Former President Jerry John Rawlings has hit back at some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who hold the views that his words against some officials of the party depict his hatred for the NDC.
According to him, he is just a patriotic citizen, who abhors corrupt practices therefore his remarks against the party were as a result of corruption and bad governance which bedeviled former President Mahama-led NDC administration.
He noted, “When we speak, they say I don’t like NDC. No! I just don’t like corruption and bad governance. I don’t like disgrace so if NDC does good, I will praise them and if they are bad I will say it as well.
“The same thing, if NPP does well, I will praise them, if they do bad I will hit them on their back.”
Alluding to corrupt practices and bad governance, which characterized John Dramani Mahama’s administration, the NDC founder described the decision by a former minister to authorise several licences to foreign fishing companies to allegedly do over-fishing and practising illegal fishing without any regulation to save the fishing industry, as “irresponsible, corrupt and stupid.”
In a speech at the 80th Anniversary of Asafotufiam Festival at Ada in the Greater Accra Region on Saturday, former President Rawlings stressed that such a decision would only destroy the fishing industry which would be very difficult to repair.
“My brothers and sisters, allow me to tell you this before I take leave of you. Some of the corrupt and bad governance that occurred in this country are not correct. I quite remember when I left office, it was predominant during Kufuor’s era and before he left, Mills also came and continued from where Kufuor left off. John also came to do his own things.”
He continued, “I remember that before Kufuor left, he did some fraudulent things, which he was not supposed to do for the next government to come and take over.
“In the same way, before John left, he and his people also did some bad things. Let me tell you only one among the several corrupt practices. Before we left, one of our ministers issued several licences to foreign fishing vessels. Already, they have over-fished in our waters, right from up to the use of wrong fishing nets in fishing fingerlings.
“Looking at our fishing waters’ size, we should not exceed a certain number of fishing vessels in our waters. It is quite enough that some licences must be issued. But to authorize and issue licences well above the number which is supposed to be in our wasters is just irresponsible, corrupt and stupid. Some things, when destroyed, are irredeemable,” he fumed.
After expressing worry about how some leaders in the country engage in corrupt practices yet feel good and confident over their actions, the former president asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that the law works to save the nation from deteriorating.
He seized the opportunity to appeal to the current government to save the fishing industry, noting that “some of our leaders have done corrupt and satanic things and they are feeling good and confident like they did something good. We must let the laws to work in order to save things from going absolutely wrong.”
The former president was full of praise for President Nana Akufo-Addo for his firm stand and fight against illegal mining, commonly known as galamsey.
According to him, “Not long ago, the president’s firm decision that he will not allow the nation to be destroyed with galamsey and that he will stop them, if they like they should vote against him, is something that excites me very much because most of our leaders like MPs or presidents will not be able to say what the president said. They will rather lie, deceive the people and give empty promises and look on for the destruction to occur.
“Not too long after that, he said something again. He asked parliament to exercise an authority to monitor financial activities of the Executive. Ei, some leaders we had in this country are not ready for anybody to see what they are doing at the presidency. But today, a leader is asking parliament to monitor him. It is very weird therefore let’s look at some of these things to judge him because he is real.”
He reminded Ghanaians that the current government had inherited a country in a bad state, calling on everyone to support the government for restoration.