Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, June 07 , 2017
Former Trade and Industry Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has admitted that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) veered from the track of probity and accountability and must go back to uphold the principles before it is too late.
“I wish to appeal particularly to the leadership, members, supporters, sympathisers and grassroots activists of our beloved party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was founded by Jerry John Rawlings on the ideals of probity and accountability to do more in making these ideals a reality.”
Mr Spio-Garbrah stated categorically that if former President John Mahama contests to become the flagbearer for the December 2020, he (Spio-Garbrah) will not join the race.
Delivering a speech at the 38th anniversary celebration of the June 4, 1979 ‘revolution’ in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital on Sunday, the former minister, said “if that is done, this will ensure that we reconstruct our party on these noble ideals which in the past have propelled us from victory onto victory in competing with our opponents of the property owning class.”
He said “as we commemorate 38 years of the June 4th uprising, may we as a nation, solemnly reflect and remind ourselves of the social and economic conditions that prevailed in our country during that era and which culminated in the June 4 incident that sparked a popular revolt against all manner of injustices in our Ghanaian society, including high levels of corruption, thievery, general indiscipline and impunity.”
He admitted “it is sad to note that thirty-eight years on, the vices of corruption, nepotism, cronyism, etc., which led to the eruption of June 4th in 1979 have slowly crept back into our everyday life and arguably surpassed the obnoxious period preceding the June 4 event,” adding “our nation is once again grappling with the canker of widespread, extreme corruption that has permeated the whole of our society, including officialdom.”
He said “as a nation, we seem not to have learnt the lessons June 4 sought to teach us,” adding “Government after government, since we adopted multi-party democracy in 1992, has been accused of corruption by succeeding ones.”
“Now it is common to find governments using the so-called, Corruption Perception Index to compare their own levels of corruption with others, thus implicitly admitting that they are corrupt but perhaps doing better than others,” Mr Spio-Garbrah said.
He said that “no matter the level of perception, corruption is a canker in our society, which if not nipped in the bud, would eat away the very fabric of society, resulting in enrichment of a few in positions of trust and abjectly impoverishing the masses of our people,” adding that to check the impunity, it is imperative for us, as a nation, to revisit the lessons of probity and accountability which June 4th sought to teach us.”
He suggested that the NDC leadership should prioritise the establishment and operationalisation of a training school and programme for elected party officers at all levels to ensure that the next generation of party executives and leaders are people of integrity and are able and willing to defend these ideals of social democracy so as to make the NDC more competitive in future elections.
“We are a grassroots political party of the Social Democratic ideology. We owe it as a duty to cater for the needs of the common man and woman on the streets, on farms, fisher folk, market women, teachers, nurses, other workers, as well as countless millions of our unemployed young men and women.”
Former President John Mahama, who does not appear to have had any association with the celebration of June 4th since he became both Vice President and subsequently President, suddenly issued a statement to commemorate the occasion.
He said in a statement issued and signed by his Special Aide, Joyce Bawa Mogtari in Accra that “June 4, as one of the recognized anniversary days of the NDC, is a day of accountability.”
He charged the NDC members to ensure the values of the June 4 Revolution were not eroded.
Interestingly, it was during his time that corruption was elevated, with wanton stealing of money by his appointees.
President Mahama said that this year’s June 4 celebration coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the NDC, which falls on June 10, saying “this twin events present another opportunity for members of the NDC to rededicate themselves to the values of the June 4 Revolution, which brought into being the 31st December Revolution and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).”