SPEECH OF HIS EXCELLENCY FLT/LT J.J. RAWLINGS (RTD) AT PRESS CONFERENCE ON 1ST JULY 2008
We Have A Moral Mandate
The jailing of Mr. Tsikata has nothing to do with the false charges against him. It has nothing to do with him being guilty or not!
It has everything to do with one thing and only one thing- the testing of the will and capacity of the nation to resist a corrupt dictatorship. This is a corrupt and an extremely guilty government that has lost all respect, faith and confidence of the citizenry. A government that can no longer govern by moral leadership and has to resort to fraud, violence, and intimidation to stay in power.
The western governments and their media keep condemning Mugabe and Zimbabwe while whitewashing NPP and Ghana and yet the only difference between Zimbabwe and Ghana is that people are on the run in Zimbabwe whilst in Ghana people have been shocked into coercive silence and have no where to run to. Right from the onset, Ya-Na & co were not killed because he or any of his elders was guilty of any crime. The NPP regime needed to emasculate us by stamping an electrifying authority, a virtual shock and awe as some will say, on the citizenry.
The tension between the Andanis and Abudus provided the cover and diversion to achieve their aim. This was followed by punishing and keeping the region under siege for almost two years because justice was not done. Had a proper investigation been done and justice carried out, the area would not have been kept under siege for even four months. A senior Security Officer resigned out of disgust over these cold blooded murders that were designed to even include me.
The stress and potential resistance that could have spread against the fraud of the 2004 elections was also given a shock treatment through the sacrificing of Mobila by hanging him upside down, whipping and torturing him to death. No investigation No justice.
Fellow Countrymen and women, in 1979 when this nation was in an explosive state of rage and found its voice and capacity to react through June 4, we had no choice but to sacrifice some members of the corrupt rulers who had brought untold suffering and almost emasculated the nation. Today, corrupt rulers who have learnt no lesson from the wrath of the people, have schemed and lied their way back into office and have succeeded in disempowering the people, brutalising, killing and jailing great and small members of the citizenry as a means of keeping the masses cowed.
This government has resorted to just about enough violence to keep the citizenry cowed without making international headlines. This is the nature of a shameless class war.
And we all saw a vivid demonstration of this in the shameless manner in which those who were assembled under the pretext of Reconciliation went about their task. It involved senior religious leaders, a General, a Union leader, a very senior Judge and women of high standing. Were they not given national awards for it? Did their shameless job not give the NPP the blessing they wanted in order to continue their policy of 'rule of the ruled' instead of rule of law.
What they all have in common is their hatred for fundamental human truths and what the spirit of June 4th stands for. The power of the people and their divine right to revolt, resist, and punish oppression.
When Akufo-Addo keeps singing "law and order, law and order" like his master Kufuor, don't let that fool you. It was under his tenure as Attorney General, that the NPP government set the shameful record of "packing" the Supreme Court simply to be able to reverse an earlier verdict of the Court.
You can not have any law and order in any society or country where there is no justice; where social, economic, political and judicial morality has ceased to exist in ruling circles; neither can you have justice when truth has gone to the dogs and the perceived elite have found refuge in remaining silent. This is the peace of class war. Nothing is more vicious or callous than the peace of a class war.
Ghana is today being ruled by people who hate Nkrumah and his call for independence; a people who do not believe in the fundamental equality of humanity. This is black apartheid!
Fellow citizens – a society or nation that has a commensurate police size is a reflection of not only the high level of social sense of responsibility of its people, but also of the high moral level of the government, agents and instruments of justice.
Fellow citizens, president Kufuor and his brother Addo Kufuor got rid of many uniformed personnel of courage and integrity and other minority tribes within the security apparatus to replace them with their own and others perceived as their own. Nana Akufo-Addo's projections to recruit Ten Thousand more police personnel in the unlikely event of becoming President, is clearly an attempt to perpetuate the same Kufuor strategy of surviving in office through a large coercive machinery.
Akufo-Addo's plan in undertaking this massive recruitment will be to also recruit his people in order to deal with the threats of Kufuor's group. He will thus kill two birds with one stone. Bring in his people to checkmate Kufuor's faction and create a large and oppressive force to achieve a police state, all under the pretext of law and order.
Ladies and Gentlemen: they are too guilty to leave office but their time is up and no matter who, or how many they recruit, no matter what ethnic groups are thrown out or brought in, no matter who is promoted, and given strategic command, the people are tired and feel that enough is enough. The nation believes that the NPP government must go in this year's elections. Ashanti or no Ashanti, Ga or no Ga, Ewe or no Ewe, Dagomba or no Dagomba, Akyem or no Akyem, everyone says, "It's enough and they must go!" And go they shall!
Not even decades old mahogany and other trees are spared their butchers' saw simply to make room for their fathers' statues as well as clear the way for Kufuor's security cameras and in the process expose sick patients to the blazing sun in places like 37 Military Hospital whilst uniformed husbands, and our commanders, appear oblivious to this madness.
Not too long ago a character in the corridors of the NDC claimed that the party had learnt everything there was to learn from some of us. How I wished this was truly the case since this has been my genuine desire- but I have to say with all the authority at my disposal that not a single lesson has been learnt, nor has one piece of advice or suggestion been taken since we left office.
On the rare occasion, when an attempt is made to heed our counsel, it's done late when its relevance is long gone either because some have compromised themselves, cowardice or an attempt to prove our "independent-ness". This political behaviour has been very costly. Some of our staunch supportive regions have become the targets of persecution and discrimination, whilst others are jailed or brutalised under the slightest pretext.
Had any of the early suggestions, some of us offered been taken, the NPP regime would not have had the intoxicated confidence and audacity to jail innocent people like Dr. Yankey and co, Selormey, Dan Abodakpi and co.
His Majesty the King of Dagbon Ya Na Yakubu Andani and Alhaji Issah Molbila would still be alive.
Finally when our people had had enough of the Kufuor regime and rejected them in the 2004 election, we allowed them to brazenly announce false results of victory. Have we learnt our lessons? I wonder! Rather than standing up and fighting for what is right as our re-united support base and spirit is willing and able to do, we've ended up placating the NPP and persistently turning the other cheek over and over and over.
When we were in Office, did the NPP wait every 4 years before waging their campaign against us using deceitful weapons? No! It was an everyday affair.
Until the recent Tamale demonstration that defied the helicopter's dusty downwash, all we've done are our occasional feeble noise as we wait for the four year election fever. What do we expect to achieve with that? Is it any wonder they walked away with the theft of 2004 and we even helped them wipe themselves? In the meantime, who and which regions are being punished for their bravery and for preventing the theft in their regions?
December 2008 is here with another election opportunity. The big question is whether our leadership has learnt any lesson. And while we are waiting for an answer, let me remind the honourable citizens of Ghana that the power of June 4th lay in the fact that people all over the country – even in the remotest corners of the country- woke up to do the right thing on that day. Young and old, men and women, no matter the tribe or religion, no one needed to wait for anyone in Accra to fight for freedom and justice.
Fishermen out at sea do not have to wait for the Honourable Prof. Badu Akorsah, Atta Mills, Rawlings or Kufuor to set sail to head back home; neither does the nurse have to wait for the Doctor to do the proper thing to stop the bleeding of a patient.
So also it is with our right to secure freedom and justice. It is our moral and constitutional duty- it is our duty to self and God or Allah.
Do not let anyone from the NPP or State agency tell you what you know better. Sergeant Adjetey and his colleagues of blessed memory, to whom we pay our respect yearly, were also our liberators, our redeemers, our saviours; so was Nkrumah who was a revolutionary, just as Christ and Mohammed were revolutionaries. Justice was their holy passion.
The Makola mothers, who liberated and redeemed Nkrumah, did not wait for orders from anyone. The soldiers and officers who liberated and redeemed their image on June 4th did not have to wait for orders from anybody to save this country. With God on their side, they did their moral and constitutional duty.
December 7th is only five months away; our nation will be put to the noble test of seizing our right to freedom and justice again.
Fellow countrymen and women
Let us prove our capacity to win in December by continuing to turn up in our numbers at every opportunity as we have always done. This would be our evidence to the world of our victory come election day.
The NPP must be made to taste their well deserved defeat long before Dec. 7th 2008. This, we must do by turning out in our multitudes to all NDC functions and take serious all NDC assignments in our various branches, constituencies, and regions; as individuals and collectively as a party.
We must take serious the impending registration exercise by being vigilant. To do this, we must not allow ourselves to be stifled and silenced by terror tactics of the NPP government. Through this, we enable both the Ghanaian and International community to see NPP's imminent defeat.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the handful of voices that have remained bold despite the numerous persecutions and strife they have come under and encourage them not to relent in their fight against injustice.
Let me also seize this opportunity to advise all those who have emerged in the party's primaries to reach out to those who were denied and forge a united front to enable the NDC win a landslide victory in both presidential and parliamentary elections in December.
I also call on the broad masses of this nation to take up the fight individually and collectively in their various areas and not wait for orders from Accra or the cities. You have a better knowledge and understanding of your local situation than those of us in the city.
Thank you. God bless and give us courage.