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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kufuor fires Rawlings

The two former presidents Kufuor and Rawlings
The two former presidents Kufuor and Rawlings
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has taken exception to certain ‘unpalatable’ comments by his predecessor, Jerry John Rawlings, over the handling of last year’s presidential elections.

President Rawlings had told a gathering in faraway Germany that Mr. Kufuor had the intention of rigging the last general elections for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but was stopped by the Nigerian government.

The statement, which was purportedly made by Rawlings in Munich, of Ghanaweb, read inter alia: “In the last Ghanaian election, it had to take General Mukhtar, an envoy of President Yar'Adua of Nigeria, to warn Kufuor of the dire consequences of stealing the election as he had done in 2004. Try as the incumbent attempted to doctor the result, the people decided enough was enough and booted the New Patriotic Party out of power”.

But in a sharp response, the Press Secretary to former President Kufuor, Frank Agyekum, said the assertion was wrong, stressing that Kufuor handed over power out of his own volition, and in accordance with results declared by the Electoral Commission.

According to a release signed by Frank Agyekum, the immediate past president, before the last round of voting in the Tain Constituency, issued a statement asking all Ghanaians to accept whatever results that would be declared by the EC, adding that the announcement was without any promptings from any quarter whatsoever.

“All my life, I have been convinced that constitutional rule is the best form of rule for any nation. I have championed this course outside government and supported it even more while in government. Throughout my eight-year-rule as President, it never crossed my mind to extend my stay in office, even a day longer.

“It is therefore never true that I was forced or persuaded by anybody from anywhere to hand over power at the end of my term as I was constitutionally mandated to do,” President Kufuor was quoted as saying.

The release said relations between Ghana and Nigeria was at its peak under the Kufuor administration, and expressed the hope that nothing would be done to mar it, especially through unguarded statements.
Former President Rawlings was in Munich last Saturday to deliver a keynote address at the second Pan African Congress on the theme: "How Good Governance Could Be Achieved in Africa."

He alleged that politics of impunity and terrorising the citizenry was witnessed in Ghana between 2000 and 2008, which he claimed could have led to revolts of different dimensions, while at the same time showering tons of praises on his tenure of government.

“The period between 1982 and 1992 saw a Ghanaian re-awakening only comparable to the period leading up to Independence. Ghanaians took up the mantle to manage their own destiny. There was leadership all right but right from the grassroots, decisions were being taken that affected the very well-being of the people and such decisions did not emanate from Accra or Central Government.

“The period in question saw the Ghanaian people tasting real power."

In 1992, Ghana once again reverted to multiparty democracy under the Fourth Republican Constitution. We did not adopt the process hook, line and sinker as the west clamoured for. We ensured that the District Assembly concept still remained to support Central Government in grassroots democracy. District assemblies and municipal assemblies have till today supported Central Government and allowed people to identify directly with what government is doing through their own active participation.

Rawlings however touched only briefly on the historic Maybe & Johnson bribery scandal in which key members of his government and party had been confirmed as beneficiaries. All he managed to say was that “when the government concludes its investigations on the matter, those guilty will receive no preferential treatment”.

Source: Daily Guide

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