Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called on Ghanaians to make the 50th Independence anniversary celebrations, a pledge to each other to consolidate social justice, integrity and honesty as the basis for the future.
He made the call in a goodwill message to Ghanaians both at home and abroad, dignitaries and most especially Heads of State and all friends of Ghana who had come to share in the nation's 50th anniversary.
The message was issued in Accra at the weekend and signed by Mr Victor Emmanuel Smith, Special Assistant and Director of Public Affairs of the Office of Former President Rawlings.
It said, 'As a citizen of Ghana and a Head of State for almost two decades of our 50 years of Independence, I deem it my responsibility to share my thoughts with you with frankness and sincerity on the occasion of our anniversary."
However, President Rawlings declined an offer by President John Agyekum Kufuor to participate in the anniversary celebrations.
He said "I deeply regret that I cannot join President Kufuor's Government for this anniversary. My conscience and my principles would not permit me. I cannot share the same platform with the same people who have taken every opportunity to denigrate us for the last seven years and see no good in what we did for this country."
President Rawlings said "I join all of you in thanking our Creator for bringing our dear country to the mature age of 50, I honour and respect the memory of the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the patriot and freedom fighter who not only led this country to independence from colonial rule but also laid the foundation for Pan African freedom on our Continent and in the Diaspora."
"I wish also to honour all those valiant men and women who made sacrifices in various ways, as well as those who lost their lives during the struggle for our independence from colonial rule, 93President Rawlings added.
President Rawlings said 93I honour every decent hardworking Ghanaian citizen 96 our farmers, teachers, nurses, doctors, security personnel, market women, all workers and the numerous unemployed."
"I welcome the very many foreign dignitaries who have taken time off their onerous responsibilities at home to be in Accra for this anniversary, especially those who have played significant roles in the struggle for justice in Africa," he added.