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25.08.2002 General News

"Boom" Speech hostilities is recipe for civil war - GCPP

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The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) on Saturday called for cessation of hostilities over the recent outburst of the former President Jerry John Rawlings.

"The hostile environment created through justification of the statement and counter condemnation by the main opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) are recipe for civil war," Mr. Dan Lartey told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra.

Mr. Lartey called on the protagonists to "tolerate and respect each other's views and be circumspect, civil and decent in their pronouncements."

The GCPP leader noted that the country's democratic build-up must not be based on destruction and defaming of past regimes by current rulers while the past government must also not attempt to sabotage the present regime with manipulations and subversive activities.

"We are laying a foundation and foot-print for future governments and for the growth of constitutional democracy in the country, therefore we politicians must endeavour to use principles that can stand the test of time."

He also called on the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Christian Council, Council of State, and civil societies to intervene immediately and "call society to order."

Mar Lartey said "the ruling government should concentrate on governorship and tackle the serious economic problems confronting the nation and stop the over concentration on individual personalities".

He said, "Ghana needs peace for development and not volatile environment which has the potential of destroying the state." The (NDC) said the ruling party, the NPP used the tactics of "Positive Defiance," against the former government so it should not panic for its usage now.

Mr. John Mahama, NDC Director of Communications recently stated at a news conference in Accra that when the NPP was in opposition, they did not only urge positive defiance, even if they did not use that phrase; they acted it out through demonstrations and mass protests against the former government's policies,"

The news conference was to state the party's position on the aftermath reactions to a speech the former President Jerry John Rawlings delivered at the inauguration of the Ashanti Regional working committee of the Women’s Wing of the party in Kumasi on Friday August 9, 2002.

The speech had generated heated debate and reaction from government, leading to the invitation of the former President by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in Accra and the questioning of five executive members of the party by the Ashanti Regional Police CID in Kumasi.

Mr. Mahama cited the 1995 "Alliance For Change" demonstration against the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) as an example of the NPP's positive defiance tactics.

The demonstration turned violent and resulted in the death of four Ghanaians and was led by present Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo, and other leading members of the NPP.

The NPP on the other hand called on Ghanaians to condemn in no uncertain terms pronouncements made against the party by Ex-President Rawlings at a National Democratic Party (NDC) platform at Kumasi recently.

A statement signed by Mr. Dan Botwe, the General Secretary of the party after a press conference said the NPP found it very difficult to understand why the Former President chose to undermine the democratic process at the least opportunity, "and this latest call to arms and his hypocritical romanticising of what he called positive defiance."

It said the NPP deliberately delayed its response to the highly provocative and objectionable behaviour of Mr. Rawlings because it believed that in such matters, a more sober approach was the best way in dealing with it.

The NPP called on Ghanaians to protect and defend the constitution at all cost.

The statement said the Former President's desperate efforts to rationalise these potentially treasonable utterances, was clear that he made those infusions with a diabolic agenda in the mind.

Mr. Botwe said attempts by Mr. Rawlings to explain what he meant by "positive defiance" gave credence to claims that " the man was a contradiction in one human being."

The call by the Former President for an eruption in Ghana before the full term of the government ended was to prevent his exposure "as a liar to the mounting evidence now emerging that he and his family have always lived on lies", he added.

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