Jerr Rawlings TRADERS AT the famous Takoradi Market Circle took this year's political campaign to another level when they welcomed Mr. Jerry Rawlings and supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) last Saturday with the 'Abodam' sign regularly used by Kwaw Kese, the hiplife sensation and multiple awards winner at this year's Ghana Music Awards.
Former President Rawlings, the NDC founder, was in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis for a day's campaign tour.
As some NDC supporters shouted one of the party's slogans, “Heei” to symbolise the chasing of the elephant into the bush, supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), mainly traders and other onlookers hit back with the word, 'Abodam' to wit 'madness', with clenched fists at the side of the head, depicting Kwaw Kese's gestures.
The Market Circle was filled with traders and weekend shoppers who demonstrated by their gestures and body language that Sekondi-Takoradi was a “no go area” for the NDC, and greeted Rawlings and his entourage with the famous Kangaroo dance.
It all started when the NDC faithful in the area welcomed the former President to the Harbour city and were driving him round the Market Circle prior to a rally at the Sekondi Methodist Park.
Most of the traders shouted to the hearing of the former President that nothing had been destroyed under the NPP government that needed a change and remarked, “As for us, we are moving forward with the ruling government”.
As would be expected, Rawlings pulled a large crowd which came from almost all communities within the metropolis while those who were outside the Sekondi-Takoradi area were bussed to the Jubilee Grounds in Takoradi where they waited for the arrival of 'Junior Jesus'.
When Mr. Rawlings finally arrived at 3:15 pm, the crowd became thicker and security personnel had a hectic time trying to control the people.
They later converged on the Sekondi Methodist Park where they were addressed by the former President and other NDC bigwigs.
Sources said the former President rejected the Jubilee Park because it was linked to the [email protected] celebrations, which he saw as NPP's baby.
Rawlings told the NDC supporters that December 7 must be a day of liberation for Ghanaians to drive away the darkness, bad air and evil spirit that had engulfed the economy because of NPP's maladministration.
According to him, the only antidote to the sufferings of Ghanaians was to vote against the government.
“When you vote for the NPP, you vote away your power,” he said.
His speech was laced with English and adulterated Twi.
He asked the electorate not to repeat the mistakes they made in the 2004 elections which propelled the NPP to political power, stressing that it would take only a united people with a vision similar to the 31st December Revolution to bring about the needed change through the ballot box, which he claimed the entire nation was yearning for.
Shouting himself hoarse, the former President said the seat of government was not the preserve of one man, but for Ghanaians in general; so if a particular person or political party ascended it and performed abysmally, then it was incumbent upon the people to vote out that government in an election.
After electrifying the Sekondi Methodist Park with his arrival, Rawlings, responding to cheers on the platform, kissed his fingers as a sign of love and immediately boxed the air to indicate that the people should kick out the NPP in the upcoming general elections.
He started his speech with “se mo adum kanea no”, accusing NPP operatives of deliberately arranging for the power outage to disorganize the NDC rally, though the lights went off as early as 9 am that day.
He said the NDC left a legacy by offering equal opportunity to every Ghanaian to develop their potentials and ensuring that everybody was a first class citizen, contrary to what was currently pertaining in the NPP administration.
“During our time whether you were a labourer, policeman or teacher, one could afford a decent meal, rent a house and pay children's school fees, but the NPP has turned everything upside down and made Ghanaians fourth class citizens,” Rawlings echoed amid shouting of “Yes!” by the NDC faithful.
Apparently trying to sound like a man of God, ex-president Rawlings said God or Allah created man in his own image and did not create Ghanaians to be slaves under an NPP regime and shouted three times, “ladies and gentlemen, are we going to make the same mistake again?” which were all greeted by “No!” from the enthusiastic crowd.
Virtually turning himself into a choirmaster and showing antics of his AFRC and PNDC days, Mr Rawlings burst into a song: “JJ sore, abonsam pese oseye wo mba” meaning, “JJ rise up, the devil wants to destroy your children”, which the crowd sang in unison.
He then prevailed upon the ecstatic crowd to change the words to: “Ghana sore, abonsam pese oseye wo mba”, meaning, “Ghana rise up, the devil wants to destroy your children”, to indicate that Ghanaians should vote en bloc against the ruling government.
From Emmanuel Opoku & Sam Mark Essien, Sekondi-Takoradi