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03.12.2004 Politics

Rawlings Vows To Quit ...

By Ghanaian Chronicle

... if JAK trumps Mills

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has given strong indication of quitting politics for good should Ghanaians disappoint the National Democratic Congress (NDC) again.

Speaking at one of the biggest rallies organized by the Madina-Abokobi and Demo-Kwabenya constituencies in recent times, former president Rawlings told the thick crowd that if they failed to bring the NDC back to power, they should not cry for him to rescue them because he would not be available.

“ In the 2000 elections, I told you several times not to vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) because they were criminals, liars and corrupt people yet you did not listen to me and voted for them, now you are crying for help.

“This election is our last chance to rescue yourselves as a result, if you do the same mistake as you did in the 2000 elections and vote for them (NPP) again, you would not see me again to rescue you,” former president Rawlings told the teeming crowd.

He added that, they had voted for the ruling NPP government to dabble with their lives under the leadership of president Kufuor whom he described as corrupt and intoxicated with power.

Chairman Rawlings maintained that he was prepared to swear by both the Bible and Koran that during his almost twenty – year rule, he never dipped his hands into state coffers for his personal benefit but after he handed over power peacefully to the NPP government, they fabricated all sorts of stories against him, which included trying to stage a coup and having gone to steal koose in the Ashanti region.

Mr. Rawlings continued his attack on the NPP government, alleging that it was the most corrupt government that ever ruled this country apart from the Busia government, which he said, was the grandfather of the NPP government.

“ The NPP government, having disappointed the good people of Ghana with lies and bad policies, and knowing very well that they would lose the December 7 2004 election, has planned to rig it.

But if they make any attempt to rig the election, they would face the full force of the people of Ghana in any form which could be a revolution ordained by God where He will intervene to rescue his people from oppression under the NPP government,” Chairman Rawlings cautioned.

He disclosed that the NPP propaganda that he was borrowing gari and beans whiles in the army, was not true.

Explaining, he said he was then in charge of the boxing team of the Ghana army and took it upon himself to borrow that food for the boys who were hungry at a time they were preparing for a national competition in Africa.

Mr. Rawlings explained further that during the 15th May 1979 uprising, Odartey Wellington went and disgraced him to the junior soldiers that he (Rawlings) was a disgraced soldier who went about borrowing gari and beans.

As a result, the soldiers were so angry that he had disgraced their hero; he was captured during the June 4 revolution and sprayed with bullets like a mosquito.

Both the NDC parliamentary candidates for the Madina-Abokobi and the Dome-Kwabenya constituencies, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho and Mr. Isaac Adama debunked the Daily Dispatch's research, which has given victory to the ruling NPP candidates in the two constituencies, calling it a cheap propaganda by the pro-NPP paper.

Alhaji Sorogho, the NDC candidate for Madina-Abokobi explained that notwithstanding his capabilities and achievements in the constituency, which made him the obvious choice, the NPP was so divided in the constituency that notable NPP members in the constituency were prepared to vote for him.

In his speech, Mr. Adama told the NDC supporters that come December 7, they should come out and vote massively for Professor Mills as their president and himself as their parliamentary candidate so that the elephant could be sent back to the bush where it belonged.

He also criticized the Daily Dispatch research and branded it as a mere propaganda story put out by the pro-NPP paper.

The Dome-Kwabenya constituency chairman of the NDC, Mr. Sampson Ato Ampah echoed chairman Rawlings' assertion that the NPP was trying to rig the forthcoming elections by influencing voters with financial and materials lures.

Mr. Ampah disclosed that the constituency had conducted two surveys, which revealed that the NDC was likely to win about 65% of the popular votes in the constituency.

He has therefore questioned the parameters of the Daily Dispatch survey, saying it was short of basic principles of surveys and did not reflect the reality on the ground.

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