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General News of Friday, 23 November 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

Rawlings swerves NDC campaign, preaches peace

Supporters of the governing NDC in the Bono Ahafo region were left disappointed and gnashing their teeth when former President Jerry Rawlings, who was expected to campaign for the party there, took a middle line when he addressed the crowds.

Mr. Rawlings was on a peace mission not a campaign tour, it turned out.

The Bono Ahafo Regional Chairman of the NDC, Opoku Atuahene, had confirmed to Joy News “the people are actually happy when they heard that he was coming to the place”.

He had said Mr Rawlings would be given a rousing welcome, emphasising that his ‘triumphant’ entry into the event ground would be led by numerous motorbikes.

At about 5:20pm, former President Rawlings stormed Bono Ahafo and was indeed met by a huge crowd, Classic FM's Iddrisu Awudu told Joy FM’s Top Story on Friday.

However, the expectant crowd were disappointed when Mr Rawlings laid bare his mission – he took a middle ground.

In his address to the eager crowd, the former president focused his message on violence and corruption.

“We should not allow any kind of provocation among us that can lead to violence,” he advised.

Mr Rawlings noted that all the presidential candidates have indicated that Ghanaians are fed up with corruption and have therefore pledged to fight against the canker.

He charged the people to be bold to hold whoever emerges as winner of the December elections accountable.

He stressed the need for the country to organise yet another free and fair elections this December to avoid any possible rejection of the results.

“Let us make sure the election would be free and fair so that the elections would be accepted...when we corrupt the electoral process, it can lead to massive instability,” he cautioned.

The former president earlier met with Nana Hemaa Abrefipoto, the Queen of the area, and told her he was not in her town to campaign, but to rather appeal to the chiefs and elders there to educate the youth to avoid engaging in any violent activities.

Former President Rawlings was accompanied by the Regional NDC Chairman Opoku Atuahene, Regional Organiser Mumuni Saaka and a founding member of the party Amankwa Bimpong.

“All of them thought he was going to campaign for the NDC but to their disappointment, that did not happen,” Iddrisu Awudu noted.

Mr Rawlings is expected to take his message of peace, free and fair elections and the need for a corruption-free society to the three northern regions and the Ashanti region.

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