The atmosphere was as usual dense as everyone quietened up and geared up to listen to the ‘boom’ man when he stormed the stage uninvited during a discussion session at a program; 2nd Revolutionary Lecture Series, held in his honor.
Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, who until then had sat quietly through the program, observing and listening to the speakers and panelists as they took the house down the history lane on matters regarding Ghana’s economic situation over the years, suddenly stood and headed steadily for the stage after a question from a participant triggered a nerve on his part.
The participant sought to find out how the values of the June 4 Revolution; probity, accountability, truth among others were being upheld in today’s democratic governance and which measures are being taken to ensure that the situation where persons who choose to defy the challenges and stand for these values are bastardised is done away with, pushed the former President who went upstage, picked the microphone and began to pour out his heart.
A visibly angry Rawlings ‘spat fire’ at the so-called ‘babies with sharp teeth’ whom he says have made it a point to continuously denigrate his image and portray him in a bad light for standing up for the truth, fighting corruption and keeping firm on his beliefs.
“I’m not the one who is bastardising the truth, it’s the young generation you are talking about, the ones with the sharp teeth, who are much younger hadn’t bastardised the truth, there probably wouldn’t be the need for an apology” he fumed.
Speaking on recent comments about Former Presidents Kufour and Mahama which sparked public debate, Mr. Rawlings said he had been completely misrepresented and ‘bastardized’ for speaking the truth in both situations.
Rawlings had been criticized massively for making statements during a courtesy call on the chiefs and people of Mepe in the North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region to suggest that former President Kufuor, during his time, tried to sideline Ewes in the military and that ‘rogue’ Mahama had superintended the misappropriation and looting of lands he (Rawlings) personally negotiated for a project to be established at Volor in the North Tongu area. Reacting to the issue, he said, “Many years ago, after we left office, the government attempted to regionalize recruitment. In the Volta Region, they went and recruited 40 people. When they registered their names, a little while later, every single one of them was sent, let me tell you what that was, they had employed 40 well qualified students, took their certificates and attached it to the certificates of certain illiterates in another region. That is what the babies with the sharp teeth should have said and not just the silly nonsense he put out which was meaningless, that nobody could understand.
On Mahama’s issue, he (Rawlings) narrated, “As a small boy, I remember my granny used to talk about, it’s unfortunate but how people used to stir banku, prepare some hot water with salt and they could use it as soup, you dip the banku in the water and eat, I never thought this kind of poverty would still be found in my country. When I heard the Member of Parliament campaigning around the river area where I stay, I was talking about this kind of impoverishment, poverty, which is just not right that people should still be eating this kind of thing. Not long after, a gentleman, Mr. Klutse, discovered an attempt at some huge plantation by Ghadaffi’s people, somehow it didn’t work out and the land had been left and abandoned, he got in touch with me, I said let’s get in touch with the government so they can gather the famers and fisherfolk to plough it and cultivate something on it, it’s a shame that we should be in this community and something like this should be happening under our own government, go and read and see how the baby with the sharp tooth presented this story as well…., eventually, some people among them took it“, he said.
Rawlings also mentioned how there was a conscious effort on the part of some personalities, to destroy the reputation his administration earned and downplay the values they have been trying to uphold.
“What’s a revolution? A revolution is an explosion against a system that exceeded it, so you don’t expect that system to love the revolt, they will do everything to dismantle it, just like they attempted to destroy the revolution, today or tomorrow, it will continue in very cunning ways”. Though he had apologized earlier for his comments, he indicated that there is a lot more he has to say, much of which he will state at the June 4 Celebration on Monday at Madina.
“I have so much on my chest, and you misrepresent me, you bastardise the truth, and people wonder, is this man crazy, and I have to apologise. It’s not over, I’m just giving you an example of what your generation is doing. What a misrepresentation, isn’t it sad?
The Revolutionary Lecture Series is borne out of the experiences and philosophy if the former president, H.E. Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and the revolutionary transition Ghana went through.
The Lecture Series draws revolutionary ideas and experiences from politics, Trade and industry, academia, gender, foreign and the global environment with the hope to create consciousness that will transform and shape the national Psyche, attitudes and behaviours.
The program under theme; “Revolutionary Economic Trends, Ghana in Focus: Past, Present and the future” came off Thursday evening at the National Theatre in Accra.