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02.03.2005 General News

Edumadze choice was an insult-JJ

By Ghanaian Chronicle

FORMER President, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings yesterday observed that President Kufuor had insulted the intelligence of the people of the Central Region by imposing Isaac Edumadze on them inspite of their expressed opposition to him.

He made these remarks when he joined the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) to protest against the fuel price increases and impoverishing economic hardships in the country.

He followed the demonstrators right to the forecourt of Parliament House and after the CJA had presented their petition to the one week ultimatum to Parliament to respond, the ex-President bounced back to his old self and launched an attack on the ruling government.

According to him, the NPP government has vindicated his assertions that it is 'full of a gang of thieves, and corrupt ministers.

He observed that Edumadze's choice was made inspite of the outcry of various sections of the public.

"It is not surprising, because he needs people of that sort to run the country with. It is important to have people who can make him so."

Continuing, he said "whenever I say that the NPP government is full of a gang of thieves, they say I am doing it too much, and today, it is now clear and evident for all of us to see now. That is why I say, we need to hold the government in check to do the right thing," he said amidst applause.

The former President using some words in the national anthem, to advance his argument stated that, "-make us cherish fearless honesty and help us to resist the oppressor's rule," was a clear manifestation of positive defiance.

In order to "reverse the oppressor's rule," Mr. Rawlings urged Ghanaians to mount pressure on the NPP to do the right things. He accused President Kufuor of creating a "divide and rule society."

Bemoaning the level of hardships in the country, he said it would take a miracle to save the citizens. The former president described the NPP government as "cruel and corrupt," pointing out that the demonstration would continue until the government listened to the cry of the masses, but was quick to add that the tyranny of the current administration would cease in the next election.

"We will join forces with the CJA to demonstrate, until the government listens to the plight of Ghanaians.

We know how to fight and if we want to fight we can fight. But we want to keep the government on its toes, to do the right thing and that is the greatest punishment," he said.

Mr. Rawlings also used the national anthem as a solemn prayer stating among other things that the government is not only insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians, but has terrorized people into submission, adding that there is the need to protect the sanctity of the nation.

"The sanctity of the right choice of people must be protected. There should be a limit to the kind of insensitivity of this government. I want to congratulate the organizers of this programme and to urge them that this should be the beginning of many more of the demonstrations.

The hardship that has been inflicted on Ghanaians is too much," he said.

The former president who is also the founder of the NDC, described Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr. as the most courageous person who is taking the concern of the people into consideration and tries as much as possible to speak for the voiceless.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pratt Jnr, the Managing Editor of Insight, a member of the Socialist Forum and the communications director of the CPP, stole the show at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle when he was called to address the gathering. Hundreds of demonstrators could not help shouting on top of their voices as Kwesi, in blue beret mounted the platform.

He explained the rationale behind the demonstration, and dismissed assertions by a section of the CPP leadership, who claim they were not part of the demonstration.

According to him, the demonstration was purely on non-partisan basis, but rather an action of the CJA to render their displeasure about the economic woes of the nation.

Prof Mills, who also joined the CJA for the demonstration, expressed concern about the economic hardships in the country. "We are suffering too much and I want to urge you that nothing should distract you from expressing your grievances. Take this march seriously. Don't allow yourselves to be intimidated and I hope that by the grace of God, it shall be well," he sermonized.

Alhaji Ramadan of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) on his part predicted this to be the last term of the NPP.

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