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General News of Sunday, 5 June 2011

Source: peacefmonline

I didn't identify smart, young people to take over - Rawlings

Ex-President Rawlings was at his usual charismatic best in the Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi when he delighted the audience who graced the commemoration of the 32nd Anniversary of the June 4 Uprising with anecdotes, shouts of Hallelujah and occasionally interspersed his delivery with somewhat impeccable twi.

Obviously impressed at the attendance, Mr Rawlings said he had come to deliver a lecture not knowing he was coming to meet a rally as the visibly charged crowd went haywire screaming intermittently; “JJ Do Something Before You Die”.

Quite characteristically, the former President tongue-lashed the Mills administration and expressed sadness that despite having “fought” hard to oust the New Patriotic Party (NPP) from office, “the wrong people are back in power” in apparent reference to the Mills-Mahama NDC government.

In condemning President Mills’ governance style, the Mr. Rawlings admitted that the PNDC and NDC 1 which he was the leader made a mistake by not identifying intelligent, brilliant and smart people to take over the reins of power from his administration.

He rambled off a litany of the “failures” of the Mills-Mahama administration including the lethargy in prosecuting and jailing former NPP ministers and attacked the “slow” pace of the administration’s Better Ghana Agenda.

“There is a growing perception that a good number of people within the NDC would rather lose the 2012 elections to the opposition NPP rather than allow the NDC to retain power through a new leadership that would seek for justice”.

Earlier in Accra, the top hierarchy of the ruling National Democratic Congress graced the wreath laying and perpetual lighting of the flame ceremony at the Flag Staff house thus putting paid to speculations fears that they would boycott the event.

In spite of the palpable tension between party members following the decision by the former First Lady to contest President Mills for the flag bearer slot of the party, the ceremony was well attended by most party big-wigs who have declared support for President Mills' second term bid.

Chairman of the NDC party Kwabena Adjei, General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Propaganda Secretary, Richard Quarshigah were all present at the flagstaff house to mark the celebration.

Deputy Finance Minister Fiifi Kwetey, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Martin Amidu, Environment Minister Sherry Aryeetey and several other MPs were all present at the event.

Despite surrounding Former President Rawlings during the event, there was no communication between him and the NDC big wigs after the initial formal salutations.

The first wreath was laid by former Minister of Education Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah on behalf of Ghanaians while the second wreath, which was laid on behalf of the security services, was done by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Mr Martin Amidu.

The third was laid by the Deputy Minister for Agric in charge of Fisheries, Nii Amasa Namoale, with the help of Rejoice Ahiable and Allen Torsu on behalf of the Cadre Corps of the NDC and the last, which was laid by WO1 Ben Della and co, was done to honour the principles of probity and accountability.

Former General Officers Commander, Lt-Gen. Arnold Quainoo (RTD), in the company of two others, lighted the perpetual flame to signify the continuity of the ideals of the June 4 uprising.