General News of Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Chiana, June 2, GNA - Former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has called on government to ensure that those who "destroyed this country" in the last regime were investigated and justice restored "as there can be no freedom without justice".
He said the people would be prepared to sacrifice and endure the economic pain they were going through when they knew no one was exploiting them because people had been investigated and justice taken its course. Flt Lt Rawlings was speaking at a thanksgiving service for the late Chiana Pio, Pe Rowland Adiali Ayagitam, at Chiana on Tuesday. He appealed for prayers for those sitting at the helm of affairs to wake up to the fact that if justice was not done to those who destroyed the country, "the economic pain we are going through will be unbearable". "Freedom, without justice is like a kite with no rope to hold it. "What we went through for those eight years was like being in hell. No one in his right senses wants to live in hell. So the question I ask is what are we doing in purgatory?
"The economic corruption is hanging around our neck and that is what we are living with.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have only one life to lead and we must treasure it and live it. Where there is an atmosphere of virtue there is an invention spirit of humans," Mr Rawlings said.
The former President said it was imperative that people woke up from the current stale atmosphere and became a bit more proactive. "Let us be bold, let us not allow ourselves to be intimidated. Let us not allow those who compromised themselves to stand in our way. Government must become more proactive to deal with the ills of thieves because if we don't they will begin to feel bold and will want to come back and misbehave all over again".
Flt Lt Rawlings said though there were extreme economic difficulties in the 1980s people were able to put up with the pain because 1979 had preceded 1982 and "June 4 gave what Christ gave when he saw those countless robbers and thieves misbehaving at his father's temple. He threw them away with a whip."
Praising the late Chiana Pio, the former President said he led his life to the admiration of many and presided over the shaping of one of the finest constitutions of Ghana.
"For that we are eternally grateful. It is important that we conduct ourselves in such a manner that there will be no regrets when our time comes and we have to meet our Creator," he said. On the succession to the late chief, former President Rawlings said the people should "choose a man who is respected, reflects the beauty of what Chiana stands for and believes in unity".
"It is important that we do what is right for our people," he added. Earlier the Upper East Regional Minister, Mark Wayongo praised Flt Lt Rawlings for the development he brought to the north during his tenure. "The people of the north adore the former President because of what he has done for the north. But for him Akosombo will never have reached this part of the country."
He said the Kintampo to Paga road was asphalted under his watch as well as the establishment of the University of Development Studies. Mr Wayongo said: "Several development projects were implemented as a result of his efforts. Fortunately the new NDC government is trying to maintain the pace of development. In the last 15 months the Upper East has seen tremendous development. I am sure that at the end of the next two years many more developments would have taken place."
He said government was committed to bridging the gap between the north and south hence the establishment of the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority to fast track development in the three northern regions.
The Regional Minister praised the late Chiana Pio for the development he brought to Chiana.
He said through his instrumentality, Chiana had more electoral districts than any area in the region, adding that the late chief was a man of peace and called on the people to ensure that the succession process was also very peaceful.
Former President Rawlings arrived in Bolgatanga on Monday evening to a mammoth reception of admirers from all walks of life who followed his vehicle on motorbikes and buses and drove in a convoy all the way to his hotel. 2 June 10