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18.09.2006 Politics

Rawlings Shocks the World

By chronicle
Rawlings Shocks the World
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…Avoids a 'Boom Speech'
…Preaches peace and unity

THE FORMER President, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings last Thursday at Keta in the Volta Region, took the whole community and the Journalists present by surprise without a dint of attack on anybody let alone the nation but spoke on the need for unity and peace.

The ex-President, who is noted of unleashing vitriolic attacks, now known in political circles as 'boom speeches,' dashed the hopes of Journalists including this Reporter, who were ever-ready with their gadgets to record probably the 'boom speeches' as 'big news'.

Signs of joy and excitement were seen in the faces of the people when Flt. Lt. Rawlings admonished them to hold on their “breaths about the ongoing untold hardships and deprivations, until the light comes to overshadow the darkness”.

Obviously, the former President was referring to poverty and deprivation that have engulfed the nation in recent times to the extent that people could not afford three square meals a day.

The former President, who was named as (Efo Xornametor) meaning the “Saviour or Redeemer” by the people in the Volta Region, was commended for his speech by a top figure of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Raymond Kojo Okudzeto, a business tycoon and a strong political opponent of the ex-President.

Mr. Okudzeto mounted the dais after the brief comment of Jerry Rawlings and shook hands with him with words of commendation.

Addressing the Chiefs and people of Keta during the outdooring ceremony of Togbui James Ocloo V, Dufia of Keta and Mama Awoameshie James Ocloo I, Queen mother of Keta, Flt. Lt. Rawlings lauded the boldness of the Members of the Planning Committee, who against all odds, managed to ensure a successful ceremony.

He appealed to the residents not to allow their conscience to be bought with money, adding that the knowledge and the wisdom of the people were very rich resources that ought to be used in the development of the nation.

Efo Xornametor was of the view that the nation would have progressed further if the rich culture exhibited by the Chiefs in the area were introduced to the top level of governance.

According him, if the vows exchanged by the Chiefs, accompanied by their recitals were introduced to the top levels, tension would reduce drastically in the nation, saying people get intoxicated when they get power.

“I have been in power for 20years. I have not stolen state money and I was not intoxicated by power. If we are to respect the rules and traditional values in the country, there would not be tension in the country.”

To this end, he urged the people not to sell their integrity for anything and noted that today, some Policemen were carrying on certain orders painfully because they have no option. “Do not hate them, cooperate with them. Indeed some of them are carrying actions or orders which are painful to them,” he said.

Flt. Lt.. Rawlings argued that currently, people were getting sick due to deprivation and economic hardships and hinted that sooner or later, all would be well.

Sounding like a doctor, he admonished Chiefs and the people of Keta to reduce salt intake, contending that too much of salt intake results in people being vulnerable to high blood pressure.

According to him, he who goes with clean character does not need to have army of soldiers or police to protect himself. “If you have dignity and respect, you don't need the Police to protect you. Let us not destroy the reverence or the integrity of our Chiefs. Let us not terrorize people into submission through the Police and the Military, it is not good,” he underscored.

According to Efo Xornametor, as he was intermittently called during his address in the local dialect (Ewe), tutored on two ways of ruling, that is: leadership by example without using the military and the police to subjugate the truth and justice, integrity and mutual respect to the traditional and other values to harmonize, but not a leadership that would get one drunk politically with power when he or she gets into office.

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