General News Fri, 30 Jan 2004

Govt Is Not After Rawlings -Afari

The New Patriotic Party says it is not its policy to target former President Jerry John Rawlings or any other individual because the agenda of the party and the ruling government is far bigger than Rawlings or any individual.

The Press Secretary of the Party Mr Kwadwo Afar was reacting to a statement by staunch Nkrumahist and international political economist Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso that the "government should not be seen as making it its agenda to pursue the ex-President".

He said even though he agrees with calls that Rawlings must stand trial for alleged human rights abuses in his time, the government would not waste its time pursuing the matter.

Instead, it would leave such issues to the constitutionally mandated bodies to handle the issues whiles the government focuses its attention on "cleaning the mess" created by Rwalings and his men.

"If the government decides to correct certain negative things under the ex-President Rawlings' regime, the impression will be created that the government is after him.


"As a matter of fact, we are not after the ex-President but that should not also mean that those anomalies that took place in his regime should not be corrected so the country can move forward", he said.

Afari said Rawlings had sough during his time to leave his imprint on everything in the country but "most of the things he left behind after twenty years was not good. He left this this country divided."

Rawlings is due to appear before the National Reconciliation Commission after he was subpoenaed by the body investigating allegations of human rights abuses under Ghana's military regimes since independence in 1957.

Dr Antwi Danso said even though Rawlings reacts to the allegations made against him at the several witnesses at the Commission including the case of the murdered judges, Ghanaians must allow the commission to work without any social or political pressure.

He said it is important that the nation does not over burden themselves with the agenda of bringing the ex-president to justice over crimes allegedly committed during his constitutional rule when there are major national development issues to attend to.