Former President Jerry John Rawlings has for the first time in many years opened up on why he despises his own party, the National Democratic Congress, claiming that leading members of the ruling party stopped him from holding onto to power after his constitutional eight years mandate came to an end in 2000.
Unwittingly giving reasons for his continuous harsh criticism of the party he founded and why he has fallen out with senior capos of the NDC he has variously described as ‘greedy bastards’, Mr. Rawlings on Tuesday said his plans to keep the NDC in power for additional 16 years after his term in office was flatly rejected by persons he tagged as intellectuals.
Ranting while addressing a delegation from the Association of Cuban-Trained Ghanaian Professional at his residence, Mr. Rawlings said: “we (NDC) could have stayed on for another eight or sixteen just to work to consolidate situations very well and proper.”
“I made a suggestion to my colleagues that considering that people are becoming saturated with us or with me, let me let Justice Annan take over and I can be his number 2 or step aside. He can serve four years or eight years then I could come back, and that will be sixteen years of consolidation because what we had noticed was that these characters will destroy anything and everything so let’s not allow it.”
He continued, “Some of my comrades said no and that, it’s never been done before. Is that not what Putin did recently? We would have been the first to do it here. That would have helped to consolidate because quite often we make reference to institutions but the institutions rely on the human factor and if those human entities are not bold enough to defy that which is wrong, that institution will be weak; am I lying?” he asked.
Turning his attention to the late President Mills, who was the beneficiary of the NDC capos’ decision to stop him from hanging onto power, Mr. Rawlings said the late President’s short-lived term in office was a disappointment.
The former President noted “we did everything possible to lift up this country and that’s why people kept wishing we were back. But as soon as we handed over; the guy turned the wheels one 180 degrees. Some of the most outrageous things were happening. I remember trying to tell Mills and giving him details about some of the issues but it surprised me though that for a brilliant man like him, [Mills] he couldn’t see.
“He was so shallow. Crime perpetuates itself if you don’t deal with it, and how Mills couldn’t see through this is something I couldn’t understand. It was so bad that even those who had been misused to jail innocent people some in Ghana, some in Ivory Coast were on standby to escape and this as we were approaching the 2008 elections.
“But our brother Mills had been so badly persuaded. As he put it to me, he had been advised to let things be and the money will flow. Mills was disappointing. Some of your so-called intellectual creatures are dumb,” he concluded.
He said persons who claim to be living the ideals of the country’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, are doing the opposite of what he (Dr. Nkrumah) stood for, describing them as criminals.
“Can you believe that those of us, we don’t even regard ourselves as Nkrumahists. Those who call themselves Nkrumahists are the worst offenders; criminals. From Mills till now, not even one single policy resembles anything Nkrumah stood for or believed in,” he noted.
According to Mr. Rawlings, even though the country has good policies and strong institutions to drive the prosperity of its people, the current leaders have rather worsened their plight. Mr. Rawlings, however, defended his 1979 and 1981 coups.
“We are worst today than we were before. You know we did our bit from the 80s. In 1979, we had no choice; people were angry and it was a time of rage. We had to handover but then we had to come back again in 81 or 82,” he stated.
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