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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has observed that the unguarded utterances of some key figures of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are going to make the party stay in opposition for a very long time.
Mr Rawlings, who is the founder of the NDC, said a few leaders of the party are in the business of justifying corruption and wrongdoing, which almost everybody is against, and noted that that is going to make things difficult for the political grouping.
Nii Lante’s Vow
Mr Rawlings was reacting to NDC Member of Parliament (MP) Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye’s statement to the effect that when the NDC wins the 2020 general elections, it will set incarcerated member, Abuga Pele, free.
Abuga Pele, who was a former National Coordinator of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA) – now Youth Employment Agency – and until recently the NDC MP for Chiana Paga in the Upper East Region, was sentenced to six years in jail last week alongside the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, Philip Apkeena Assibit, who was given 12 years for causing financial loss to the state in a $4 million scandal.
In the ensuing reaction, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, NDC MP for Odododiodioo Constituency in Accra, during the party’s Eastern Regional ‘unity walk’ – which featured former President John Mahama last Saturday – told Citi FM that the NDC was working hard to win the general elections in 2020 and release Abuga Pele.
He said specifically, “It is unfortunate, but I can only say that this will not dampen the spirit of the NDC. Between 2001 and 2004, they sentenced Tsatsu Tsikata, Dan Abodakpi, Ibrahim Adam and Kwame Peprah. It did not stop us from winning elections in 2008. We are going to win the elections and bring Abuga Pele out.”
Former President Rawlings reacted via social media platform – Twitter – to the MP’s comment, saying political power cannot be used to free the guilty.
“Stealing and corruption put no one above the law. Those who have committed crimes deserve to be punished,” he said, adding, “If the quest for political power is to release wrongdoers from prison, then the NDC is laying its own foundation to remain in opposition for a long time.”
He said, “Fortunately, this kind of talk belongs to a handful of people in the NDC leadership who have gained power and influence they do not deserve; and the sooner they are packed off, the better for the NDC and this country.”
Mr Rawlings posited, “Obviously, the corruption by some of those who were in office, resulting in a humiliating defeat in the last elections, does not appear to have affected their conscience and reasoning in anyway.”
He said the NDC had lost its ‘moral compass’ and needed to find it without any further delay.
“The NDC needs to regain its moral compass. A party born out of the explosive circumstances of our past should not find itself so high on the scale of corruption.
“Just as the negative elements in various parties are networking to protect their misdeeds, so also must the positive-minded personalities and supporters in the various parties also network to contain and keep such elements from political power,” he said.
The former president added, “While the current circumstances favour patriotic forces the most, the unpatriotic elements are more bent on collaborating and exploiting the constitutional climate.”
In what appeared to be subtle election tutorials aimed at NDC foot soldiers, Mr Rawlings charged, “Let’s make changes for the better. Clear the bad and retain the good. Bring on board other patriots.”
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