Politics of Mon, 5 Jun 201713

I wanted to quit NDC - Rawlings

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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has revealed that there had been times in the past when he had felt like leaving the party he founded, and moving on but the plight of good people in the party had held him at bay.

“Such a departure will allow the agents of greed, and avarice and dishonesty to further deepen their claws on you and the party. We squandered many opportunities to clean up and to restore the June 4th principles in the party,” he said.

The former President has been on an acrimonious relationship with the John Atta Mills and John Mahama governments because he has constantly criticised these National Democratic Congress (NDC) administrations, claiming that some officials in these governments were corrupt.

Speaking at a well-attended June 4th anniversary durbar in the Upper West Region capital, Wa, the leader of the June 4th 1979 uprising that laid the foundations for the NDC decried the spate of corruption that has characterised the political climate over the past few years.

Former President Rawlings said very cruel insults and humiliations had been designed and are still being designed to shed off any influence that he still commands in the NDC, a party that was built on the principles of June 4.

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Flt Lt Rawlings who spoke from both a prepared speech as well as extempore said so much fire was burning inside him but confessed that he had been compelled to hold back by some leading members of the party who feared his heavy criticism will affect the party adversely after a bad electoral defeat.

He has described the current spate of corruption as a thousand times more than what prevailed prior to the June 4 uprising.

“If we are unable to restore a firm measure of integrity into our dealings, then the blood of many would have been shed in vain,” he said.

The founder of the NDC said the party lost the 2016 elections because it betrayed the values of June 4. He stated that if the blame game cannot be resolved conclusively, then parties have to step aside and allow for fresh leaders with solid integrity to provide the needed leadership.

“If we cannot get our claws off and allow for fresh leadership to emerge then we shall sink further,” he added. He did put the blame for the loss on the failure of the leadership in both party and government to listen to the admonishment that there were serious issues affecting the way the country was being managed.

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“Your ears were blocked…you wouldn’t listen…when you got kicked out, disgraced…that’s when I thought now you will listen,” Mr. Rawlings said. The former President called on party faithful to be wary of activities of some elements in the NDC so they do not perpetrate political fraud on the party. Touching on the unfortunate lynching of Capt. Mahama at Denkyira Boase last week, Flt Lt Rawlings said, “the dastardly, wicked, irrational and needless murder constrains me so much”.

He was unhappy that the spate of attacks on thieves and other vulnerable people had taken a life of its own and called for serious attention to rid the country of such acts.

“How merciless, how cruel can we be?” the former President asked. Other speakers at the event included former party Vice Chairman, Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Rashid Pelpuo, MP for Wa Central and Madam Ebi Bright, NDC Parliamentary candidate for Tema Central in 2016.

Earlier in the day a parade and wreath laying ceremony was held to honour the fallen heroes.

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