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05.06.2004 General News

The shoe is now on the other foot - Rawlings

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Accra, June 4, GNA - In sharp contrast to what happened in the past Former President Jerry John Rawlings used the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the June Four Movement to soberly heliostat on historical and current events in the country.

He said: "Now that the heat is on the Government to defend itself on the numerous mendacious statements and policy directives that have entangled it, they are now waiting for Rawlings to offer a respite by making another BOOM Speech today, I will not grant them that wish."

Explaining the relevant of June 4 in contemporary politics, Former President Rawlings said the environmental condition that fuelled the eruption of the uprising has resurfaced in the body politic of the nation and urged the electorate to use Election 2004 to restore the tenets of probity and accountability, which were the foundation stones of the insurgence.

Mr Rawlings said the insurgence was a divine intervention based on truth, probity, accountability and integrity of the people, which translated into the build-up of a united, just and civil society.

He said the strength of the governments of Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which he presided over, was derived from the masses.

However, according to the Former President some governments derived their strength through the weaknesses of the masses, adding, "that is not how to build a strong united nation".

He stressed, "the change of government from NDC regime to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2001 has dislocated the national unity and cohesion that we built, now tribal and political antagonism, selfishness and manipulation of the weak is the order of the day". Reminiscent of Ex-President Rawlings, he accused the ruling NPP of adopting and indulging in politics of deceit, provocation, intimidation, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the voter registration exercise to discourage and steal the people's mandate in December.

Mr Rawlings, therefore, cautioned NDC members, activists and sympathisers to be vigilant throughout the process leading to and on the Election Day of December 7, to ensure that Professor John Evans Atta Mills won the day.

At the end of his speech Former President Rawlings asked the enthusiastic audience: "Have I delivered any BOOM today?" The charged crowd responded in the negative.

The 25th Anniversary lectures under the theme: "June Four And The Challenges of The Times," was attended by the NDC Flag bearer and Leader, Professor John Evans Mills, Mrs Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Former Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, 31st December Women's Movement, Cadres of the Revolution and members of the NDC.

Young military officers and other ranks took up arms on June 4, 1979 and rescued Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings and other soldiers, who were being tried for a May 15 mutiny.

The Mutineers overthrew the military regime of the Supreme Military Council (SMC II) under the chairmanship of Lieutenant-General F.W.K Akuffo and established the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). The AFRC ruled the country for three months and handed over to the People's National Party of President Hilla Limann.