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19.03.2009 Politics

Threat to prosecute corrupt officials RAWLINGS BACKS MILLS... Denies that he undermined Kufuor

By Bismark Bebli - Ghanaian Chronicle
FLASH BACK:President Atta Mills in tete-a-tete with Ex-President RawlingsFLASH BACK:President Atta Mills in tete-a-tete with Ex-President Rawlings

THE FOUNDER of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings has backed President John Evans Atta Mills' threat to prosecute officials in the NPP government and other state functionaries found to have stolen money from state coffers.

He said the declaration by the President, cautioning all Ghanaians, irrespective of their political affiliations, was an indication that the President would not allow such rot to be swept under the carpet.

President Mills on Tuesday warned that nobody should take his leniency to be his weakness, and that he would deal decisively with people found to have dipped their hands into state coffers.

According to ex President Rawlings, though the decision was late in coming, it would nonetheless help to send a strong signal to all Public Office holders. Mr. Kofi Adams, the spokesperson of the NDC founder, who conveyed this message in a telephone interview with The Chronicle yesterday, declared his boss' unflinching support for President Mills' crusade, and also dismissed allegations that his boss ever incited the citizenry against the administration of the then President Kufuor.

“A lot of rot had happened under the NPP administration and it is his candid view that action should be quickly taken to bring the perpetrators to book through the due process. It is, therefore, re-assuring and refreshing that President Mills has spoken that nobody should take his kindness to be his weakness,” he said.

Mr. Adams asserted that it was the view of the NDC founder that President Mills should take a decisive action against those who have stolen state money and should not be allowed to walk free. “A lot has happened at Ghana Ports Habours and Authority; a lot has happened at Ghana @50 and many other places.

Mr. Rawlings is expecting that justice must be done in that respect. Justice must be done to the people of Dagbon over the murder of Ya-Na and others, and that of Alhaji Mobila. Mr. Rawlings is of the view that President Mills must deal with these allegations expeditiously. This has been his concern all the time,” he said.

He stressed that his boss was of the notion that 'nation looters must not be allowed to continue to enjoy what they have looted; they must be dealt with according to the laws of the land.

Mr. Adams dismissed the assertions that the former President also undermined Mr. Kufuor's government, saying that he only offered constructive criticisms.

He said there was no point in time when the NDC founder incited people against the presidency, compared to what the NPP is currently doing.

“The former President has never incited anybody. He only fairly criticised the NPP administration. He did not incite or show disrespect to the NPP government,” the ex President's spokesperson said. He was also of the opinion that the NPP members were just trying hide behind their actions by attempting to undermine institutions and authorities.

Mr. Adams further explained that when his boss spoke about positive defiance, he was not inciting anybody, except re-emphasizing what is in the constitution, adding that when Mr. Rawlings was reported to have urged service commanders not to respect any unlawful orders, he was not inciting people as the NPP members are claiming.

According to him, the NPP in opposition is rather trying to undermine all government structures and procedures, in an attempt to pollute the minds of Ghanaians that any action taken by President Mills would amount to witch-hunting.

“It is refreshing to hear the President speak to remind all Ghanaians that there is only one President. It is also indicative that he will not allow wrongful acts against the state to be swept under the carpet,” said Mr. Adams.