Statement On NDC's Participation In The 50th Anniversary Of Ghana's Independence Delivered By The National Chairman Of The NDC, Dr. Kwabena Adjei At A Press Conference Held On Sunday 4th March 2007 At The NDC Head Office, Accra.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press:
On behalf of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), I welcome all of you to this afternoon's Press Conference and express our profound appreciation for your acceptance to honour our invitation and provide us coverage on no other day but the Sunday just preceding the actual date of Ghana 's Golden Jubilee.
Come Tuesday, Ghana would be 50. Our dear country shall have come a very long way since the wee hours of 6th March, 1957, when the old British Union Jack was lowered and the New Ghana Flag made up of Red, Gold, Green stripes with the Black Star in the middle, was hoisted to signal Ghana's Independence and the gallant march towards proving that the black man is capable of managing his own affairs and taking his destiny into his own hands. In an atmosphere of unity and peace, the new Ghanaians celebrated that very rare occasion in their history with ecstasy and pageantry.
The Independence of Ghana on March 6, 1957, will always remain a monumental milestone in the annals of Ghanaian and African history because that event did not only bring considerable pride and honour to Ghana and all its citizens, but more importantly it became the torch that shone on the path of the African liberation struggle.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press:
Ghana's 50th Anniversary is an occasion that every Ghanaian irrespective of his or her political persuasion, creed, ethnic origin, social or economic standing must look forward to participating in with a demonstrable sense of accomplishment, patriotic pride and joy. There are compelling reasons for this important statement and I now proceed to highlight five of them.
Firstly, the occasion provides the opportunity for the nation to remember and honour her past heroes. In this respect, only a few days ago on February 28, 2007, Ghana as a nation remembered three of her fallen heroes, namely Sergeant Adjetey, Lance Corporal Attipoe, and Private Odartey Lamptey, who paid the ultimate price during the struggle for Ghana's Independence.
We in the NDC are strongly convinced and will remain convinced that these three gallant heroes, as well as the Nii Kwabena Bonneys, the “Unknown Soldier” and the war veterans did not struggle or die in vain. We feel it in our marrows that these truly historic freedom fighters deserve the greatest reverence and honour we as living Ghanaians can bestow on them for their immense contribution towards securing for the people of Ghana their fundamental freedoms, rights, honour, dignity and pride through the attainment of Independence in 1957. We are therefore of the strongest view that the images and contributions of these gallant past heroes in Ghana's struggle towards independence must feature very prominently in the [email protected] celebrations. There is the need to re-echo the patriotic theme that Ghana was and is always worth struggling and dying for.
The NDC salutes the contributions of all the heroes of our independence struggle.
Indeed, it our greatest passion that the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, acknowledged incontrovertibly worldwide as the Number One African Freedom Fighter, the greatest Pan-Africanist and the greatest African political personality of the 20th Century should be revered by all Ghanaians as the Founder of our beloved nation, and immortalized in the national psyche as a courageous, inspirational and visionary leader of unparalleled selflessness, commitment and dedication to the cause of the oppressed, the repressed, and the exploited in Ghana , Africa and elsewhere.
What more can the NDC do than on the 6th of March 2007 stand up, salute and gladden the soul of the great Nkrumah, the fearless man who led the struggle for “Self Government Now”, the giant of an African politician who led Ghana as the first African country, south of the Sahara, to attain independence on 6th March 1957 from British colonialist, the charismatic and visionary leader who in the course of executing rapid social, political and economic transformations in Ghana became a target of assassination plots, bomb attack at Kulungungu and imperialist destabilization schemes championed by the CIA that eventually resulted in his overthrow while on a noble peace mission to Hanoi, Vietnam on 24th February 1966?
What else can the NDC do than to use the same occasion to salute and pay tribute to those innocent Ghanaian patriots who died or were maimed as a result of the bombs that members of the Danquah-Busia opposition threw at CPP rallies in order to weaken the anti-colonial resistance movement and sabotage the progressive post-colonial development agenda of the Osagyefo?
Ladies and gentlemen of the press:
The NDC cherishes the intellectual prowess, extraordinary political stature, incisive vision and venerable mission of Nkrumah in the affairs of Ghana, Africa and the entire world during his political life. It needs to be made very clear that the roles Kwame Nkrumah played during his tenure of political leadership in Ghana can never be modified, downgraded, changed or erased by those he aptly called the imperialist and neo-colonialist lackeys.
For those Ghanaian politicians and intellectuals who pathologically hate to hear the name of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, hate to hear the slogan, “Nkrumah Never Dies”, hate to see Nkrumah's images and even hate innocent students who read Nkrumah's books, let them for once sit up, think and understand that while Nkrumah is physically dead, his intellectual ideals and political vision still linger on.
Let no one be deceived into believing that Nkrumah's mission is a Mission Accomplished or was a Mission Frustrated! We pay and will continue to pay glowing tribute to Nkrumah because his political vision and mission are as relevant today as they were in the past and will continue to be relevant for a long time to come. We will continue to position Nkrumah and all that he stood for in our collective psyche to serve as an inspiration for accomplishing his mission for Ghana and Africa.
Indeed, we are of the view it is a tragic error that the birthplace, images, works and achievements of the Osagyefo have not been more prominently featured in the various Golden Jubilee Anniversary activities organized by the planners at the [email protected] Secretariat.
The second reason why every Ghanaian must freely and proudly participate in the [email protected] Anniversary Celebration without reservations is the need to demonstrate our collective respect for what signifies Ghana as a sovereign nation.
We believe that no patriotic Ghanaian would refuse to honour the Ghana National Flag designed by Mrs. Theodosia Okoh, refuse to be upstanding in reverence for the Ghana National Anthem composed by Mr. Philip Gbeho and refuse to venerate Ghana 's Coat Of Arms, designed by Mr. Nii Amon Nikoi.
The [email protected] Anniversary Celebration gives Ghanaians the opportunity to mass up at the Parade to demonstrate their respect and patriotism for Ghana and recognize the important contributions of Mrs. Theodosia Okoh, Mr. Philip Gbeho and Mr. Nii Amon Nikoi to building a new nation.
More importantly, the occasion should remind us of our history, identity, achievements, failures and plans for the future—up to the next 50 years when Ghana will celebrate her Centenary.
The NDC reveres our national symbols as invariable components of our national consciousness because they tend to reinforce our history and identity as a people, socialize us politically, strengthen our collective resolve to be bound in unity, common fate and destiny, remind us of the moral and legal bases of our very existence, gear our leaders towards good governance and give guidance to our daily civil lives.
The [email protected] Parade is a political platform at which the imagery of our national symbols, heroes and consciousness take the centre stage. The NDC therefore needs to show up at the Parade to signal its patriotic spirit, its avowed intention to keep the independence flame burning, its resolve to resist the oppressors rule and its tenacity to hold neo-colonialism in whatever form in check.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:
There is a third reason why the NDC finds that every PNDC and NDC member, supporter and sympathizer should readily embrace participation in the Ghana 's Golden Jubilee Celebrations. It is a fact of history that out of the 50 years of Ghana 's independence, the PNDC and the NDC regimes had ruled successively for 19 good years. Neither can anyone can feign ignorance to this reality nor seek vainly to downgrade the immense contributions made by the Rawlings-led PNDC and NDC regimes to the development and growth of Ghana without creating the crisis of confidence and crisis of solidarity that have since characterized the planning and execution of the Golden Jubilee Anniversary.
From December 1981, PNDC and NDC political appointees, cadres, bureaucrats and technocrats toiled, and lived selflessly, sacrificed their lives and died under the most challenging socio-economic conditions until they succeeded in bequeathing a softer and more enabling economic and political conditions to the new NPP administration in January, 2001.
It therefore does the nation no political good for any person to consider the NDC governance role as irrelevant in the political history of this country. We therefore view with utmost disgust the blatant dishonesty on the part of the NPP regime to downplay the roles of the PNDC and the NDC in the governance of this nation.
We in the NDC warn that we have massive following and that any attempts to relegate our party to the background of history in the [email protected] Celebrations and thereafter will invariably exacerbate the exiting feelings of political exclusion, discrimination, division and extreme partisanship with ominous consequences for Mother Ghana.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:
We now take on the fourth reason that compels the NDC to show a presence at Ghana 's Golden Jubilee Anniversary. We are fully aware that our innocent children and dedicated security personnel have had to undergo days of strenuous rehearsals for the [email protected] Parade.
While we salute them, we hasten to admit that mere salutation is not enough. We must show a physical presence as our recognition of their patriotic efforts; we should be there to re-ignite their optimism and aspirations for the future. The National Democratic Congress is Ghana's government-in-waiting, very ready to wrestle power from the NPP come December 2008 in order to pursue, with vigour, its agenda—a social democratic agenda that does not tolerate disunity, distrust, disrespect, discrimination, exploitation, hatred, acrimony, official corruption, petty recriminations, vain vengeance, fascist political intrigues and subterfuges.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:
The fifth consideration that compels the NDC to participate in the Golden Jubilee Parade of 6th March 2007 relates to the high respect it needs to accord the invited heads of states, representatives of diplomatic missions as well as representatives of multilateral and bilateral institutions with whom Ghana has had long-standing and fruitful relations.
The NDC is also very conscious of the role it played, while in power, in getting an illustrious son of Ghana , His Excellency Kofi Annan to the prestigious post of the Secretary General of the United Nations. We respect the immediate past Secretary General of the UN; we are very proud of his distinguished international career. As a result, the NDC does not see how such a great man—respected all over the world—should be embarrassed by its non-participation in a Ceremony where all eyes will be on him.
The NDC however calls the attention of the international community and media to the fact that all is not well in Ghana . We request that they reciprocate our esteemed regard for them by turning their searchlight more sharply on Ghana in order to come to know exactly what is happening behind the scenes in the realm of our so-called democratic governance.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:
Until today, the NDC has kept the nation guessing about its decision to participate or not participate in the activities organized for 50th Anniversary Celebrations. We have done so, my brothers and sisters, because we have been most concerned about, and indeed inflamed by some unfortunate developments, including NPP official pronouncements and actions since preparatory steps were initiated for the planning and execution of the Ghana @50 Celebrations.
1. First, the NDC was not invited to participate in the work of Anniversary's Planning Committee. Over time, the NPP's top spokespersons, including Dr. Wereko-Brobby and more recently Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani stated over and over again that the planning of the anniversary was entirely the work of the government and that there was no where in the world where political parties were invited to participate in planning a national anniversary.
To them, there is one political party in government at any particular point in time and so any opposition party that insists on its involvement in government business is simply revealing its motivation to co-share in the executive work of government. These preposterous pronouncements betray complete a lack of understanding of the notion of good governance as underpinned by the principle of transparency in the workings of multiparty democracy.
We believe that this attitude was meant to exclude other stakeholders from scrutinizing the work of the [email protected] Secretariat and thus render its operations non-transparent to facilitate the appropriation of the $20 million dollars and additional cedi donations for private benefit.
2. Second, the NDC minority in Parliament had questioned the use to which the colossal amount of $20 million earmarked for the 50th Anniversary would be put in the present-day HIPC Ghana where there are widespread incidents of water shortages, phenomenal increase in the incidence of guinea worm infestation, annoying daily electricity cuts, generally poor access to healthcare, and unbearably harsh economic conditions.
Despite the protestation on these and other grounds, Parliamentary approval was, as usual, railroaded without the relevant Ministry responsible for the planning and execution of the Anniversary specifying the disbursements of such a huge amount.
Now the cat has managed to struggle only its head out of the bag and will definitely get the rest of its body out. The promised toilets in Accra have not been built. The decorative grasses have not been planted on city lawns. The residences where the special foreign guests invited to the Anniversary would be housed have not been built, generating unwarranted controversies around “donated” Trasacco mansions and the access road from the site to Accra-Tema motorway.
Only a few spots in Accra have been renovated as sites for [email protected], while street-adorning trees giving shades to pedestrians have been vainly felled.
More than 95% of the Accra Metropolitan area remains in [email protected], not to talk about what level of preparations have been accomplished in the rest of the country to mark the Anniversary. Yet we hear that 300 luxury cars including 50 Jaguars, 75 customized BMWs, 50 Mercedes S-Class, 50 Chryslers, 40 Benz buses, among others, have been imported into the country just for the use of less than some 100 foreign dignitaries invited to [email protected] celebrations.
By the way, is Ghana really at 50 when the government decides to order anniversary cloth from China instead of from the local textile industries?
Appearing before a Parliamentary Committee demanding interim accountability, the Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, went with no documentary files. Off head, Mr. Mpiani attempted to render accounts covering the expenditure of $20 million and the hundreds of billions of cedis collected from Ghanaian businesses as donations towards the same Ghana @50 Anniversary. Magical memory Mpiani's memory is. But who says that with such memory one occupying a high political office can do so with such impunity and contempt?
The NDC abhors such impunity and wasteful demonstration of opulence when Ghana is HIPC. Ordinarily, the NDC would not want to be party to a Celebration that it believes is used to wasting or siphoning public money into private pockets.
3. Third, as we watched events unfold, it became increasingly clear that the NPP's agenda was to use the Ghana 's 50th Anniversary of Independence to downgrade the role of Nkrumah and his CPP while projecting the pre-eminence of their own heroes in the struggle for Ghana 's independence. Indeed, within the past few years, we have disquietly observed the deliberate and systematic attempts by the NPP political top-shots and intellectuals to relegate the person, struggles, intellectual works and achievements of Nkrumah into historical oblivion.
Frankly, the NDC has been appalled by the NPP's selective physical immortalization of its own past heroes. Most Ghanaians have seen the massive renovation taking place at the Danquah Circle and the erection of a brand new statue for Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey—Jake Obitsebi-Lamptey's father. The question is what prevented the NPP regime from rehabilitating the statue of Kwame Nkrumah which was damaged and desecrated by the local neo-colonialist agents in February 1966? How on earth would any well-meaning government fail to put a fitting memorial for Kwame Nkrumah, the Founder of the Nation, at his hometown at Nkroful especially when Ghana is fifty?
We were not very surprised to hear a key NPP figure at one point proclaim that their Danquah-Busia Tradition would be 60 in this same year as Ghana is celebrating her Golden Jubilee. Of course Ghanaians found this flagrant shot at distorting the political history of Ghana most objectionable and thus nipped it in the bud.
4. Fourth, we in the NDC had expected that the NPP regime would have used the occasion of the Ghana Golden Jubilee to forge unity and reconciliation among Ghanaians and define Ghana 's developmental path for the next 50 years. But alas, that was not to be! Rather, the apparatchiks of the NPP regime have been more interested in using the occasion to deepen the polarization of the Ghanaian polity, finalize their distortion of Ghana 's political history and position themselves in the pursuit of their ethnic and neo-colonialist agenda in the years ahead. We vehemently take objection to this. We are determined to oppose any parochial agenda other than a collective Ghana agenda.
5. Fifth, the NDC finds it most offensive to be completely marginalized and considered irrelevant in the celebrations of [email protected] Let me repeat, for 19 solid years out of the 50, the PNDC and the NDC had ruled this country and engaged in massive radical reforms and reconstructions in the social, economic and political spheres of this country from 1981 to 2000. Who is more relevant in our contemporary political history? The ruling NPP regime, most of whose appointees were comfortably secured outside Ghana seeking greener pastures between 1981 and 2000 and, are currently enjoying the legacy bequeathed to them by the NDC they loathe so much? The cheek of it!
We resist all efforts to obliterate our significant traces in the annals of Ghana 's political history. Why and to where have all the virtues of objectivity, honesty, goodness, decency departed so ignominiously from the ruling NPP regime? Is it mere myopia, groupthink or lack of ideas that makes the apologist of the NPP declare shamelessly that Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings has no role whatsoever to play in the [email protected] Celebrations? What is happening to Mother Ghana?
Let me put the records very straight. Indeed, if today President Kufuor is the President of the AU it is because Kwame Nkrumah and his CPP blazed the trail and the Rawlings and his PNDC and NDC to kept the flame of independence burning, held the nation together and pursued Nkrumah's Pan-African vision relentlessly. Let no one seek to downgrade or ignore the relative contributions of Kwame, Nkrumah and Jerry John Rawlings while we enjoy the fruits of their toils.
6. Fifth, we have repeatedly drawn the world's attention to the selective justice being meted out to former PNDC and NDC appointees and members. In particular, we have vehemently protested against the unfair trial and incarceration of Mr. Kwame Peprah, Mr. Victor Selormey, Mr. Ibrahim Adams and Dr. George Yankey for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.
Exactly one month to Ghana 's Golden Jubilee Anniversary, Hon. Dan Abodakpi was handed a harsh but unjust 8-year sentence for conspiring with Mr. Victor Serlomey, (now deceased as a direct result of his imprisonment) and one American-resident Ghanaian, Dr. Boadu for causing financial loss to the state.
Dr. Boadu who is still doing active business with some of the top members of the NPP regime was never summoned to court despite our information from a reliable source at the Attorney-General's office that he has been flying in and out of the country throughout all the years that the case was before an Accra Fast Track Court.
Moreover, we have drawn attention to the fact that the NPP regime has lined up other top NDC members and appointees including Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, the former First Lady, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, Hon. Dan Abodakpi, again, for trial and imprisonment on spurious charges. Meanwhile, we are reliably informed that in their desperation, some top members of the Kufuor regime are making serious attempts to expand the list of to-be-prosecuted members of the NDC as means of putting the fear of the Lord in the NDC executives and members and destabilizing the NDC itself.
The question that has agitated our minds is: Why should the NDC honour any invitation to whitewash this Golden Jubilee and give the invited foreign dignitaries and the international media the impression that all is well with our democracy and governance? How can the Rawlingses appear on a public platform, mingle and exchange pleasantries with and feel safe in the company of those who are bent on putting one of them before a court for trial and prosecution soon after the Celebrations?
Let it be known that that the NDC is taking the opportunity to attend the [email protected] Celebrations to draw the attention of the world to Kufuor's notion, understanding and mode of application of the Rule of Law in Ghana.
7. Since January 2001, unprintable insults have been hurled at the person of the NDC Founding Father, Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings in a systematic attempt to dent his image and that of the NDC. He is accused of having done nothing for Ghana , wasting 19 years of the life of this nation, presiding over nothing but mess. His privileges and facilities as a former President were unilaterally withdrawn in complete violation of the 1992 Constitution. He has been trailed and bugged by the security operatives of the Kufuor regime in flagrant disregard of the same Constitution. The security operatives of the NPP regime continue these unlawful acts in gusto.
Former President J. J. Rawlings has at various times been falsely accused of soliciting for funds from some countries abroad to overthrow the Kufuor administration whenever that administration felt insecure and threatened by the ground swell of public opinion. To date President Kufuor and his national security operatives have failed to substantiate each accusation.
The insults, invectives and indignities meted out to our Founder have not abated even at the time when reconciliation needs to be forged before the Celebrations. How does this kind of political atmosphere help the NDC in evaluating as quickly as it would have done the political costs and benefits of participating or not participating in the [email protected] Anniversaries? How safe will our delegation and supporters be at a Celebration organized solely by the NPP regime?
8. Ladies and gentle men of the press: it is very difficult for the NDC to accept that at 50 years, Ghana has not only become a major hub for the illicit drug business but also has to walk around with the ignominious tag of having had a member of her Parliament busted in the United States for heroine trafficking, of having 77 parcels of cocaine disappearing from MV Benjamin under the surveillance of state security apparatus and of having parcels of drugs disappearing from the vaults of Ghana 's Narcotic Board under the guard of state anti-narcotic officials.
What can be more disreputable than this?
Certainly, this is not the kind of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah and the freedom fighters envisioned 50 years ago when at the old Polo Grounds, the words “ Ghana our beloved country is free forever” fell from Nkrumah's lips. How can one be free when powerful drug barons and traffickers are allegedly in complicity with some top personnel in our security services? Let me ask again: How free and safe are we? How comfortable would one feel celebrating [email protected] in its disreputable status as a foremost drug distribution and transit point in Africa ?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media:
Let me state without reservation that thousands of our members, supporters and sympathisers have through various public and private media channels appealed to us to boycott the [email protected] Anniversary. They have done so for very good reasons. Indeed, the NDC is left in no doubt that millions of NDC non-NDC supporters really find the mode of planning and execution of the [email protected] Anniversary celebrations and some official and non-official pronouncements that have attended them very repulsive.
We are very sensitive to these appeals; we respect all NDC members, supporters, sympathizers, and indeed all Ghanaians, who have directed these genuine and frank appeals to us. We believe that these appeals clearly signal the mood of average Ghanaians to the effect that:
• they do not to accept the governance style of the Kufuor regime;
• they will never sit down while Kwame Nkrumah and his progressive freedom fighters are relegated to the status of being footnotes in our political history by anyone;
• they resist and will resist any orchestration to downgrade the PNDC and the NDC political projects as wasteful and messy; and
• they would not tolerate any endeavour whatsoever by anyone to rewrite the history of this country.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media:
This represents the total constellation of the mood of those Ghanaians who have been so impoverished that they have become virtual paupers in their homeland; the ordinary Ghanaians who have been denied the basic necessities of existence through incompetence and misrule; the “mboborowa” Ghanaians who are experiencing the most extreme economic hardships ever unleashed on a people; the good, innocent Ghanaians who are increasingly becoming aware of the injustices and unfairness being perpetrated by the NPP regime in the name of the Rule of Law; the rational but humble Ghanaians who feel insulted because the NPP takes their intelligence and reasoning for granted, the awakening middle-class Ghanaians who are increasingly realizing that they are being crowded out by the newly rich political elites, and of course, all those Ghanaians who have regretted their electoral decisions and action in 2000 and 2004.
We have no doubt that the NPP would have relished the opportunity to be on their own at the Independence Square and, in their characteristic ostentation and opulence, indulge in self adulation. In fact it appears to the NDC that the NPP is deliberately orchestrating a political agenda to provoke our non-attendance so that they can exploit it to their propaganda advantage in the future.
Perhaps, you will be shocked to hear that the invitation to the NDC to attend the Golden Jubilee Anniversary was delivered to the NDC Head Office at about 1.00 pm on 1st March 2007—only six days to the Parade. What more evidence is there to convince one that the NPP regime does not really want us to be there and even that the open invitation thrown to ex-President Rawlings alone was meant as a public relations gimmick?
It is therefore important that it be made clear to the Kufuor regime that 6th of March of every year is a Ghana Day and not a day for any incumbent government of Ghana . As a Ghanaian political party, the NDC will therefore not allow any group of people to hijack 6th March and push us to a point where we would be forced to show disrespect and irreverence to our past heroes, our invited guests, our national symbols and the Golden Jubilee itself.
Our overriding reasons for deciding to be at the Independence Square on March 6, 2007 are the love and respect we have for our dear motherland
and party. The agenda of Ghana would always be bigger than the agenda of any political party and that is the pledge the NDC wishes to re-emphasize in unambiguous terms as Ghana attains 50 years post-colonial in freedom.
We therefore appeal to all our members, supporters and sympathizers to understand and support our decision to send a delegation to the Independence Square Parade on March 6, 2007. Our Flagbearer, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills will be there. He will be flanked by his able party lieutenants and supporters. We crave the indulgence of all NDC members, supporters and sympathizers to shore us up to blaze the trail of political maturity for generations yet unborn and let posterity judge the political outcome of our decision.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media:
On behalf of the NDC, let me now formally inform the nation of Ghana and the whole world that a delegation led by the NDC Flagbearer, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills will be at the [email protected] Parade at the Independence on 6th March 2006.
The delegation needs the assurance of the National Security that all its members will be safe. The delegation needs the assurance of the State Protocol that a secured sitting arrangement will be made for the number of NDC officials they have officially invited to the Parade. The NDC delegation needs the assurance of the National Security apparatus that NDC sympathisers and supporters who attend the Parade will be treated with civility as Ghanaian citizens. Let it be known to all and sundry, especially the NPP hawks who are poised to deliver hell and brimstones on the NDC participants at [email protected] Anniversary, that we have been reliably informed about their plans and warn that the occasion is no place and time for political embarrassment, harassment, intimidation and bigotry.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media:
Finally let me also observe that apart from the Anniversary Parade on 6th March 2007 which is claimed to be open to all, most of the official activities lined up for the celebrations are elitist and exclusive in nature. They thus limit the participation of the overwhelming majority of ordinary Ghanaians.
The NDC does not therefore share the position of the police officialdom in legally restraining the CJA, a recognized democratic political movement, from exercising its democratic right to organize a procession to mark the [email protected] Celebrations the way it deems fit. We believe that the hallmark of a functional and vibrant constitutional democracy is the peaceful political activism and dissent that characterize it. We also believe that such parallel celebrations enable us to demonstrate our political pluralism and maturity as well as elaborate our collective national consciousness. To prevent the CJA from organizing its procession on 6th March 2007 is an opportunity lost for the NPP to showcase its democratic credentials.
We therefore warn that in the event that the CJA embarks on its planned procession, the security agencies must be extremely cautious, tolerant and desist from wreaking their characteristic untoward violence on the members, supporters and sympathizers of the CJA.
The NDC takes the opportunity offered by this Press Conference to wish all Ghanaians a very happy Golden Anniversary.
Long live Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana
Long Live the NDC, and
God bless Ghana , our homeland.
Thank you for coming and God bless you all.
Sunday, 04 March 2007