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05.12.2004 Politics

Mills Conquers Accra

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....AND THE PEOPLE SAY BYE BYE TO NPP'S RULE Lens -- The National Democratic Congress rounded up its election 2004 campaign with a huge rally at the training grounds of Accra Hearts of Oak in Accra on Saturday.

Initially the rally was billed to be a national event, however, according to the leadership of the party, considering a number of factors especially the fact that the special elections for all operatives who will be on duty on polling day was taking place on the same day, the decision was taken to limit it to only supporters in the Accra Metropolis.

One wonders what would have happened if that decision were not taken as the Hearts training grounds, about one a half times the size of the playing field at the Accra Sports Stadium, bursts at its seams with the sheer numbers of people who converged on the grounds. Indeed so captivating was the general atmosphere that some radio commentators running live commentary on the rally were lost for words to describe the magnificent electrifying atmosphere that enveloped the rally ground and spilled over into all the adjoining areas.

To the spiritually minded, the dark rain clouds had gathered over the Accra metropolis at the time, to pass over the rally ground suffusing the entire ground with coolness before moving over to let down showers of blessings in nearby areas was a good omen that signals the blessings in store for Prof. Mills and his party.

Addressing the rally, the flagbearer of the party, Prof. Mills said he had noted the NPP's campaign strategy to try and draw him into a slugging match, but he has refused to be drawn because of his upright upbringing.

He said, "in these last few weeks the NPP has adopted the strategy of letting one of their spokesmen take on Atta- Mills, insult Atta-Mills, castigate Atta-Mills, berate Atta-Mills, but I Atta-Mills will never respond, this is because the person they have chosen is the least qualified, literally and figuratively, to challenge me. Atta-Mills is well brought up. I therefore would not want to go down into the gutter to exchange words with such people."

Prof. Mills decried the arrogance of the President and his officials: "This is a government that has no sense of humility, they show pure arrogance," Prof. Mills said. He recalled that when the NPP was pursuing the IFC-loan, the NDC warned that the IFC-loan was a sham and would never materialize, but the NPP rather arrogantly plunged on refusing to heed any counsel.

Prof. Mills recalled that Mr. Kufuor himself sat in the full glare of the Ghanaian people and promised that the loan would come. "Has the IFC-loan come?" Prof. Mills asked, to which the crowd chanted in unison, "Nooooooooooo!!!"

"With the CNTCI-loan, we advised them that this was another scam, and that the loan would never materialize, again, the NPP, in their arrogance, refused to learn from the IFC-loan debacle, they plunged on regardless, in fact even J. H. Mensah accused us of trying to scuttle the loan because we were envious. Has the CNTCI loan come?" Prof. Mills asked, and again the crowd thundered their verdict; "Nooooooooooo!!!"

Prof. Mills said he was not promising Ghanaians silver or gold, "I'm not promising silver, I'm not promising gold, I'm not promising riches, what the NDC is promising is the truth, honesty, humility, love for one another, and for unity" Prof Mills reiterated.

Prof. Mills made it clear that the Social Democracy agenda of the NDC is to ensure that citizens of this country are protected from the vagaries of the unfair world trade order. Prof. Mills emphasized that just as all the fingers are not equal, so are all human beings not equal, "that is why it is important that a nation has a government that is caring enough to carry along those who would be unable to stand on their own, just as God sometimes carry us when we are unable to carry on by ourselves. That is the philosophy of the NDC. My government would not abandon the vulnerable on the altar of development, we would encourage those who go on by themselves, while we carry those who can not go by themselves." Prof. Mills assured the people, saying, "we must be each others keeper."

Prof. Mills said victory was already assured for the NDC but without vigilance that victory could be snatched through dubious means, "we have worked too hard to let down our guards at the very last moment and let our victory slip away through our own lack of vigilance. Everybody should be vigilant on that day," Prof. Mills urged the electorate.

Prof. Mills also made it clear that the NDC was not in favour of using any electronic scoreboard for showing the election results, "let us use our time tested method of writing the scores on giant scoreboards as we used to do," he said.

On the latest brouhaha concerning the General Secretary of the party, Prof. Mills said that he was disturbed at indications that the NPP, notwithstanding the protestations of its leaders that they believe in multi-party democracy, would actually want to see the re-emergence of one-party rule in Ghana. This, he said, was because of the manner all the other parties are being starved of resources while monetary and other considerations are being used to lure people from these parties.

He said the NDC was investigating the whole affair and when all the facts are gathered he would make a definitive statement on the matter.

Other speakers at the rally included the founder of the NDC, President Rawlings, the National Chairman of the NDC Dr. Obed Asamoah, the General Secretary of the party, Dr. Josiah Aryeh, and others.

President Rawlings assured the people of this country that Prof. Mills is not the kind of person to succumb to pressure or manipulation. He said those who think otherwise either do not know Prof. Mills or they were being plain mischievous. He also reiterated the need for vigilance at the polls and advised the people to ensure that "your victory is not taken away."

Dr. Obed Asamoah recounted several instances that the Kufuor-led NPP government had demonstrated clearly its incompetence and arrogance. He recounted instances with the IFC loan, the CNTCI loan, which he described as "barber loan".

There were solidarity messages from the UK/Ireland, US, Nigerian and other overseas branches of the party.

The climax of the rally was the screening of a video clip of Mr. Kufuor and General Gnasingbe Eyadema of Togo, in a blood-offering ceremony when Mr. Kufuor visited Togo. In the clip an obviously elated Mr. Kufuor was seen happily following the rituals at the behest of his spiritual Master and Mentor Eyadema of Togo.

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