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04.05.2007 General News

J.J. brags in Holland

By myjoyonline

The Crusading Guide newspaper says former President Jerry John Rawlings has in a clear case of preaching virtue and practising vice and in spite of his series of scathing attacks on the presidency and all state office holders including the clergy, says that Ghana is bequeathed with a cultural orientation of respecting the elderly as well as persons authority.

The paper said the ex-President who on so many platforms had verbally assaulted the sitting President and referred to him as Ataa Ayi, the name of a one-time high-profiled armed robber in the country, said this cultural orientation gives right to the traditional behavioral expectation that the younger must respect the elderly.

The former President made these comments in a keynote address he delivered in The Hague, Holland, during the Africa Day celebration, organized by the Yvette Vermia Foundation On April 14 this year, according to the Weekend Crusading Guide.

Answering his own rhetorical question on how Ghana has managed to remain an island of relative stability in a continent rocked with war and conflict, the apostle of 'positive defiance' and celebrated coupist said "one of the reasons is our People's capacity for tolerance".

Rawlings, who said this truism was hidden from professors but exclusive to experienced people like himself, continued that "Ghanaians' capacity for tolerance finds expression in the accommodation of all forms of religious beliefs".

According to him, "the behavioral attitude of Ghanaians was not much different from that of the Japanese and other Asian nations under the influence of Confusionism, but while the Asian countries have used it for progressive nation building, the elite and other unscrupulous people in Ghana have exploited this tolerance", obviously referring to the NPP government.

Further exhibiting his discomfort under the current administration the former President told his audience that "the elite in Ghana have exploited this tolerance to their own parochial interest".

He continued, "Ghanaians' capacity for tolerance in the past has had its own limit and no doubt it would be tested again".

According to him, perception of corruption could spark 'positive civil defiance' which a government could only disregard at its own peril, adding that "it happened in Britain, France, America as well as Ghana in 1979".

Continuing his sermon on the conditions for 'positive defiance', Rawlings said "there is a tolerance limit; do not push human beings beyond their limit; do not deny them their dignity because if you do that and the fear degenerates into hatred, when the explosion happens they will want your blood, in spite of what you give them".

The obviously embittered Rawlings said whereas multi-party democracy and the ballot box provide electoral choice and mechanism for good governance, "they do not necessarily have this effect when you have dishonest incumbents who capriciously trample on the very foundation of democracy namely, the rule of law".

No government, Rawlings said should be short-sighted to assume that tolerance would last forever.

"Dissatisfaction built, citizens become ashamed of their nation and at first they express these feelings privately among themselves, and they begin to act through procession and protest", he posited.
According to him, any government which treats these signals lightly is risking the peace of the nation.

Citing incidents of misuse of rule of law in the country, Rawlings recalled the proposed Committee for Joint Action's (CJA's) independence procession which was postponed by a competent court of law saying it was a case of abuse of the judiciary.

In a sharp contrast to his earlier claim that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah only gave Ghana a national anthem and a flag, the ex-President in condemnation of the NPP hailed the former for the construction of the Akosombo dam.

"Today Ghana is facing a very severe energy crisis; household demand has increased with population growth and the need of economic enterprises have combined to outstrip supply", he told his audience.