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General News | Nov 22, 2004

Press Statement: The Issue of Rawlings & the DCE

Victor Smith

Daily Guide issue of Monday, November 22, 2004 has published a false story stating categorically that Former President JJ Rawlings together with some supporters of the NDC mercilessly beat up the DCE of Bongo, Clement Atikiya. This is a total fabrication by the Daily Guide and at variance with what actually happened in Bongo.

A Deputy Minister of information, Andrew Awuni, who is an NPP candidate for the Bongo district and who was not present when the incident occurred was first to put a spin on the incident and transmit it to the non-objective, unprofessional, corrupt NPP- friendly press including Daily Guide in Accra.

The Former President has given his side of the story to a couple of FM radio stations.

The DCE of Bongo, driving home after a public function saw a large crowd of NDC supporters being addressed by Former President Rawlings. The crowd had spilled over unto the street and that necessitated approaching vehicles to slow down. Unfortunately, the DCE decided to bulldoze his way through the crowd which provoked a reaction from the crowd. But for the timely intervention of the Former President, the DCE could have been lynched. Instead of showing appreciation for the help from President Rawlings, the DCE has allowed himself to be used by the spin doctors of the Kufuor campaign, particularly Andrew Awuni, to spread falsehood and contribute to the heightening political tension in Ghana in the run up to the December 7 elections.

Even though the DCE has admitted that President Rawlings did not "beat" him, he has been forced by the likes of Andrew Awuni to go to make up an assault story. Daily Guide editor Gina Blay has also admittedto me personally that their headline was in fact inaccurate.

Even though available polls conducted by the Daily Graphic, the national and biggest newspaper, has shown clearly that the people of Ghana do not want a second 4-year term for Mr. J.A. Kufuor (62 per cent do not want Kufuor for election 2004), moves are being made by the NPP government both at home and elsewhere to give a false impression that the people desire Kufuor. Indeed the Daily Graphic has recently been found out to have prepared a dummy edition of its December 8, 2004 publication showing that world leaders have hailed Kufuor for a sweeping victory in the December 7 elections, when the elections are two weeks away. Polls conducted by many of the FM radio stations by phone have revealed that over 70 per cent of Ghanaians would prefer Professor Atta Mills of the NDC to JA Kufuor because of Kufuor's incompetence and the high levels of corruption within his government and the insensitivity by Kufuor and his appointees to the worsening plight of the average Ghanaian.

In the run up to the December 2004 election Ghanaians are disgusted at the huge amounts of money being spent by President Kufuor to advertise himself for re-election: huge bill boards are being erected all over Ghana with his picture, when pregnant and nursing mothers are having to sleep on the floors at the country's hospitals and people are being kept in hospitals because they cannot afford to settle their hospital bills.

The people of Ghana are waiting patiently for December 7 to make their choice of who to lead Ghana for the next 4 years and we have no doubt at all that Professor Mills will prevail barring any attempt by Kufuor and his bunch to rig the election. But my advice to them is simple let us have a free and fair election if Ghana is not to go the way of Ivory Coast.

May God bless Ghana.

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