Rawlings descends on media

Former President of the Republic of Ghana and leader of the June 4 Uprising, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, has hit hard at the media for what he described as “tongue twisting” people for their parochial interest.  

The founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) descended heavily on the media yesterday while delivering his keynote address at a durbar of cadres and activists to climax activities marking the 39th anniversary of the uprising.

It was on the theme: “Reorganising towards the core values.”

The former military leader could not hide his displeasure about the way some media house deliberately distorted speeches or statements of some individuals to make them look bad in the eyes of the general public.

“You make a statement or give your opinion on issues and the next morning you wake up to a different story altogether, everything you say gets distorted and makes the situation bad that one has no choice but to render an apology for using harsh words,” he lamented.

According to him, people should rather apologise for “lying, stealing and doing evil things and not the other way round.”

“No man must apologise for telling the truth. You must apologise for lying, for stealing, for corruption, for doing evil things and not the other way round. I speak the truth, and the story soon gets distorted and makes the situation so bad that I have no choice but to render an apology for using harsh words,” he noted.

Mr Rawlings also did not spare some members of his party for attacking him, his wife, Nana Konadu, as well as anti-corruption campaigner, Martin Amidu.

He wondered why these “vicious” young members who “indulge in all kinds of evil” keep firing salvos at him, his wife and Mr Amidu, who is now the Special Prosecutor.

Mr Rawlings stated emphatically that the stories peddled about him by his young critics within the party, were false.

He told the cheering gathering: “I was telling a story about some of the little ones in the NDC, they are so vicious with their mouths… The kind of evil things they do and turn round and insult people like Martin Amidu, like my wife, like myself, and I wonder: is that my wife they are talking about? I wonder if that is Martin Amidu, I wonder if it’s me, from our own. But you say I don’t criticise Nana Addo for the things he does; to be honest, I’m at a loss as to what to believe because I know some of the things our people say about my wife, about Martin Amidu and myself are false.”

Mr Rawlings claimed the younger ones in the party have deviated from the NDC’s principles of equity, probity and accountability.

In his opinion, the younger ones “now are only chasing after money to the detriment of the core values of the NDC.”

Earlier, some NDC stalwarts including National Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, Dan Abodakpi, Fritz Baffour, Samuel Nuamah Donkor, Ebi Bright and Lawrence Lamptey took turns to address party loyalists gathered at the venue.

Flt. Lt. Rawlings on June 4, 1979 led a group of junior officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces in an uprising against the then Supreme Military Council (SMC II) regime led by General F.K. Akuffo. The move was motivated by a desire to stem the scourge of corruption that had engulfed the country at all levels leading to a virtual breakdown of the economy.

Three months later the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) led by Rawlings handed over power to an elected government.


Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklin.asare-donkor@todaygh.com

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