Rawlings: Let's eschew selfishness and greed
Former president Jerry John Rawlings has said that Ghana's journey to full economic sustenance is achievable, however it requires that Ghanaians, irrespective of political, professional and religious persuasions, pool resources.
In a message released by his office to mark Christmas, Rawlings said majority of Ghanaians have had to endure great economic difficulty in the passing year and urged that as “we pause to reflect on the past year and pray for a prosperous New Year we need to focus on what we can do to ensure that this time next year Ghana will be in a better economic and social position so we have reason to celebrate.”
He reminded Ghanaians that as they play their roles in society they should remember to eschew selfishness and greed and work to the greater good of the country. “We have to stand up for justice at all times and be ready to defend those to whom justice has been denied.”
Rawlings said the Christmas season not only symbolizes the birth of Christ but also serves as a period of sober reflection on the year almost gone by, and implored every Ghanaian to use this occasion to strengthen family relations, as that is the bedrock of society and the stepping-stone for national unity.
Read former President Rawlings full text below
EX-PRESIDENT RAWLINGS' MESSAGE TO GHANAIANS AT CHRISTMAS
Fellow Ghanaians, 2009 is gradually drawing to a close and today we once again celebrate Christmas.
The Christmas season not only symbolizes the birth of Christ but also serves as a period of sober reflection on the year almost gone by, for people of all persuasions.
I implore every Ghanaian to use this occasion to strengthen family relations, as that is the bedrock of society and the stepping-stone for national unity.
Our quest for economic sustenance means throughout the year we spend little time at home as a family unit. As parents we leave home in the early hours of the morning and return home late, having little or no time to interact with the young ones.
Let us work to consolidate family values this season and by so doing appreciate the warmth, love and affection this singular action brings to our lives.
For some Christmas is a period of sadness and pain as they have no place to lay their heads and no family to celebrate with. Let us not forget to extend a warm hand to these unfortunate ones. Where we can let us allow them home to enjoy the warmth of a family meal and show them love, as we used to do in times past.
2009 has been a year of mixed fortunes. January was a political transition month, which saw a new leadership take over from the old.
Transitions are always tricky periods for countries especially with the harsh economic conditions pervading the entire globe.
Majority of Ghanaians have had to endure great economic difficulty.
The journey to full economic sustenance is not a mirage but requires that we all pool our resources irrespective of our political, professional and religious persuasions.
As we pause to reflect on the past year and pray for a prosperous new year we need to focus on what we can do to ensure that this time next year Ghana will be in a better economic and social position so we have reason to celebrate.
I have spoken at various forums both internationally and locally this year and my major focus has always been on the theme of probity, accountability and justice. As we all play our roles in society let us remember to eschew selfishness and greed and work to the greater good of our country. We have to stand up for justice at all times and be ready to defend those to whom justice has been denied.
Justice has been defiled and we are ignoring it; choosing the role of Pontius Pilate, reveling in biblical and personal innocence while an abnormality perpetuates itself. Where lies the value of celebrating Christmas if the sense of socio-economic justice remains so terribly deformed and corrupted?
Is ignoring justice any less cruel than defiling it? If we answer in the affirmative, then we have to take a cue and enjoin the government, to be assertive and responsive to the wrongs that continue to permeate our socio-political fabric.
We have to always be accountable in whatever position we find ourselves and ensure that we treat each other equally. Ghana can only progress if we allow our prayers this season to transform into actions. By so doing we shall not deviate from the sense of positive purpose required to help build our dear country.
My brothers and sisters Christmas is a season of merry - To celebrate the end of a year and welcome a new one. As we make merry let us do so in absolute moderation and respect the rights of our neighbours.
For those of us who drive please do not drink and drive or drive and drink. Safety on our roads is not only about staying sober. We also have to be observant, patient and avoid unnecessary speed.
Ghana needs us all safe, sound and refreshed for the New Year.
On behalf on my dear wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman and our children, we wish all Ghanaians a wonderful Christmas season.