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31st Dec Revo: "Latter-day" NDC Officials Made It Their Chore To Denigrate Me - Rawlings   
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Former President Jerry John Rawlings says his constant criticisms of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) - a party he co-founded - over certain acts he considered to be "wrongs" a couple of years ago, were primarily because that was the "only way to legitimize any right to expose the speck in another’s".

"I cannot lay claim to the position of party founder and spend time criticizing another party or institution when my house is burning...Removing the log in my eye is the only way to legitimize any right to expose the speck in another’s," he said.

Sadly, he said, some "latter-day party officials" and "political novices", hankering after the praise of their paymasters, "made it their chore to denigrate" him for loudly and forcefully commenting about such wrongs in the NDC.

He was speaking at the 36th anniversary of the 31st December Revolution, held in the Volta Regional Capital, Ho, Sunday. Present at the event were former President John Dramani Mahama and hundreds of supporters of the opposition NDC. 

This year’s 31st December revolution event was held under the theme, “Uniting around the principles of probity, accountability, and social justice”.

Some leading figures in the NDC have taken the former president to task for constantly "booming" against his own party.

Chiefly amonsgt them is former Deputy Chief of Staff under the Mahama administration, Valerie Sawyer, who in a recent article, questioned if Mr Rawlings' "reign was unblemished or that his twin brother’s (President Akufo-Addo) reign is unsullied?" and further described his "booms" as "buzzes". 

They say he booms … I say he buzzes … like an agitated mosquito … looking for his next victim. Again, he heads for other Heads of State … describing their governance as riddled with corruption. Is he trying to say that his reign was unblemished or that his twin brother’s (President Akufo-Addo) reign is unsullied? Really? Who born dog … in fact … who born monkey?”

“JJ oooo JJ … the great Papa JJ … the one and only Junior Jesus … the great saint who never does wrong … you are still flogging a dead horse … the NDC is in opposition in case you have not noticed, while a living raging bull is moving around with reckless abandon destroying everything it finds in its path including the assets and citizens of this nation,” Valerie Sawyer wrote.

Rhetoric Must Stop

Decrying how the youth seemed to be "motivated by monetary influence" rather than the ideals of probity, accountability, integrity and social justice which underpined the NDC in its formative years, the former president charged the NDC to rise up for a new revolution since the "grassroots of our party has been paralysed by the complete dearth of principles". 

"Ladies and gentlemen, I did indicate a year ago that the loss at the 2016 elections was self-inflicted.  The ideals of probity, accountability, integrity and social justice did not manifest itself in our policies and conduct at all times. Some of our own comrades chose to be impervious to reality and we experienced a crushing defeat that haunts many till today....The grassroots of our party has been paralysed by the complete dearth of principles to drive the party. Our youth are being motivated by monetary influence rather than principles. Many have no clue about the ideals of the party and only see political association as an economic association, further emboldening the so-called kingmakers.

The time has come for the rhetoric to stop. The time has come for the men and women who believe in the ideals of June 4, 31st December and the NDC to rise up. The time has come for a new revolution. This is not about Jerry Rawlings. This is about you and generations to come. Rawlings is not a faction and will never be. The ideals you believe in and for which I stand for and represent, are ideals that will stand the test of time no matter how long some choose to distort it with transient economic might. You have to be strong, steadfast and politically robust. You have to rise up to be counted....," Mr Rawlings said.

Party Structure Weak and Abused

He further urged party members to elect people with "strength of character" and ability to "rein in members of their own government when in power", and not allow "materialism and money politics" to influence their decision making when the NDC elects new executives in 2018.

"The NDC needs men and women at its various Executive positions who have the strength of character to boldly lead the party and ensure that they have the ability to rein in members of their own government when in power. Our party structure was weak, abused and ignored in the immediate past and when change comes that change must be one that carries with it the power and will of the people. If we do not allow that revolutionary change but allow materialism and money politics to dictate our choices, then we will stay in the political abyss for a considerable period," former President Rawlings stated.

About the 31st December Revolution

The revolution brought the Military Junta, the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) led by then Ft. Lt. J.J Rawlings into power in 1981.

On 31st December 1981, former President Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings led a group of soldiers to topple the late President Hilla Liman’s government to form the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).

The PNDC was an amalgamation of the Armed Forces Revolution Council (AFRC) which on 4th June 1978, deposed the Supreme Military Council (SMC) II, and handed over power to Liman’s government after elections.

The PNDC steered the affairs of the country until 1992 when the country was returned to constitutional democracy.
Source: Nana Kwadwo Asante Agyemang/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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