Koforidua, Dec. 22, GNA - The Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. Yao Obed Asamoah, has urged delegates to the party's Congress to perform their responsibility to the best of their ability and return home as a more united party than they came. Opening the Sixth National Delegates Congress of the party at Koforidua on Thursday, he called the delegates to be concerned with "issues of value" that would promote unity and strength of the party to enable it recapture power to meet the aspirations of the suffering people in the country in 2008.
The three-day Congress with the theme: "United for victory 2008", was being attended by 1,500 delegates and drew attendance from members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of other political parties who delivered solidarity messages.
Dr Asamoah reiterated the party's rejection of the People's Representation (Amendment) Bill and said this would continue until it was withdrawn.
He referred to efforts of the National Executive of the party to re-organise the party during their term and called on the rank and file to sink their petty differences, promote unity and tolerate each other as not to let their differences degenerate into crisis.
The Founder of the party, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, began his remarks with reference to the NPP's solidarity message read by its National Youth Organiser, Mr John Boadu, and scorned the assertion that the NDC should be prepared to remain in opposition for over 20 years before regaining power.
According to him, the corruption in the NPP government could not be allowed for it to rule that long but it should be prepared to have its functionaries spend time in the Nsawam Medium Security Prison "where it sent some NDC Ministers to for no wrong doing."
He said the NDC took its roots from the PNDC, which, he said, brought salvation and dignity to the people, adding, "as servants of God, the principles of the NDC and the NPP are different".
Mr Rawlings asked members of the party not to lose their "noble principles of truth and justice" which bind them together as one family", saying "let's uphold the only truths and values I believed in since June Fourth and the 31st December Revolution."
He referred to recent statements and apology rendered by Dr. Asamoah to him and Dr Kwesi Botchway's rejection of his (Rawlings) recent allegations against him as a former Finance Minister, and stated that "in spite of the treachery from our own ranks and persecution from the NPP, we have a huge task at the congress to achieve what can save and deliver the country through truth and justice which our people want."
Mr Rawlings said as a Christian, "I will pray for them...I have a responsibility to pray for the deliverance of those who fall by the roadside", saying "this time they are wrong as I believe I was not wrong".
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Alban Babgin, and chairman of the Congress Steering Committee, called on the delegates to regard the congress as a meeting of one family to elect an executive of the party, which could lead them to victory in 2008.
He said they could only do this in the principles they believed in but show regard to others in speech and actions, which he hoped would bring the congress to an end more united than they came. On the Minority's performance in Parliament, Mr Babgin said they were able to hold their own against the Majority and the government on the values of democracy to ensure that national resources were not dissipated.
He stated that the "good people of the country are crying in the wilderness for our party to lead them to the promise land as things are falling apart in our beloved country."
He asked them to work towards the rebuilding the party to meet the aspirations of the people for prosperity and not to a "nebulous future we are being promised."
Mr Babgin referred to the recent arrest of the MP for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng in the US on alleged drugs export and described it as "deep embarrassment to the nation, a shame to MPs and a defaming of the nation," saying "we must change this government to rescue the image of the country."