Dont Take Ghanaians For Granted Rawlings Warns

Corruption by public officials was one of the highlights of former President Jerry Rawlings’ speech during the 34th anniversary of the 31st December ‘Revolution’ and wreath-laying ceremony at the Revolutionary Square in Accra last Thursday.

He gave a strong warning that Ghanaians should not be taken for granted.

Corrupt public officials who persist in the practice of corruption, would face the wrath of the people, he said as about 200 cadres and other people, including Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo and Sherry Ayittey, Ministers of Greater Accra Region and Fisheries respectively; George Lawson, a Deputy National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary; Samuel Nuamah Donkor, Chief Executive of distressed STC – now embroiled in financial controversy – and a section of traditional rulers, listened to him.

Former President Rawlings, whose close to 20 minutes’ presentation showed traces of ambiguity said, “The colour of this democracy is very different from the democracy we knew from the period of 1982 – 1992 and also very different from the constitutional period 1992 – 2000.”

He said the colour of those ‘revolutions’ (1982-1992 and 1992-2000) had the strong element of justice, truthfulness, freedom and the spirit of defiance to contain wrongdoing.

He questioned what happened especially from the year 2000 that had given rise to corruption, greed and selfishness, leading to suffering and pain in this country.

Mr Rawlings blamed it on what he referred to as the governments after him lacking the will, ability and capacity to fight corruption.

He said the “time had come for us to start looking at those who profited from the change of the colour starting from 2000.”

He said the significance of the 31st ‘revolution’ should never be lost and that it should serve as a constant reminder of what led to the revolt of June 4, 1979 and the 31st December 1981 ‘revolution.’

While calling for “the re-ignition of the spirit of the revolution to restore decency,” Jerry Rawlings stressed that the fact that Ghanaians are by nature peace-loving people should not be taken for granted.

He warned, “Beyond this point of disrespect for the rights of the masses could lead to chaos. Ghanaians deserve more than the regime of deceits and flattery.”

The National Democratic Congress Chairman for Keta, Dr. Kofi Dzokoto, described the ‘revolution’ as a show of patriotism that revived the nation to insist on justice, probity and accountability.

He reiterated that until the governments of this country projected probity, accountability and social justice, their efforts at creating a better Ghana would always come to nothing.

The 31st December ‘revolution’ was staged by a group of security personnel who overthrew Dr. Hilla Liman’s government in the Third Republic and made President Rawlings a military ruler. He later formed the National Democratic Congress and became a civilian president after a general election in 1992.

The celebration was banned by a court of law, but the former president maintains that the event cannot be swept under the carpet and so continues to commemorate it – including the June 4 uprising.

By Solomon Ofori

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