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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Source: Chronicle

Stop Rawlings Now Over his anti-Ashanti Utterances

An executive member of the Ashanti regional NPP secretariat has rubbished recent utterances by the ex- president, Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, at an NDC meeting in Kumasi, saying they are uncharacteristic of a statesman and a former head of state and must be ignored by all serious minded people.

Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, the first vice chairman of the party, reacting to the July 7 effusions of the former president in Kumasi, said his rantings are uncalled for and that he is only bragging about his failure to solve the country's problems in his 19 year rule in the face of marked improvements by the Kufuor administration.

He debunked the claim by Mr. Rawlings that Ashantis are defiant and cautioned the former president not to use the terrain (Ashanti region) to cause disunity among the people.

Osei Assibey reminded the government and the security agencies about the sinister moves inherent in Rawlings' "unguarded utterances," saying "he must be stopped and not be pampered any longer."

The vice chairman questioned the ex-president's claim of integrity when the truth about the extra judicial killings in his regimes had not been unraveled yet.

He said, " At best, we (Ashantis) are tolerant that is why even after he (Rawlings) had killed Afrifa, Acheampong and Air Marshall Boakye among others without a trial devoid of the chance of being tested by lie detectors, we still tolerated him without any upheaval against him.

Osei Assibey also asked the ex-president to shut up and stop his insults against chiefs. He asked Ghanaians to ignore his claims that the NPP is not performing, saying the claim is against the fact that Rawlings is "confused, desperate, frustrated and jealous of President Kufuor's breakthrough."

The NPP government which he said had worked to improve upon the inflation rate (30%), is a showpiece of an African democracy in practice.

He said the NPP has already indicated ideals of positive change in the lives of the people and pointed to the injection of new blood by way of logistics in the Ghana Police Service, Press freedom and the revamping of the Cocoa industry as well as the reactivation of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). Osei Assibey also pointed to the reactivation of the GETFUND as another evidence of positive change initiated by the NPP.

He appealed to Ghanaians not to be enticed by the lies of Rawlings because he has no good ideas to share with Ghanaians.

The NPP executive also had a word of advice for the former president to learn the qualities of good statesmanship from Mr. Clinton of USA and Mr. Nelson Mandela of South Africa to safeguard his image as an aspiring statesman.

Meanwhile, Rev. T.B. Fordjour, Assemblyman for Konkoma electoral area in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma district of Ashanti has said Mr. Rawlings' criticisms of President Kufuor are out of jealousy.

He said the NDC is only refusing to see the good things the Kufuor administration is doing and urged the NDC leadership to learn the act of good governance from the NPP.

In a statement issued in Kumasi, Rev. Fordjour pointed to the peaceful atmosphere as one major achievement of the NPP government besides its transparency.

The Judiciary and the Press are working better now and a crusade has been launched against corruption, which used to be on a larger scale during the Rawlings regime.

"Above all the NPP is trying to use its first four-year tenure of office to solve the problems created by the NDC," Rev. Fordjour added.