Former President Jerry John Rawlings on Saturday said the next government of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will adopt measures to unite the country again.
“The NDC government under the leadership of Professor John Evans Atta Mills is ready to unite the country through policies which ensure that development occurs in a manner that is compassionate in which prosperity of the greatest number is cardinal,” he said.
Former President Rawlings said the next NDC government would renew its commitment of bridging the development gap between the north and the south, pay closer attention to poverty endemic communities encourage better communication and improved social relations between the young and the old.
The former President was speaking at the official launch of the NDC Election 2008 manifesto dubbed; “A Better Ghana: Investing in People, Jobs and the Economy,” in Accra.
The launch of the manifesto by Prof. Atta Mills was preceded by the singing of the popular charismatic Christian song; “Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching on to war,” lead by former President Rawlings and wife; Prof. Atta Mills and wife and Mr John Dramani Mahama and wife.
Mr E. T. Mensah, NDC Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram momentarily become the Choir master, conducting the large party supporters and leaders to sing along with their mentors.
Former President Rawlings said: “the government of Prof Mills will renew governance in a manner that would reflect service, not corruption and self- adulation.”
He however urged “all Ghanaians especially NDC supporters and sympathisers to be guided by the vigilance of the Eagle and the sprawl of the Akatamanso Umbrella as it provides us the momentum to surge higher and higher, while seeking to protect our people from selfishness and decadence.”
He assured the NDC supporters that the party will win Election 2008 because the good people of Ghana now know the difference between the needs and interests of the broad majority on one hand, and the unearned privileges of the few who think they are “born to rule”.
Former President Rawlings challenged thousands of first time voters who participated in the recent limited voter registration exercise to cement their electoral rights by voting massively for the NDC to instil a new political leadership that will render service with humility.
He assured the youth that an NDC government, “through its social democracy philosophy will lead the youth, men and women, ordinary people and indeed all progressive groupings to join hands to claim back national assets and renew our march towards an enduring democracy on the foundations of sustainable development underpinned by a commitment to social justice.”
He said: “We in the NDC are firm in one belief; the people of this dear country will not surrender their independence and abandon their struggle to restore hope and dignity to the common man.
“Our people are relentless in their determination to reclaim their right to create opportunities for progress and prosperity by all from the stranglehold of elite rule and domination.”
Dr Kwabena Adjei National Chairman of the NDC said the manifesto evolved from the party's abiding commitment to the guiding principles and practice of social democratic in relation to the Ghanaian context and experience.
He said; “the manifesto offers practical, effective and sustainable solutions for a better Ghana.”
Dr Adjei said the party shares the concern, the growing inequality and social exclusion in the Ghanaian society since 2001, primarily because of the policies of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He said the NPP policies for governance have been divisive, and they have been utterly discriminatory, adding; “only a privileged few have and continue to acquire obscene wealth, while the larger majority of Ghanaians are driven into poverty, hardships and deepening crises”.
The NDC Chairman said, as a social democratic party, they uphold social justice, creation of a social, economic and political order in which all Ghanaians will receive equal treatment, fair opportunities and equitable access to assets and resources for meeting their needs.
He affirmed that it is the NDC's commitment to building a sustainable and enduring multi-party democracy, adding; “the NDC Manifesto represents the NDC's covenant with the people of Ghana, built on the firm belief that the people of this country deserve to live and work in dignity.”
The manifesto launch was characterised with fun-fare, singing and dancing of NDC Election 2008 songs proclaiming the virtues of its Flag bearer Prof Atta Mills, cultural displays and exhibition of unity to victory by leading members of the party.