Former President, Jerry John Rawlings Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare alias Kwaku Azar has enjoined Ghanaians to ensure that former President Jerry John Rawlings does not continue to hijack the National Democratic Congress( NDC) and justify his crimes against the state by seeking to rewrite the history of the country.
At the commemoration of the 31st December 1981 coup d’état in Winneba last Tuesday, Mr Rawlings justified his coups d’états claiming that the country called for it given the circumstances of the time. He exemplified the situation at the time with how the Ghana Commercial Bank had become a cash cow for some ethnic group.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it will shock you to know that during the Acheampong regime, the banking sector, especially the Ghana Commercial Bank, was plunged into unimaginable corruption.
The bank served as an avenue for cronies and a particular ethnic group to feed fat on loans without collateral. Sadly, these loans were never paid,” he claimed.
But Prof Azar contends that former President Rawlings is hiding under the immunity, clauses that protect past coup plotters from being prosecuted for their treasonous crimes, to justify his coups and rewrite history to suit him, urging Ghanaians to see it as a duty to stop persons like former President Rawlings.
“We have a solemn duty to ensure that those who hide under immunity blankets do not have the liberty to hijack a political party, enabled by a Constitution that frowns upon coups, to rewrite the history of the country, to justify and glorify military adventurism, to undermine ethnic cohesion, and to persist in assaulting the memories of those whose families lost life, liberty or property,” he underscored.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings staged a coup d’état in 1979 to oust the military government at the time, and also another in 1981 to overthrow the constitutionally elected Hilla Limann government at the time.
Coups are crimes against the state and come with severe punishment but the 1992 constitution provides, among others, that past coup plotters shall not be prosecuted for their crimes against the state in what is referred to as immunity clauses.
Many has criticised the continued commemoration of the Rawlings coups arguing that marking such days violate the principles of the constitution.