The founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Jerry Rawlings has served notice that corrupt NPP government officials will be prosecuted if the NDC comes to power.
Addressing delegates at the party's national congress in Koforidua Mr. Rawlings urged the leadership of the party to hold on to what he termed the noble principles of June 4th and the 31st December revolution.
He said the NPP administration has no values and so the NDC should demonstrate that it is capable of taking power.
“From what is going on in this country, when some of our best ministers did their best for this country and they were rewarded with Nsawam from 2 - 5 years and the corruption that is going on under their regime.
Quite frankly I don't think they will be in the Castle for the next 20 years, they better prepare for Nsawam for the next 30 years.
The Ya Na's case is waiting on their heads, all the 'waawaa' cases etc…” he said.
Today's congress was preceded by a conciliatory move by party chairman Dr Obed Asamoah who called for a truce between himself and Mr. Rawlings over their long running personal differences.
On his part Mr. Rawlings told the delegates he would pray for the soul of Dr Asamoah and all others who have wronged him.
“I will not reproach him today, I will not get angry at him or them, I will simply say to you those of you who are concerned that, for me and for now, I will pray for their souls.
Yes as a Christian I have a responsibility to pray for the deliverance of those who fall by the wayside. We must think that they act out of conviction but I believe this time that they were wrong, they probably feel that I was wrong but I honestly do not believe so,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Asamoah who is seeking re-election as chairman repeated his call for unity within the party.
He noted that the internal wrangling and disagreements had created a poor public image for the party.
“Our disagreement and differences has been inevitable because we are finding our feet as a political party which intends to be a permanent feature of the political landscape of Ghana. We have been learning ever since multi party democracy entailed.
In time there will be a consensus on requisite value and the disagreement will abate and take a less combative form. One of the mitigating factors in terms of the performance of the party is the disunity in the party, which must be resolved before another election.
I believe that it should be possible for disagreements to be tolerated as a normal practice which should not degenerate into war,” he said.
Dr Asamoah hailed the NDC's retention of two seats in the Odododiodio and Asawase bye elections.
He called on party supporters to work towards wrestling power from the ruling NPP in the 2008 general elections.
The Minority leader Alban Bagbin paid tribute to the deceased NDC MP's Nii Ayikwei Manckarta and Dr. Adamu Gibril.
He urged party supporters to remain united to rescue Ghanaians from the NPP government whom he accused of sinking the country's reputation to its lowest ebb.
“Ghanaians everywhere are singing NDC come back, come back, come back to me, come back, come back, come back to me and this song, it was not by accident that it was sung.
They are calling on us that they are ready to give us power. We have to show by our division in this congress that we are also ready to lead them.
There is absolute despair, complete despondency and total disappointment in this country,” he said.
Other leading members who addressed the congress included former vice president Professor Atta Mills, Acting General Secretary Bede Zeiding and the party's representatives from abroad.
Representatives of other political parties delivered solidarity messages. The PNC representative Bernard Monah said the NDC's ability to rise above the outcome of the congress will put it on a good stead to wrestle power in 2008.
“There are going to be winners and losers after the election. If you are able to rise above the agony and joy of this election, then you will be on the highway of effectively engagement for the battle for 2008.
If you are unable to do so remember the PNC will be waiting to enrich our fortunes with any fallout,” he said.
The CPP led by its chairman, Dr Edmund Dele urged the NDC delegates to go beyond personality conflict to select leaders who will contribute to improving Ghana's democratic process.
“At the end of the day the best of ideas should prevail, the best of choices should be made not only in the interest of the great National Democratic party but the overall entrenchment of democratic practice in our beloved country.
I have come here not just another colleague from a political party but as a shepherd in search of the lost sons and daughters of Israel. Our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora and comrades as we say in the CPP, we wish you the best.
But if you fail to find peace in this self imposed exile please come back us, you are always welcome.
The National Reform Party's Emelia Arthur said although the NDC has had an acrimonious and fragmented past reform has a confidence in the party will pull through.
In response to calls for the breakaway reform party to return to the NDC, Miss Arthur said the request was an under consideration.
“In the aspirant national contest and the struggle to contain and dismantle the forced of reaction exploitation and expressed in Ghana.
We consider the NDC with its large progressive tendency to be a strategic ally. Accordingly we will act to dispense the integrity of your party and the unity especially of the NDC progressive where this is challenged,” she said.
The newly elected National Youth Organizer of the NPP, John Boadu was hopeful that the NDC will emulate the ruling party's congress' which passed off peacefully last week.