Former President Rawlings has called for a "house cleaning exercise" in the judiciary to purge it of real and perceived corruption.
But for many who witnessed the 1979 revolution undertaken by the Armed Forces Revolution Council (AFRC) military junta in Ghana, the phrase "house cleaning exercise" comes too close for comfort, especially, when the man who led the bloodiest uprising ever in the history of Ghana is offering a helping hand in such cleaning exercise. Mr. Rawlings said a newly-established credibility of the judiciary brought about by Justice Atuguba's handling of the election petition creates a conducive environment for the judiciary to fully redeem its sunken image.
According to Mr. Rawlings, if the judiciary does not utilise the current political climate in our nation's history to continue to free itself of the political controls that have existed in the past, a fine opportunity would have been lost.
"Build on your newly-established credibility and independence by engaging in a thorough "House-cleaning" exercise to purge the Judiciary of real and perceived corruption!"
"I can help you with this exercise; I'm very qualified and experienced in "house-cleaning."
Mr. Rawlings made these statements after receiving an honourary Doctorate Degree (Doctor of Letters) conferred on him by the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale on Saturday, in recognition of his instrumental contribution towards the founding and establishment of the university in 1992.
Mr. Rawlings took time to celebrate Justice Atuguba, a man he described as "the man of the last decade" , for the way and manner he superintended over the election petition and instilling discipline into a society that was running down almost every institution that was once revered in the country
"The great Justice Atuguba's brand of leadership on the bench helped to restore some of the image the judiciary had lost over the years... The dedication and integrity of Justice Atuguba is the kind of ideal that June 4 and December 31 stood for," Mr. Rawlings noted.
He maintained that if the poor citizens of this country were to trust that the justice system was for them, then this justice must not be for sale to the highest bidder in bribes and corrupt practices.
14 years wait to honour
Mr. Rawlings has had to wait fourteen years to have an honour conferred on him by the institution he established against all odds. But the former president likened his long wait to the often "long drawn -out struggle for justice and speaking for it.
"This very university has decided to award honorary degrees to many people, and within 2-3 months they are invited, the ceremony occurs, and out they go honoured, done; they are knighted! For Rawlings, 14 years!" Mr. Rawlings noted.
The Ostrich Mentality
Mr. Rawlings also bemoaned that a phenomena, he called the "Ostrich Mentality", which has plagued the Ghanaian society.
"Somehow, everyone knows what goes on, but no one seems ready to admit that there is a problem. In fact, the one who admits there is a problem is often ridiculed by his peers."
He emphasised that fact that Ghanaians must be ready to expose the corruption in government and society by speaking against it.