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General News of Thursday, 9 November 2000

Source: The Chronicle

Rawlings blames opposition for tragic accident

President Rawlings has blamed his recent accident in which four people died and he and the wife escaped by a hair’s breath on the opposition. “I blame the opposition, their private newspapers and radio stations for a good 50% of the cause of the accident, he said, explaining that the opposition were provoking disobedience against authority as it satisfied their agenda of creating anarchy so that the ruling government does not have a sense of mission and purpose. Furthermore, the opposition, he claimed, by their actions are perpetuating lawlessness in the system by throwing urine and hooting at government functionaries. This lawlessness, he said encouraged a driver to use a route which is illegal, thus resulting in the accident.

Again the President, without being specific, alleged that some foreign countries, jealous of the peaceful climate in the country, have been pumping money into the opposition camp in a bid to destabilize the nation.

He also expressed his apprehension for the strength of the NPP in the Ashanti Region, saying the number of registered voters in Ashanti alone outnumber that of the three Northern Regions, as such if care is not taken and the NPP dominates in Ashanti, a terrible blow would have been dealt to the NDC.

Accordingly, he has vowed to unlash a bitter lesson to the NPP by matching them boot for boot in the forthcoming elections and advised party faithfuls to amass votes in their areas so as to neutralize the Ashanti votes.

The President acknowledged the presence of vote-buying in the country, and interestingly pointed an accusing finger at the opposition for pumping money into the Ashanti Region.

The NDC has been oblivious of the existence of vote buying in Ghana, always pretending to think that the electorate are too pious and responsible to sell their votes.

In an address in Koforidua reminiscent of a farewell speech, he thanked Ghanaians for the chance to govern them and emphasized that that was the greatest honor of his life.

He challenged Ghanaian economist who parade big economic jargons to behave in the same way when they go to international conferences. Admitting that he is an ‘O’ level holder, he said these economists cannot bamboozle their way through with such incomprehensible jargons because all those present are educated.

Speaking in incoherent Twi and obviously agitated, he chastised Nana Akufo-Addo for slamming the World Bank Country Representative, Peter Harold, for commenting on the economy.

With support from his wife, who was adorned with a neck collar, he said when the World Bank Representative comes out to talk on the effect of the world economic order on the domestic economy, Akuffo-Addo has the guts to tell the representative to shut up because he (representative) was telling the truth.

He continued “they (opposition) seem to under-estimate our intelligence, they think the public cannot discern good from bad. When we tell you, you say we lie, when a white man who is used in an Akan proverb as an embodiment of God tells you too, you say he lies”, he chimed.

The President admitted that some ministers and DCEs had carried out some excesses, but in total solidarity with them said, albeit these excesses, he did not doubt their proficiency.

Rawlings also advised the party faihfuls to vote massively for the NDC so that they win by 60 - 70% and warned them not to be deceived by Gossie’s picture.

The Vice President, Prof. Evans Atta Mills, asked that the EC be given a free had to conduct a transparent election. He called for all and sundry to help the EC to eliminate all names of minors and dead people form the register.

This he said, should be done with honesty and commitment, and added that the NDC would not sit down for the vocal minority with inordinate ambitions to overshadow the silent majority.

He announced that cabinet was in a process of signing a $40 million loan for the Koforidua water project and added that the MP for Koforidua could not take credit for it. Mills appealed to party members not to involve themselves in acts of vandalism, such as the destruction of posters saying: After the elections, they would destroy their own posters.

Contrary to Nana Konadu’s assertion sometime ago in the Ashanti Region that some areas lacked development because they did not vote for the NDC, Mills said the NDC did not discriminate in the improvement of amenities, but was quick to add that the left hand bathes the right hand and vice versa.

The multi-lingual Vice President aspirant, Martin Amidu, said Mills’ love for peace and reconciliation, coupled with his experience, were some of the factors that urged him into the partnership and added that such a partnership was in the supreme interest of the nation.

Preaching the gospel according to “Bombardier” Inusa Issaka, the veteran politician condemned the NPP for political wrangling, infighting, lack of respect for the elderly and division on ethnic lines.