Ghana’s former President and Leader of the 31st December Revolution, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has in a statement to mark the 31st Anniversary of the Revolution, sought God’s guidance for the people of Ghana as well as President John Mahama as he prepares to take up the mantle as fourth elected President of the Fourth Republic.
President Rawlings added that he wished President Mahama well as he prepares officially take up the mantle of leadership on January 7.
The former President who spoke after lighting the perpetual flame to mark the 31st Anniversary of the 31st December Revolution, also called on all Ghanaians to resolve in the coming year to work to improve sanitation across the country because of the major health issues that have surfaced as a result of poor sanitation.
President Rawlings paid glowing tribute to persons like Dr Ayirebi Acquah, WO Albert Baffa and WO Salifu for their sense of bravery and fortitude during the early days of the revolution.
He said Dr Ayirebi Acquah left his lucrative job in Zimbabwe to return to Ghana at the onset of the revolution and recounted how the doctor’s only Volvo saloon car was used to inaugurate branches of the June 4 Movement across the country.
WOs Baffa and Salifu in addition to a host of others were praised for their courage during the June 4 uprising as well as the 31st December Revolution. He said he knew some who had run away when others were exhibiting sheer bravery andscoffed at the fact that such cowards who he declined to name were sometimesquick to jump on the band wagon and even claim leadership roles.
President Rawlings appealed to all Ghanaians to raise ourselves to commit a little more energy to fight unsanitary and unhygienic situations. “It is shameful. I hope we will right the tree under President Mahama. I am making a serious appeal as Typhoid and other related diseases are very serious,” he stated.
Dr Ayirebi Acquah when given the opportunity to speak said: “this is one more honour President Rawlings has accorded me. Am most grateful to him and Ghanaians for tolerating me in high office for 15 years.
He said during his tenure at the Ministry of Local Government, he destroyed a cheque he had paid to a contract after discovering belatedly that the contractor had not executed his contract fully and had to face the agony of being accused of having demanded a bribe, but he stood his ground. “People in government must demonstrate such integrity,” he said.
The Otublohum Mantse and Acting President of the Ga Traditional Council, Nii Dodoo Nsaki II who had earlier laid a wreath on behalf of all traditional leaders said therevolution gave birth to democracy. He prayed for peace and unity and hoped the peace will prevail as a beacon for Africa.
Aside Nii Dodoo Nsaki, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Ghana, while Dr Ayirebi Acquah with the assistance of WO Ben Dalla and WO Nick Gbeku laid one on behalf of the security services.
Madam Peace Aryee of the 31st December Women’s Movement laid one on behalf of the cadre corps.
Cadres, the security agencies, NDC supporters, Ministers of State and a host of sympathisers attended the ceremony at the Revolutionary Square, opposite the Flagstaff house.