Rawlings Calls For Fair Play

Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, has in separate meetings with the Algerian and EU Ambassadors called for an urgent need to restore global ethical and principled values, stating that President Nelson Mandela, if he were alive today, would have described the trend of brutal and unfair practices on the global scene as unconscionable.

He also went on to say that as long as Africa’s end of the economic stick remained so short, a solution to the migrant crisis and its horrible consequences would continue to elude us.

The former President said the level of violence, brutality and injustice that has become pervasive across the globe happen when political authority begins to lose its sacred sense of reverence.

‘How worse is what Assad is doing compared to what the Palestinians recently suffered? How worse is that compared to what the Yemenis are presently suffering?’ President Rawlings questioned at the meetings on Wednesday.

The former President said the savagery inflicted on fellow Africans in South Africa and elsewhere in the world happened when people, in looking for a scapegoat for their economic circumstances, took out their anger on the vulnerable because they could not directly take on a failing political authority.

He said though humanity was making a lot of progress, as long as it was not pinned down by ethical practices, containing radicalism would continue to elude us.

‘When political authority loses its sacredness, the effect percolates down and this is what we end up with. When former President Morsi can be sentenced by a regime that evolved out of what Mubarak left behind and the world is quiet about this unconscionable action, it shouldn’t surprise us that we are having difficulties in containing violent radicalism.’

On the unfortunate xenophobic violence in South Africa, ex-President Rawlings said other nationals had been compelled to seek work in South Africa because of the unfair trade practices of some big South African companies.

He said South African Airways for instance, not too long ago, pushed Air Namibia out of Ghana by drastically reducing their fares only for them to shoot up when Air Namibia folded up.

He highlighted how the trend is pervasive among South African firms who employ unfair business practices to gain monopoly in other African countries. These practices naturally lead to unemployment in these countries, he noted.

The former President commended Algeria for maintaining a progressive-minded political inclination.

‘The fact that your country survived the Arab Spring comes as no surprise to me. This is something to be proud of. Most of the continent has veered off and we are paying a very high price for it, leading to the massive immigration of people who are ready to die to look for a better place to sustain themselves,’ he added.

Ambassador Youssef Delileche of Algeria, in his remarks, indicated that his country was keen on seeing to the resolution of the several conflicts on the continent, particularly those in Mali, Libya and Western Sahara. He said Algeria was of the firm belief that the AU should take the lead in resolving these conflicts primarily through dialogue.

The EU Head of Delegation, William Hanna, who has been in Ghana for six months, complimented ex-President Rawlings for the influential role he has played in Ghana’s democratic tradition, noting that the cultivation of different governments under democratic rule was impressive.

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