Rawlings Lashes Chiefs

Jerry John Rawlings (left), Otumfuo Osei Tutu (Ashantehene) and other dignitaries at  the function

FORMER PRESIDENT Jerry John Rawlings has lambasted traditional leaders who exploit their subjects to enrich themselves, whilst they (subjects) wallow in abject poverty.

He observed that some chiefs in the country indulge in all manner of social injustices, including multiple sales of land which usually result in chaotic situations and bloodbath thereby stalling development.

Mr. Rawlings added that some of the traditional leaders also indulge in fraudulent activities and that their inactions sometimes scare away genuine investors from abroad, who are willing to contribute to Ghana’s growth.

He urged traditional leaders, who command massive respect and power in the country, especially the localities where they rule, to be patriotic and contribute their quota to ensure Ghana’s development.

‘Some of the chiefs play key roles in perpetuating fraud on our people and sometimes on investors who mean well for our country,’ the former head of state pointed out to a colossal crowd in Kumasi.

He added that some of the traditional leaders also sell fertile lands, which could have been used for agricultural purposes to boost food production, to people for other purposes at the detriment of their communities.

As Ghana desires to develop, Mr. Rawlings said, a lot would be demanded from traditional rulers. He therefore urged them to make sure that their actions and decisions impact positively on their people.

The former president made the observations when he was addressing dignitaries and guests during the Millennium Excellence Awards ceremony held at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on Friday.

Mr. Rawlings, who spoke on a wide range of pressing national and international issues, was not happy that selfishness had become the order of the day in the country, leaving no room for patriotism, ‘which the country requires to develop.’

Mr. Rawlings stated that patriotism and self-sacrifice are some of the key traits needed in the people as the country strives to develop, urging Ghanaians to let the interest of the state supersede their personal ambitions.

He expressed gross concern about the upsurge in murder cases, domestic and political violence, noting that these unfortunate acts are flourishing because of the rapid degradation of human values in the country.

He charged all and sundry to play roles to battle the greed, thievery and fraud that had become the order of the day, saying these are societal cankers which should be tackled by all.

The programme, which was attended by Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Asantehene, saw distinguished Ghanaians whose lifestyles and hard work had contributed to transform Ghana, being honoured.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi

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