General News of 2013-12-31

I will not depart from principles of 31 Dec. Revolution - Rawlings

Former president Jerry John Rawlings has vowed never to depart from the principles that led to the 31st December revolution in 1981.

Mr. Rawlings in a message to mark the 32nd anniversary of the revolution he led to overthrow the constitutionally elected People's National Party (PNP) administration headed then by the late Dr. Hilla Limann, maintained his resolve to "continue to confront the rot that is eroding the values many laid down their lives for".

"Some of us cannot and will never depart from the principles that led to the revolution and sustained it for so long. We shall continue to confront the rot that is eroding the values many laid down their lives for. The struggle continues!" He stated.

The former head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) ruled the country as a military leader under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) until 1992, when he stepped down to to contest the presidential election as a civilian.

He subsequently explained that the "holy war" was necessary due to the PNP's failure to provide effective leadership and by the collapse of the national economy and state services.

Mr. Rawlings commended the "cadres, foot soldiers and the millions of Ghanaians who in diverse ways played a role in the decade that stopped the rot".

"Thirty-two years ago a revolutionary wave swept across the country and brought in its wake a sense of national purpose and responsibility. Ghanaians once again embraced patriotism and fought with their lives to bring the country back onto its feet after confronting huge challenges including a debilitating famine and the deportation of over one million of our compatriots from Nigeria.

"Through your combined sweat and toil, Ghana saw significant socio-economic and socio-political development that is unsurpassed in the nation’s history. The relative political stability from 1981 till today is because you the people of Ghana took your destiny into your hands and decided that you were going to thread a path of development that was fashioned on the principles of probity, accountability, freedom and justice."

He is however unhappy that the "core tenet" of the revolt has been eroded giving rise to corruption in government.

He therefore urged Ghanaians to "recognise that the challenge is not one only for political leadership".

"We all have a role to play in instilling sound values of probity, accountability, freedom and justice in our society.

"Today your sweat and toil has been eroded by a culture of corruption that is practiced and tolerated by those who are supposed to fight it," Mr. Rawlings stressed.