A functionary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings presided over the most corrupt and authoritarian regimes in the history of the country.
The National Treasurer of the Youth Wing of the ruling party, Mr. John Boadu, told The Chronicle in an interview in Accra yesterday that Mr. Rawlings' assertion that evidence of corruption in the country under the current administration was worse than any one he had ever seen in his life was a blatant lie.
Commenting on the former President's recent effusions of alleged corruption against President Kufuor and his government, Boadu said the corruption and lies that Mr. Rawlings and his PNDC/NDC governments unleashed on the people of Ghana during his almost 20 years' rule were not comparable to any other regime either past or current.
“During the PNDC regime when three of his ministers were found culpable for stealing state money by a competent constitutional body, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), all that he could do was to use his authoritative executive power to exonerate them.”
Mr. Boadu also accused the PNDC/NDC of selling the Star Hotel and Nsawam Cannery to members and functionaries of his regimes “without paying a “PESEWA” into the state coffers.
He said Mr. Rawlings could not be serious in telling Ghanaians that the NPP government was oppressive and suppressive to the media and the judiciary.
“The good people of Ghana have not forgotten when Mr. Rawlings imprisoned senior journalists and the parents of Selassi Djentu. Selassi was himself imprisoned at the Castle and was released only after being given an identification hair cut.” Mr. Boadu added that by far the greatest lie Mr. Rawlings inflicted on the country was when “he stole power from the PNP government headed by Dr. Hilla Limann in 1981 after he had gone to court to restrain the security agencies from trailing him because he was not planning to overthrow the government. Yet in the night of December 31, 1981 “he came like an armed robber to steal the sovereignty of the good people of Ghana and subjected them to three years oppression under a curfew.”
Mr. Boadu admitted that members of the NPP government were not angels and as such some could be involved in corruption “ But the most important thing is the measures the government has put in place to check those who would be involved in any corrupt practices,” he said, citing the establishment of the Office of the Accountability at the Presidency and the procurement law as some of the steps taken by the government to preempt the incidence of corruption.
He added that the NPP, headed by President Kufuor, would not shield corrupt ministers as Mr. Rawlings did in 1996 when CHRAJ found his ministers guilty of corruption.
Mr. Boadu disagreed with Mr. Rawlings that the people of Ghana would perish if they refused to vote for the NDC in the forthcoming elections, saying, on the contrary, majority of Ghanaians were satisfied under the regime of the NPP, verifiable from the various researches that had been conducted by competent institutions.
However, he added, if members of the NDC thought they would perish should the NPP win, then they would surely perish come December 7, this year.
He said Mr. Rawlings, having realized that his party would lose, was going round the country, attacking the President personally and bringing the Office of the President into disrepute, thinking President Kufuor would descend into the gutter with him.
Mr. Boadu advised Mr. Rawlings to behave maturely, like former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and his own friend, Mr. Bill Clinton, of United States of America are doing.