General News of 2014-01-03

Mahama condemns Rawlings over ’81 coup

Former Leader of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama has expressed chagrin at recent comments by Former President Jerry John Rawlings as regards what instigated the December 31, 1981 coup d’etat.

Dr Mahama described the toppling of the government of Dr Hilla Limann as treasonable.

He is, therefore, advising Former President Rawlings to refrain from making comments that are likely to deny him the respect expected to be accorded a statesman.

Flight Lieutenant (rtd) Rawlings, in a statement to mark the 32nd anniversary of his coup, indicated last Tuesday that: "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!"

However, in a discussion on TV3’s Agenda on Thursday, January 2, 2014, Dr Mahama observed that the coup of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) was unnecessary as the very ills Chairman Rawlings condemned were on his lips even after his reign as President of the Fourth Republic.

Dr Mahama mentioned that: “The eight years of NDC were much more profitable than the 11 years of PNDC,” noting that Chairman Rawlings would have gone on trial for treason if his 1981 coup had failed.

“I am hoping that the 1981 coup d’etat is the last coup. And that we won’t go into a Fifth Republic,” he hoped, saying coups have always taken the country back in years.

“The celebration of coup d’etats divides us,” he stated, adding that the absence of Mr Rawlings at last Tuesday’s celebration will send signals to his followers including cadres that his action 32 years ago was unnecessary.

“A bad general election is better than a coup d’etat,” Dr Mahama philosophized, chipping in that if a group of people want a good election, they will get it. “And in any case if elections are not good, there are laid down processes to address challenges.”

The four-time Presidential Candidate recommended that in an attempt to prevent another coup, factors such as corruption must be fought hard against.

In that direction, he said, institutions of state must be allowed to work.

“What Ghana needs are institutions with systems to work.”

He said the current president cannot fight the canker alone.

“I sympathise with John Mahama,” he expressed.

“Sometimes if you have good leaders, they don’t look at their personal gain, but the national gain,” he added, citing that Dr Hilla Limann, his predecessor, was always clamouring for national gain.

He noted that judges, for example, have a big role to play in the fight against corruption, commending the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and President Mahama for their efforts in fighting results of the 2012 Elections in court other than on the streets.