regime, when some judges were killed by some disgruntled elements, thorough investigations were conducted, and individuals like Amartey Kwei and others paid dearly for it, arguing that it would be wrong for anybody who murdered another to be walking freely on this earth.
The NDC founder accused President Kufuor of destroying the army under his regime. “That man was out to destroy the Armed Forces. They have always hated the armed forces,” he claimed, stressing that when President Kufuor came into office, he astronomically increased his salary, when he, Rawlings, was receiving ¢3.5 million at the time.
Flt Lt. Rawlings further alleged that former President Kufuor was ashamed when another President was informed about how much he, Rawlings, was being paid. “He could not say anything.”
To him, Mr. Kufuor was the most corrupt president that ever existed in Africa, and that he had managed to institutionalise corruption.
Touching on the future of the NDC, he said the future was bleak, considering the inactions of the President, adding that it would be difficult to maintain power, unless something drastic happens.
He appealed to the President to set up a commission of enquiry to establish the allegations of corruption leveled against the NPP administration, led by Mr. Kufuor, to unravel all the wrongs that occurred.
According to him, all the actions of the government and its officials are in opposition to the principles that led to the formation of the NDC, and for that matter, which also led to the 31st December Revolution.
The former President said the NDC was created from the conscience of the nation, and not from a party, and prevailed upon government officials to desist from fighting the NPP with money. “You think you can take them on money for money? You will lose. They have enough money, but we beat them.
The Bible says what it can profit a man to gain the whole world and lose your life. They have the money, but we beat them because we held on to our values and principles.”
He said the NDC had ended its second year with ex-President Kufuor and his former Ministers comfortably sitting and casting insinuations at the President at the least opportunity.
Mr. Rawlings, who addressed the teeming crowd after his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings had spoken, claimed that during the commissioning of the nation’s Jubilee Oil, the actions and inactions of the government somehow suggested that they would have wished that Mr. Rawlings was not at the function.
According to him, at the function, a Deputy Minister surprisingly was unaware of the role played by the Canadian High Commission with regards to the exploration of the oil. He went into history and narrated the role of the Canadian High Commission, and indicated that they should be recognised in the discovery of oil in Ghana.
The President of the 31st December Women’s Movement, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, told the NDC party supporters to conscientise people about the revolution, and what dilapidated conditions existed before the time.
He said the NDC party and government cannot be separated from the revolution, insisting that those who have such a belief are ‘lost.’
Government officials and party functionaries who made it to the public lecture to climax the celebration were Sherry Aryittey, Minister of Science and Technology, Zita Okaikoi, outgoing Minister of Tourism, Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Fifi Kwetey, Afotey Agbo, Presidential Aide, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije and Mr. Kofi Adams.