March 31 (Chronicle) -- THE FORMER President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, has responded to various calls by sections of the public, including the clergy, to reconcile with the incumbent President John Agyekum Kufuor to ease the tension currently prevailing in the country.
He has denied being the cause of the tension and blamed it on the inability of the citizens to afford the cost of school fees, medical bills, rising unemployment and others. He added that until the government is brought to order, by ensuring that justice prevails in the nation, he would continue to fight against what he termed injustices in the country.
Rawlings only a scapegoatSpeaking on Radio Gold?s newspaper review programme, hosted by Mr. James Agyenim Boateng yesterday morning, the former president said, ?Rawlings is not the cause of the tension. Rawlings is being used as the scapegoat and a diversion. The tension is ? because the people cannot afford fees for their children, they cannot afford the cost of hospitals, they cannot afford decent meals, the rising cost of unemployment and others.?
According to him, truth and integrity are his weapons, and ?Justice is all that I am seeking for.? He continued that, ?for me, justice is my passion and I am not the only person; millions of people in this country want nothing more than the dignity of respect and of justice, period.?
Condition for being quiet He further submitted that, ?Rawlings would be quiet if the judiciary, the sections of the media and other agencies call the government and the Ministers to order, on the injustices in the nation.?
The former president said he would have had no difficulty initiating a reconciliation move, but added, ?You cannot reconcile over some of the poisonous things that have taken place. A lot of things had happened under the table, which was unknown to the public. You talk about reconciliation, what about Ya-Na?s life??
?Are we prepared to have re-investigation into the case of the death of Ya-Na? Because we all know that what took place was a cover up of investigations and several matters. I do have a problem with the manner they are trying to govern this country. They are trying to subjugate and create an emasculated society; this is not healthy for the nation,? he lamented.
Challenge to KufuorWhen Mr. Rawlings was quizzed about his preparedness to unite with Mr. Kufuor, he said, ?Some of us are becoming immune to persecution of the current government. Let us not allow ourselves to become immune to it. Let the Christian Council call Kufuor and his ministers to order. I am prepared to lay on the table, all the things he has done against me both in public and private. Put me aside and see what is going on in this country: the persecution policies of the government; the nepotism that is going on, the wrongs that could undermine the stability of our nation and many others. And if President Kufuor can also lay down any problem or what he thinks I am doing against him, let us debate it. Let the leaders and the Christian Council debate it.
Why do we continue to pretend as if Rawlings is the problem? Rawlings is not the problem, the problem is Mr. Kufuor and his government and if the Christian Council could call him and his ministers to order, Rawlings will keep quiet,? he said.
PassionSpeaking on his passion, he said, ?Rawlings would be very quiet but quite frankly, I did not get up to be a chairman nor did I say I wanted to be a head of state or to be a president.
I took on the passion of fighting against injustices.
Whether you put or take away the president away from me or not, I will fight for justice. You can put Mr. Kufuor there or even put Atta Mills, the flagbearer of the NDC ( in the 2004 elections) there as the President, and if he is becoming intoxicated with power, I will not hesitate to share my genuine views with him in private or public if it becomes necessary.?
According to him, he finds it uncalled for when questions are posed to suggest that he is having a problem with the president, adding that, ?The point is that he is prosecuting an agenda which is not healthy for the nation.?
To the Christian Council, Mr. Rawlings said, ?I am pleading with the Christian Council not to use our children as a decoy. A lot of these children have been misused by this government in their elections. Let us protect the innocent children in this country. Let us not corrupt or destroy the moral fabric of this nation. Please let us allow some of our adults who understand the issues to address this matter.?
On the men of GodThe former president expressed disgust about the men of God who approached him sometime ago with this idea and refused to return to him after he had laid the problems before them.
Christian valuesBut when the host re-positioned the reconciliation subject, Mr. Rawlings who spoke on various issues, said he knows his limit and maintained that, ?I am prepared to reconcile with the devil if the devil will stop his evil ways. As a Christian, I was brought up to define what is wrong and obey what is right. In the same vein, (I will reconcile with Kufuor) if he is prepared to apologize to the nation about the innocent characters that he had jailed, that is, Kwame Peprah, Ibrahim Adam, George Sipa Yankey, the Mobila?s case and the persecutions of people, ? He however added quickly that, ?He will not, because they have a certain agenda and that is what I am fighting against. That is what I am talking about and that is what I have been complaining about and I think that with the Christian values, I wonder what they are sitting down for, without talking about this.?
The former president who dismissed suggestions of having a problem with the president, expressed concern about the inability of the clergy to speak when Mr. Isaac Edumadze, the Central Regional Minister referred to Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, the former Vice president as a ?chamber pot? in the presence of the President, Mr. Kufuor and when he himself was referred to as ?Sasabonsam? and many other names.