Kumasi, Nov. 26, GNA - Former President Jerry John Rawlings has stated that the country can only be developed when its leaders pursue the virtues of truth, freedom and justice.
He spoke against alleged corruption and discrimination in state institutions that were supposed to protect the Constitution and said the situation was gradually breaking the spirit of the people.
Speaking at the Ashanti Regional NDC delegates' congress in Kumasi on Saturday, former President Rawlings said his persistent call for positive defiance by Ghanaians was to encourage them to detect injustices currently going on in the society and be able to stand up against them.
He stated that the NPP was able to use lies to poison the minds of Ghanaians to win the 2000 elections and not that the people did not like the NDC.
The former President said corruption in the country now went beyond the siphoning of millions of cedis by government and party officials and cited the judiciary and the military as some of the institutions, which had been corrupted by the government to achieve its political objectives.
He told the delegates that he was neither a dictator nor a "tribalist" who wanted to impose his will on members.
Former President Rawlings, however, said he believed in the virtues of truth and integrity and as such would not sit down to allow some self seeking persons to poison the minds of the people and use money to hijack the party.
He said the party needed people with integrity and dedication to serve and win the 2008 elections.
Former President Rawlings spoke against the perception in the Ashanti Region that the NDC belonged to the people in the zongos and Ewes in the Region and blamed the leadership of the party in the Region for not being able to curb that perception.
He said Asantes were much behind the 31st December revolution and saw the region as a strong hold of the PNDC and the NDC He reminded the party members of the arduous task ahead in the 2008 election and advised them to close their ranks and elect persons who could work to unite the people to win the election.
Dr Tony Aidoo, a leading member of the party said the image of the country had now sunk very low and there was the need for strenuous efforts to redeem it.
He said the Danquah-Busia tradition had always been nation wreckers and indicated that, if care were not taken Ghanaians would soon loose confidence in multi-partisanship.
Dr Aidoo charged people seeking positions in the party to study its manifesto carefully in order to be able to explain to the people the development agenda of the party.
Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, National Organiser, said the party had the resilience and strength to withstand all the criticisms the government had for it when it lost power in 2000.
Mr Emmanuel Nti Frodjour, Ashanti Regional Chairman said the party in the Region was well poised for the 2008 election.
He said the congress would unite the people and make them remain focused on its strategies to win the 2008 election.