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22.03.2005 General News

Rawlings wants to topple Govt - Esseku

By JOY ONLINE
Rawlings wants to topple Govt  - Esseku
MAR 22, 2005 GENERAL NEWS

"NPP will face Rawlings squarely" Accra, March 22, GNA - Mr Harona Esseku, National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Tuesday said the Party would do whatever was necessary to stop Former President Jerry John Rawlings from destabilizing the Government by his utterances. "Let me assure Jerry Rawlings and the whole nation that if he thinks he can in this way topple our Government and destroy the constitutional democratic order, which we are all trying to sustain, he is sadly mistaken," he said. Mr Esseku, who was speaking at press conference in Accra to react to some utterances by Former President Rawlings after the March 17 "Wahala Demonstration" in Acra said: "We give notice that from now on we shall face Rawlings and those who back and encourage his behaviour squarely." He said the NPP believed that his utterances were a means to topple the Government by stirring up a high degree of public disaffection. He said Article 21 of the Constitution guaranteed freedom of speech, expression, assembly and religion among other things but that did not mean it should be abused. "Rawlings is abusing the freedom of speech to commit the crime of subversion and to indulge in reckless defamation of other persons," he said. He said the NPP rejected the notion that Former President Rawlings or any other Ghanaian had a constitutional right to insult and defame the President of the Republic. Mr Esseku said last Thursday after the "Wahala Demonstration, Former President Rawlings openly equated President John Agyekum Kufuor with the most notorious armed robber of recent times called Aryee Ayeetey alias Ataa Ayi. He said this outrageous and foul outburst should not be allowed to pass without a rebuke. Mr Esseku said for 10 years Former President Rawlings ruled the country under a ruthless military dictatorship using the slogan of probity and accountability to deceive the people of Ghana. He said Former President Rawlings claimed to be the champion and protector of the ordinary people but had turned out to be "the most cruel oppressor that this country had ever known" and he had never concealed his contempt for the Constitution and hatred of multiparty democracy. Mr Esseku said those who held the view that Former President Rawlings' utterances should be treated "as bad jokes" and he must be left alone to pursue this behaviour were overlooking the difference between genuine expression of disagreement and foul mouth and subversive attacks. "We do not consider the utterances of Former President Rawlings as bad jokes or even the normal ugly noises of politics. We see him as a dangerous threat to democracy," he said, adding that this needed to be checked before it got out of control.

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