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Rawlings: Corruption In Mills' Administration Has Gone Overboard   
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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has slammed the Mills-Mahama administration over what he says is their inability to tackle corruption, malfeasance and abuse of office headlong.

According to the former president, “the corruption of today has gone overboard", but sadly there appears to be virtually no effort at the leadership level to address the social canker, and therefore called for a “massive clean-up”.

"It is therefore relevant that this year’s celebration is under the theme...particularly because the corruption of today has gone overboard – completely overboard – since 2000 and that is because the ordinary people have lost a say in the political management of this country...Corruption I believe, is easier to fight when leadership, be it political, traditional, religious or family head are all involved and providing exemplary leadership," he said.

To him, though it is not too late to save the NDC from the abyss, the leadership of the NDC must wake up from their political slumber and do a genuine self-examination, otherwise, “we’ll not go far”.

Whiles indicting the Mills-Mahama administration of failing to prosecute alleged acts of corruption that occurred under the watch of ex-president Kufuor, the former president attributed the level of despondency in the NDC to largely the detachment of its leaders from the people as well as the betrayal of those who have refused to blindly support the current leadership.

"Political style and approach will always be different as leadership changes, but the ideals and basis for the establishment of a political cause cannot be toyed with. Unfortunately that is the situation the current NDC finds itself. I have to sadly admit that the there is a breakdown of values in the NDC and many who find themselves in positions of leadership within the party and government operate as if there is no ideological basis behind the establishment of the party...Ladies and gentlemen, we find ourselves in a situation where we have become so distanced from reality, that the local structures that benefitted the NDC and accorded it the opportunity to garner public opinion at the lowest level have all dissipated as the grassroots membership have lost trust and confidence, rather opting to organize demonstrations and send petitions, many of which are ignored...

"It is not too late to save the NDC from the abyss. Those who have the power and capacity to create a renewed confidence in the party have to wake up from their political slumber and remember their true beginnings," the former president said.

Mr Rawlings was speaking at a public lecture in Accra on Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the 31st December Revolution which was on the theme: "Three Decades of Grassroots Participation: Its Relevance to the Current Political Dispensation”.

Addressing the cadre front and members of the NDC at the function, the ex-president was also critical of the attitude of some members of the NDC, who when accused of being corrupt, turned around to rather lambast and indict the opposition NPP of indulging in worst corrupt practices during their tenure.

"Many in the NDC leadership now believe they do not owe any explanation to the populace. In reacting to allegations of abuse of office, corruption, malfeasance, incompetence and a host of others, they respond in good measure by accusing the opposition of having done worse things. In other words we can afford to make the same mistakes because you started it," the ex-military leader said.

Mr Rawlings (left) and President Mills (right)
Touching on repeated calls for a united NDC especially as the 2012 election approaches, an animated Mr Rawlings pointed out that elections are won by the masses and not him, adding that it will be hypocritical on his part if he starts preaching “Hail The NDC”, all in the name of elections.

“We go into an election in 2012 and many have made several calls for unity as we enter the New Year. For many unity means keep quiet, support the NDC as it is and we will win the election. It is not Rawlings who wins elections. It is the ordinary people of Ghana who win elections...If Jerry Rawlings represents the NDC then it must be an NDC that represents these ideals. It will be pointless and indeed negative to the fortunes of the party if I act like a hypocrite in the name of elections and start preaching ‘hail the NDC’. The time has come for those who have the responsibility of changing the free-fall of the NDC to bring it to a halt and take drastic actions, however late to re-embrace the ideals that won the party the 2008 elections.

“It is not too late to go back to the grassroots; to the footsoldiers and listen to them.”
Source: Nana Kwadwo Asante/Peacefmonline.com

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