Ex President Jerry John Rawlings on Sunday charged Ghanaians to stand up at all times and defend the truth to reduce the current rate of corruption that has bedeviled the country.
He indicated that truth of past corrupt acts have been shielded in secrecy and said important issues that required investigations and pursuit of justice were still in the quite, despite the dangers such acts posed to society.
He cited the killing of the Yaa naa, current spate of embezzlement and misappropriations in public institutions among others as areas that needed to be investigated and the culprits brought to book so that justice could be pursued to the bottom, adding that, if such an important personality could be killed in such manner, then ordinary citizens were in danger.
He charged President John Mahama to ensure that his tenure was used to pursue justice and truth as an illustrious son of the north.
Mr Rawlings observed that the lack of truth and complete mistrust for one another were ingredients to insecurity which lowered productivity and said President John Dramani Mahama could only succeed if Ghanaians continued to remind him of his mandate to them.
The Ex-President was addressing the 26th annual Samanpiid festival of the Chiefs and people of the Bawku Traditional Area in Bawku as a special guest of honour. The festival had as its theme: “Sustaining the Peace and Cultural Reforms in Kusaug”.
Mr Rawlings said no party would be there forever and charged the National Democratic Congress (NDC ) party to pursue issues that would bring truth to light in all times. “Freedom and Justice are extremely important” he added.
Touching on nominations for the positions of District Chief Executive (DCE) to the Municipality, the Ex President was unhappy about the spate of tribal differences and said ethnic Mamprusis should be given fair deal to promote unity and prospects of the party in the area. “When you have people who are not good enough, your government would be vulnerable” he stressed.
The Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area, Zug Rana Naba Asigri Aburagu Azoka II, in an address to the people said the Samanpiid festival linked to farming could not be celebrated without touching on the prospects of farming activities.
He said despite alarming dry spell of damaged crops due to harsh climatic conditions, families should take concrete steps to ensure food security for their families and re- echoed his appeal to government to construct the Tamne Dam project to boost dry season farming in the area.
The Paramount Chief warned against human activities that depleted the environment and called on offenders such as people who indulged in bush burning and the felling of economic trees for fuel-wood to stop and instead be watchdogs against offenders.
On security, he admitted that the area was enjoying some calm with support from the inter-ethnic peace committee and partners in the peace process and expressed the hope that the prevailing peace would continue. “Most of the people in Bawku have realized that violence breeds counter violence with negative results for all involved” he added.
He expressed his appreciation to government, the security forces and partners for the support in maintaining the peace in the area.
The celebration attracted dignitaries such as Mr Hassan Ayariga, the People’s National Convention (PNC) Presidential aspirant for the 2012, all Members of Parliament from the Kusaug area and Queen mothers of the various traditional areas.
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