19 November 2018

Ghana: Rawlings Delivers Shortest Speech At Congress

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In an uncharacteristically short address delivered under two minutes, former President Jerry John Rawlings on Saturday implored the rank and file of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be attentive to each other's counsel.

At the party's 9th National Delegates Congress at the Fantasy Dome inside the Trade Fair Centre in Accra, the NDC founder pointed out that it was through this means that the party could rejuvenate itself and rekindle "the spirit of the old days."

"I have just one sentence message and listen carefully. I can imagine we would wish for the spirit of the old days. Is it possible to bring it back? I hope so. But that can only happen if we cultivate the habit of listening to ourselves."

"We have heard ourselves through [previous] speakers. We have read about what we have to say but I want to make an appeal that we should listen to ourselves. We should listen to ourselves," he told the more than 13,000 party members who gathered here, amidst intermittent jeers.

Commending the delegates for turning up in their numbers and early, Former President Rawlings said "The dynamism in this room is very infectious and I hope you will be able to maintain the energy level right through into the night" and wished the party well as they select leaders to steer the affairs of the NDC for the next term.

The former President swerved many people who were expecting him to deliver one of his 'trademark' strongly worded addresses interspersed with political innuendos, christened "Boom speeches."

He has for the past few years been accused of overly criticising his party through such speeches although he has explained that, he had the first obligation to correct errors in his party before looking elsewhere.

In a solitary message, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) rallied all parties particularly itself and the NDC, to coexist peacefully in the interest of the country.

Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahen, who represented the party noted that it was obvious that the two major parties would continue, for a long time, to take turns in governing the country and that burning bridges between them would not inhibit the county's development.

"It is extremely important that a healthy relationship is maintained between the two of us (NPP and NDC) for the welfare of this country," he said

He condemned the increasing acrimony, mudslinging, politics of insults and character assassination which was slowly creeping into the county's body politics

"We cannot continue down this road and scare the good people of Ghana away from the opportunity to serve our country in dignity adding that "tolerance, decency, and discipline must guide the way we interact with each other."

The more than 10,000 party members who filled the venue to capacity included about 9,000 delegates comprising 28 from each constituency.

They decided the fate of 65 aspirants who sought to serve as National Executive Council members to primarily ensure the party's victory in the 2020 elections.

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