General News of Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Source: Kobina Andoh Amoakwa
The queenmothers in a group photo with President Rawlings
The Queenmothers Foundation of Ghana, have expressed concern about the poor quality of political discourse and abusive language thrown at eminent persons in the run up to the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
The traditional leaders were particularly concerned by the negative attacks channeled at former President Rawlings, mostly from members of his own party and wondered whether those lending their voice to such contemptuous speech had forgotten the unparalleled role he played in Ghana’s political development.
The Queenmothers, led by Mamaga Noviode of Sogakope and including Nana Akyembaku Mansa from the Central Region, Nana Ama Serwaa from Ashanti, Nana Akua Gyasiwaa from Eastern, Mamaga Maamele from Klikor in the Volta Region and Abesewaahemaa Nana Afia Gyamaa Pinsan stated their concerns when they called on former President Rawlings at his office in Accra on Tuesday.
“We have come here to plead with you to exercise extreme patience and restraint and not allow such attacks to compel you to respond in anger,” Mamaga Noviode said.
They charged the party to publicly reprimand members who show disrespect to the founder to prove that they value the role he played in establishing the ideals that led to the founding of the party.
The Queenmothers said they were keen on ensuring peace during and after the elections and were doing an outreach to preach that message.
Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings in his response said the 2016 elections would be a real test of Ghana’s resolve and issued a note of admonishment to all stakeholders to ensure that the process is free and fair in order to guarantee post-election peace.
The former President said to guarantee a result that will be acceptable to all, nobody should attempt to misbehave or to do anything fraudulent.
The former President noted that the culture of disrespect, which has engulfed our society, has compromised our peace and made it vulnerable.
“When we used to exercise a culture of respect in the past there was a thick layer of peace, which could not be compromised that easily. Today that layer of peace is so thin a little provocation is all it takes to get matters out hand,” he stated.
“We’ve been able to exercise the necessary restraint through quite a number of elections. This one is going to be a real test and I can only appeal once again that we make it as free and fair as we possibly can in order to maintain the peace.”
Former President Rawlings recalled the “vile stuff” that GCPP “head man” Henry Lartey said about him recently concerning an amount of money said to have been donated by late Nigerian President Sani Abacha in the past and wondered why every attempt was being made to deliberately misrepresent and sully his reputation.
“About three days before his drama I got information that he was going to be financially rewarded for what he did and incidentally he was instigated not by people in the opposition.
“Why are people worried about the level of integrity we’ve tried to maintain? We say we are Christians; we swear on the bible, Muslims on the Koran; I’d like to invite people like him (Lartey) that we go traditional as well. That we invite the white man’s technology (lie detector) to also come and verify the truthfulness, the integrity of my word. And for him to be simply asked who paid him to do what he did?” Flt Lt Rawlings urged.
Former President Rawlings expressed his deep gratitude for the visit and concern shown and asked the traditional leaders to call for a free and fair election to guarantee the peace.
Also present at the meeting were Reverend Professor Richard Lawson, a member of the NDC Council of Elders as well as Adams Guma, former District Chief Executive of Walewale from 1992 to 1997.
Kobina Andoh Amoakwa