General News of Saturday, 31 December 2016
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has lashed out at the present crop of leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), wondering how he has been made a “scapegoat” for the massive defeat the party suffered in the December 7 elections.
He has, therefore, called for “some careful introspection” in order to get the party he founded back on track before the next general elections.
Former President Rawlings expressed these sentiments on Saturday, December 31 when he joined hundreds of sympathizers to mark the 35th anniversary of the December 31 Revolution.
The revolution saw the ousting of the Dr Hilla Limann government, which had ruled from 1979.
Speaking at the wreath-laying and parade ceremony at the Revolutionary Square in Accra, the first president of the Fourth Republic said the NDC delivered victory to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 elections virtually on a silver platter.
“With the passage of time, they took the silver platter from us,” he conceded. “We put up a hard fight.”
He said this was as a result of the infiltration of the rank and file of the NDC by a few “selfish and greedy characters”.
“There were some good people but the leadership and the command structure did not empower them to override those who were acting evil.”
His observed that the party was over-concentrated on the seeming division within the NPP, which he said had not trickled down to their grassroots.
“How very wrong could we be!”
He said the party was just strewn with greed and avarice from some “evil-nurtured” persons who flung away the principles of probity, integrity and accountability.
“If the masses knew some of the detrimental effect about the greed and avarice perpetrated by some of our own, they will never forgive us. Examples abound around us.
“Ladies and gentlemen, if we all don’t do some careful introspection and openly show remorse for the betrayal of the people’s trust, we might recover in time for the next elections.”
‘Moral high ground’
He admonished the leadership of the party to return to the moral high ground on which the party was built.
“The oppressive machinery will not desert us voluntarily. We need not shrink from honestly facing the conditions in our party and country today.
This is the time to preeminently speak the whole truth frankly and courageously.
He expressed belief that “this time around our people have seen through it and will embark on the right step to regain our moral high ground. The moral high ground that we abandoned and on which the new leader is now standing”.
He said the NDC has the capability to return to that ground but it must be instigated by the silent minority.