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Former President Rawlings: We Are Not Free...   
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Former President Jerry John Rawlings said that political timing was very crucial hence the government needed to put its acts together to dispense justice to the people.

Speaking at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Delegates’ congress in Sunyani, the former President said that the occasion might be his last time of addressing the delegates.

He stated that the government had failed to prosecute opposition political figures for perceived acts of corruption and criminality.
Former President Rawlings said that the opposition and its ancestry had always targeted the security service because their integrity had always been a threat to them.

He noted “We are not free because the freedom we are enjoying today are extremely fragile”, since the state had failed to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of corrupt acts and practices.
Sounding suspicious that delegates had been influenced with money by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, (MMDCEs) former President Rawlings warned that the MMDCEs sitting among the delegates were being observed by close circuit television cameras at the congress grounds.

He urged delegates not to commit the error of accepting money and allowing their conscience to be bought, emphasizing the need for them to vote wisely. That trend, President Rawlings said, was dangerous and could cost the party victory in the 2012 General Election.

Dr. Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman of the party, in a welcoming address that set the stage for the congress at 1130 hours, said the national executive committee (NEC) of the party, had keenly followed the campaigns of the two contestants, saying despite the accusations and acrimonies that sometimes characterized the process, the party had come out stronger and united.

He urged the delegates to exercise their franchise with discerning minds to judge which of the two candidates could lead the party.

The chairman stated the day was neither for Friends of Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings (FONKAR) nor Get Atta Mills Endorsed (GAME) and urged the delegates to cast their votes with the interest of the party and the country in mind.

He expressed the hope that the outcome of the congress would catapult the party to a resounding victory in Election 2012.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony were Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, NDC General Secretary, who delivered a report on the state of the party, Mr. Cletus Avoka, Member of Parliament for Zebilla, Majority leader and Mr. Opoku Atuahene, Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the NDC.

Fraternal and solidarity messages were delivered by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) and Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP).

Meanwhile, voting under the supervision of the Electoral Commission (EC) led by Mr. Sarfo Kantanka, deputy chairman in-charge of operations, started at 1540 hours and former President Rawlings, founder of the party, cast the first vote as a delegate.

He was followed by the President John Evans Atta Mills, Vice President, Mr. John Mahama, Mr. Kwabena Adjei, chairman of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party and Mr. Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary.

The delegates were voting simultaneously at six different polling centres mounted by the Electoral Commission. Apart from the Ashanti Region, all the regions have been paired to vote together.
Source: GNA

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