18.06.2004 General News

NDC accusations against NPP based on perceptions

By Marian Adjei for GYE NYAME CONCORD
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The Brong Ahafo Regional Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Sunyani, Mr. Anthony Kusi, has warned the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to desist from making unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.

Speaking to the Gye Nyame Concord in an interview in Sunyani, Brong Ahafo Region, he challenged the NDC to add evidence to their claims of corruption against government officials serving in the NPP administration.

Kusi said the act of trumpeting corruption in the NPP by NDC activists must be disregarded and treated as such because it lacks reality and is rather based on mere perception.

He gave the assurance that the NPP government will prosecute any member of the party or government official found to be corrupt since the President does not countenance acts of corruption in his administration.

He added that the claims by the opposition NDC are based on media publications and called on anybody, especially the NDC, who are frontliners of such allegations to beware.

Buttressing his claims that the NPP is not a corrupt party, he said when the NDC was in power, it used state funds to finance party activities and now it is finding problems funding its party activities now that they are in opposition.

He was of the view that the NPP could also do the same by using state funds to finance its activities, but the regional executives have been advised to solicit and generate fund elsewhere.

Commenting on the major problems the party is undergoing in the region, Mr. Kusi said funding is the party's major problem the executives are confronted with.

As at the time of a visit to the party's office in the region, there was no single chair at the chairman's office and other office equipment needed in the operation of an office or a party.

He called on all well wishers to come to the aid of the party since the electioneering campaign is about to start, and also assured all supporters of the NPP of its victory in the coming elections.

WHO SETS THE TONE FOR RECONCILIATION? PAA KWESI PLANGE FOR GYE NYAME CONCORD IF I WAS ELECTED to give an appropriate headline it would be “THE MEETING OF PRESIDENTS”. Well, I am not referring to the assembly of former American Presidents who congregated at the national cathedral to bid adieu to one of their own, former President Ronald Wilson Reagan over the weekend.

Early this week, President George Walker Bush hosted his predecessor, Bill Clinton, to the White House as part of a programme to unveil a portrait of the former President.

Unveiling a portrait of former Presidents is a favourite American political tradition

At the meeting, described as exciting and enlivening, both Presidents placed their political differences aside and shared jokes freely. At one setting, the two Presidents brought Americans together just like the death and burial of President Reagan achieved a week ago.

Is there any chance to reprise this event in “our winner takes all, loser is forever vanquished” mentality behind our politics?

Every Ghanaian knows that all is not too well between President John Agyekum Kufuor and his predecessor President Rawlings. They just don't get along. Their relationship is so frosty one gets the feeling they don't care for one another.

Another truth is that I am not the first person to raise concern over it. A kaleidoscope of personalities and institutions has weighed in on the issue and has asked the two leaders to close their ranks, bury the hatchet and learn to move on in the larger interest of Ghana and in the spirit of national reconciliation.

Our expectation is not that these very important sons of Ghana would become best friends or have something like a bonhomie relationship. What we want to see transpiring between them is what we expect from all rational human beings and that is communication.

As people who have served in the highest office of the land we expect our leaders to lead us the people into reconciliation.

At the way things are going on in our country it would take us several years to get to the level of the Americans and all the rest of the developed world. President Kufuor is currently presiding over a highly polarised nation. One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. Politics is a mainly high-octane issue for Ghanaians. Our politics have divided us

Professor Evans Anfom, the very respected Ghanaian educationist and academic raised the issue of how polarized the nation is at a ceremony at the Castle, Osu in the 1990s as part of a delegation of senior citizens.

President Kufuor and former President Jerry Rawlings are the men chosen by fate to reconcile our nation and to lead Ghana into prosperity.

As the sitting President and the only surviving ex-President of Ghana it behoves these two gentlemen to lead this nation of ours into the promised land of national reconciliation.

But the journey should naturally begin with them. They need to set the tone for national reconciliation by resolving their differences.

In the near future posterity would judge the commitment of the two gentlemen and the importance they attached to the issue. History would be kind to those who viewed national reconciliation not merely as an exercise but as a therapeutic, healing process for all Ghanaians, including the victims and those who perpetrated the acts of impunity against them. All the major religions in the world uphold the doctrine of crime and punishment. However exceptions are made when the party that inflicted the pain or committed the crime. Psychology teaches that.

Ghana is bigger than any one person, be they President Kufuor and former President Rawlings. That is why the motivation for and the focus of national reconciliation should be riveted on those coming after us. We have to leave this nation a better place for the next generation to build upon.

The last public encounter the two presidents have had in as many months was at the Kumasi Sports Stadium during the celebration of the Akwasidae festival. At the function both Presidents openly shook the hands and for good measure President Rawlings reportedly asked his daughter, Ms. Ezanetor Rawlings, to go over to President Kufuor and pay homage.

I am sure this wasn't a photo opportunity or “fun-fool respect” as the former President is wont to say but was done with all the genuine intentions one could muster.

Like Oliver Twist, I join over 20 million Ghanaians to ask for more. We ask for more of these gestures from both presidents Kufuor and Rawlings. We respectfully request the two most powerful men in the history of Ghana to take this camaraderie to the next level -its most logical conclusion- in order to facilitate a true and meaningful national reconciliation.

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