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27.09.2004 Politics

J.J. Electrifies Cape-Coast, Waxes Prophetic

By Chronicle

'This is your last chance if you fail, you might not get it again'

Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings turned on his incomparable charisma at his familiar battle ground, the scene of previous triumphant NDC battles, electrifying his huge audience and prophesied political home truths to the transfixed exultant gathering of faithfuls.

Amidst spontaneous chorus of praise songs and dancing, he opened his mouth and declared: "Your victory is clearly written on the walls. You must be able to grab this opportunity and if you fail to win this time round, I am sorry, the opportunity might not come again."

Continuing he said: "People are disillusioned by the NPP government and they are looking for you. Their destiny lies in your hands to change it for them because the NPP has destroyed it."

There was a ring of truth about that, coloured only by the assertion of whether the people were actually looking up to the NDC to restore their dwindling hopes.

But his next sentence was spot on target and controversial, "but this is the political season and accusations of rigging and manipulation are commonplace on all political platforms from Florida to Tanganyika, and Victoria Park was not going to be the only exception."

"We need to work very hard and we must resist every attempt by the NPP to rig the elections."

Mr. Rawlings, who was accompanied to the park by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, his daughter, Miss Ezanetor Rawlings, Mr. Victor Emmanuel Smith, his special assistant and a host of NDC gurus, mounted the platform with his usual tactic of kissing his palms as a symbol of joy and admiration for cheers received from the crowd and waved back to the crowd.

In order to ensure that the perceived grand design of the NPP to rig the forthcoming general elections was thwarted, he urged the leadership of the party, polling agents and all supporters of the party to remain resolute and vigilant on the voting day to ensure that the figures were not manipulated to the advantage of the NPP.

"The NPP knows that they are loosing these elections. This is because their own 'world bank', Ashanti Region's, people have stated that they would uproot it like cassava. For that matter they are desperate.

Let us work hard and resist every attempt from the NPP."

According to him, it was unfortunate that the NPP which shouted on the rooftops that they are democrats, have turned the democracy into a 'property owning democracy' and 'monetizing' coupled with bribery, pointing out that such activity undermined democracy.

Addressing a gathering of over 6,000 supporters, clad with NDC's paraphernalia, different musical interludes synchronized to hit at the NPP, with placards of which some of read," So far so very basaa," "Who owns Ghana Airways?" "Show NPP the red card," "Stop nepotism and tribalism," "Ghana is for all of us" among others, the three times former head of state, alleged that there was an assassination plot against him and his family.

He introduced his daughter and his wife and urged the perceived plotters to desist from their attempts and that immediately he heard it he would also give them a hard time.

Mr. Rawlings who dispelled allegations of recruitment of mercenaries to destabilize the nation, said the NPP was creating insecurity in the nation and urged the electorate to prepare their thumbs to give the NPP the sack during the December elections.

"Everyday, they say Rawlings has done this and that. They tried to assassinate me and my family and that thing failed. Now they have gone to Liberia and planted a story in the paper that the NDC is recruiting people to come and destabilize the nation. This is totally untrue. Rawlings is not creating any insecurity. The NPP is only afraid of the elections.

"Oh yes, they know that they are not winning and that is why they are desperate," adding that the only insecurity is the untold hardship created by the NPP government.

Mr. Rawlings who claimed he was not going to speak very long eventually got carried away with the crowd to the disappointment of the leadership of the party, as The Chronicle picked through the faces of the people on the stage after he had taken the sail out of their wind by introducing the runningmate and the presidential candidate, which according to the program was the prerogative of the national chairman, Dr. Obed Yaw Asamoah.

He promised to return to Cape Coast after the NDC had won the elections to explain further issues to them and open their eyes to certain issues.

The former president stated that the current elections were not about a competition between political parties but rather a competition between an oppressive regime and freedom and justice.

"This election is not a competition between political parties. It is a competition between an oppressive regime and freedom and justice. This is important because people are not only thirsting for water but also hungry for basic recognition of humanity."

Descending on the NPP, which he accused of not respecting the intelligence and the plight of the people. "These people have no respect for the people. They have taken the plight of the people for granted and if the NDC wins the power, which is clearly written on the walls, I will come back here again."

According to him, the NPP's observation that they would loose the elections, they have embarked upon means to load the electoral register with ghost names by attempting to sign the bilateral agreement, which was vehemently opposed by the opposition parties.

Dr. Rawlings recounted how former NDC officials had been jailed for executing a job for the benefit of the nation.

Speaking on a statement that he (Rawlings) called for the arrest of President Kufuor, he said, "What I have said was that when people are stealing your money, you must arrest the person and if you cannot arrest them the government must arrest you but if the government is robbing you who will arrest them? The military and this is what we call coup d'etat."

The former recounted the qualifications of Prof. Mills, which he said warranted the latter to ascend to the presidency.

Other speakers at the forum, were, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketsia, a.k.a General Mosquito, Hon. Ama Benyiwa Doe, MP for Gomoa West, Hon. John Dramani Mahama, MP for Bole, Hon. Samuel Ofosu-Amposu, the party's national organizer, who called for debates between the two John's and the two Alhaji's, Hon S.K Bagbin, Minority leader in Parliament and Mrs. Hannah Tetteh Kpoda, MP for Ewutu constituency and others.

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