President Akufo-Addo (left) and ex-president Jerry Rawlings (right).
Former President Jerry John Rawlings says until Ghanaians assume the right, duty and responsibility to assist in confronting the fight against corruption, government would have a hard time doing it alone.
He said the corruption he faced when he first came to power in 1979 was not as bad as what is being confronted today.
Flt Lt Rawlings stated that, “the current government owes its own survival to the anti-corruption crusade,” explaining that some administrations who found the integrity level of the AFRC/PNDC too high and intimidating made it a point to corrupt some of our national institutions in order to survive.
The former President who spoke during a meeting with a delegation of political leaders from Sierra Leone led by former Vice-President Chief Sam-Sumana on Sunday, said each administration’s refusal to contain and punish corruption, invariably provided the climate and opportunity for the problem to eat deeper into the fabric of the nation to the extent that one could only succeed by doing things the wrong way.
“By the time this administration came into office the country was literally drowning in the practice of corruption with impunity. This administration has therefore inherited national corruption at its worst,” Mr. Rawlings stated.
Former President Rawlings told his guests that the revolution brought the best out of the people. He recalled several efforts supported by Western powers to derail the process, including the deportation of one million Ghanaians from Nigeria under Shehu Shagari’s administration.
The former President at the meeting with the Sierra Leonian delegation
“The expectation was that the revolution would have to be collapsed in order for Shagari to survive. Unfortunately, the revolution survived and Shagari had to go, unseated by General Buhari who seemed slightly out of touch with the prevailing political climate and subsequently had to be unseated by General Babangida. We survived because the people felt they owned the process,” former President Rawlings said.
Chief Sam-Sumana who was dismissed under controversial circumstances in 2015 informed the former President that his delegation comprised leaders drawn from several political groups in Sierra Leone and the diaspora who had decided to come together as a coalition to contest the next election.
The former Vice-President said the group recognized President Rawlings’ ideals and desire to see a better Africa, describing him as a man who served as the foundation for the renewed development of Ghana after the demise of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
“We look up to you as a role model because of the peace and stability you brought not only to Ghana but to Sierra Leone and Liberia during your tenure as Head of State,” Chief Sam-Sumana said.
President Rawlings in a group photo with the delegation.