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05.06.2005 General News

Politicians must be honest - Rawlings

Politicians must be honest - Rawlings

Ashiaman, June 5, GNA - Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings on Saturday stressed the need for honesty in political life, saying, politics must be guided by the principles of morality and hope for a better life for the people instead of a blatant and vulgar show of power.

"Politics must be responsive, it must show compassion and must seek to nurture the sacred institution of modern leadership as against blatant and vulgar flaunting of power," he said.

Ex-President Rawlings was speaking at a rally at Ashiaman near Tema to mark the 26th anniversary of the June 4 revolution.

The rally attracted thousands of supporters clad in NDC colours. On June 4, 1979 a group of Junior Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces led a revolt, which toppled the Government of the Supreme Military Council.

In an hour-long speech, often interrupted with deafening cheers, Ex-President Rawlings criticised the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for engaging in what he called nepotism, corruption and miscarriage of justice.

The deliberate show of power and the vicious politics of live and let die, greed and affluence in government circles at the expense of the poor and vulnerable Ghanaians suffering hardships must stop, he said.

Ex-President Rawlings described the current atmosphere in the country as "more dreadful than the political insensitivity that led to the June 4 Revolution, saying, the people were being prevented to voice their dissent through the activities of "spin doctors".

"The suffering of the people has reached boiling point and yet clearly the people are being gagged by spin doctors and some tunnel vision media practitioners.

You cannot continue to deceive the people because all too soon they now see the difference between the NDC stewardship and the massive nepotism, abuse of power, corruption and deception of the present regime," he stated.

Ex-President Rawlings said those who were endlessly trying to wish away the political significance of June 4 in the country's history would not succeed.

"If they had wanted to put June 4 into the dustbin of history, they should have put their act together in a much more transparent and credible way.

Unfortunately, by their very current acts of targeted victimisation and selective justice, they vindicate the moral and ethical significance of June 4 on our body polity," Ex-President Rawlings added. According to him, June 4 would always serve as a reminder to public office holders, whose sole aim was to amass wealth and property that their acts would never go unpunished.

President Rawlings said the economic philosophy of June 4 ensured that governance was always guided by sound policies to avoid deepening the suffering of the people.

He expressed unhappiness about some sections of the media, which he said were undermining the media's critical role in ensuring that the system of good governance strives.

"Why do some sections of the Ghanaian media continue to undermine the very important role that the media should play in ensuring that the system of good governance thrives regardless of who is in power. Why have one set of moral principles for one set of people and another set for others," he asked.

President Rawlings called for social justice, which he said hinged on the tenets of probity, accountability and equity, which were all essential ingredients of democracy.

He urged Ghanaians to identify and cage the corrupt and greedy persons who blatantly abuse their constitutionally nurtured power and manipulate the conscience of the people, for their selfish gains. Earlier, various leading NDC functionaries took turns to address the crowd about the socio-political situation facing the country and called on the supporters to close their ranks to push the agenda of the party forward.

Professor Evans Atta Mills said without truth, transparency and accountability the country would not make any progress in its efforts to develop.