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Regional News Tue, 24 Feb 2004

Pastor commends NRC for tactful manner it handled Ex-President.

Kumasi, Feb. 24, GNA - A Minister of the Gospel has commended the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) for the tactful and diplomatic manner in which it conducted proceedings when Former President J.J Rawlings recently made his appearance at the sitting of the Commission in Accra.

The Reverend Joseph K. Gyimah, Leader of the True Light of Christ Church, who made the commendation said the smooth manner in which proceedings were conducted was laudable and amply demonstrated that the Commission was not out to witch-hunt any group as was being wrongly perceived in certain circles.

He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi on Monday, on the impact the NRC has so far made in its mission of reconciling victims of atrocities and perpetrators, since it started its work.

He said by confining themselves to addressing issues for which the Former President was summoned before the NRC on that day, the Commission members showed how objective and skilful they are, in making the mission of the Commission a success.

Rev. Gyimah, who is also a victim of atrocities during the regime and who has already appeared before the Commission said, the brief period used in interrogating the Ex-President by the NRC was prudent and in the right direction.

"Prolonging the time of digressing from the specific issues for which he was summoned, would have afforded Rawlings the ungodly opportunity to confuse and undermine the laudable mission of the Commission", he stressed.

Rev. Gyimah disagreed with speculations that Ex-President Rawlings had been vindicated of all charges levelled against him explaining, "he did not appear at the sitting of the Commission to have judgement passed on him, since the NRC was not a law court."

He however, made it clear that, even though the Commission's mission and work was laudable, its prime objective of healing of wounds and reconciling the nation may not materialise unless the government actually compensates those who suffered atrocities and lodged complaints before the NRC.

Source: GNA