Former president Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has said he respects President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his principles and values. “People think I like that man to high heavens.
No, but I respect him for certain principles and values and I will continue to pray and sincerely hope that he stays on track and devote possibly over 30 per cent of his time to fight corruption and corruptible tendencies,” Mr Rawlings said.
According to a press release from his office, Mr Rawlings said Ghana was fortunate to have somebody like Nana Akufo-Addo because of his principles and values.
Former President Rawlings was speaking during a courtesy call on him last Friday by a group of actors, including renowned Nigerian actor Pete Edochie, who are working on a film production based on corruption.
He also described the emergence of Presidents Buhari of Nigeria and Akufo-Addo of Ghana as a divine intervention because of their respected anti-corruption credentials.
The former President, however, expressed misgivings over the removal and subsequent reinstatement of the head of a government department who has been involved in questionable dealings.
He wondered whose political influence had been brought to bear on the appointing authority, stating that that was why we had to pray for the President to stay the course.
“I am using very polite language because I am not unaware of what this particular Ghanaian has been doing in that department. He should have been thrown out, kept out and investigated, but it appears somebody’s influence brought itself to bear and the decision was rescinded,” he stated.
Cost of living
Touching on Nigeria, the former President said it was unfortunate that the cost of living appeared to be suffocating the people.
“So while some are praying for his health, some are praying he wouldn’t come back,” he said in reference to President Buhari’s presence in the United Kingdom (UK) for medical treatment.
Mr Rawlings said rather than blame Buhari, we should be blaming the extent and depth to which corruption had gripped Nigeria.
“But I guess you need a creative team that will know how to resolve the economic situation of the country without possibly undermining the cost of living of the people.”
Former President Rawlings also asked for God’s guidance for President Adama Barrow of The Gambia.
“His emergence is an acknowledgment of the rebirth of true freedom and justice in the Gambia and I sincerely hope that he will not lose his values and allow himself to be corrupted. And I wish the same for the government (Ghana) here,” he said.
The former President noted that people were getting away with massive corruption because they were not compelled to conform to traditional religious authority.
“We swear by the Bible and the Koran and lie, but dare not with our local traditional deities. We are destroying the fabric of our society. This is not good enough.
President Rawlings commended the production of the movie which has been titled ‘Greedy Bastards’, for its important and valuable theme.
“I must congratulate you for what you’re trying to do. Let’s use some of these movies effectively. People are distorting historical truths all the time. When you find yourselves at the centre of human endeavours like I have, truth must be sacrosanct,” he stated.