The late President Mills, according to him, institutionalized the corruption President Kufuor started, vowing that he would not allow the latter to sleep regardless of the advice to him to stop the attacks.
He made these remarks while speaking as the guest of honour during the closing ceremony of the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) Volta Regional Camp at the Adidome Senior High School in the Volta Region.
Ex- President John Agyekum Kufuor
The theme of the function was “Peaceful Hearts and Transformed Youth for National Development”, but the former president used all the time allotted to him to justify the coup which brought him into the limelight and his subsequent 18-year reign, and showered allegations of corruption on former President Kufuor.
The man he handed power to, he said, was “an autocratic thief” who endorsed corruption in all its forms.
He distanced the current level of corruption from President Mahama saying, “When people stand up, they want to create the impression to you the young ones as if the corruption started with the young man, John Mahama. No, it started with Kufuor. And that is why I say Kufuor was an autocratic thief!”
Nkrumah, Busia and Acheampong
He also turned his guns on the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and two other heads of state, Dr. Abrefa Busia and General Kutu Acheampong, all of whom he said did little to curb corruption.
According to him, their actions and inactions in curbing corruption was what precipitated the agitations and coup d’état that overthrew their governments.
Former President Rawlings noted that his successor managed to create the impression that all was well while he indulged in corruption himself.
According to him, “… He (Kufuor) was sending a signal that nobody was going to steal unless he, his family or friends or unless he gives you the permission. So he created the impression as if there was law and order in this country- (he) terrorized this country into submission.”
The late Prez John Evans Atta Mills
He also claimed that the high level of corruption in the Fourth Republic started under Kufuor and was institutionalized by late President Atta Mills.
He said, “When we won in 2008, the country was so poised to see that the injustices, the corruption and what nots was dealt with, in order to right the tree of justice. Mills refused to do it…Mills…Mills refused to do it. And that was the beginning of the true destruction of the moral fibre of this country. In spite of his holiness, his refusal to investigate and to deal with the crimes of the Kufuor regime is what led finally to the institutionalization of corruption in this country.”
Ft. Lt Rawlings revealed that he had been having sleepless nights for some time now and that not even medication, both local and foreign, could heal him of his ailment. This, he attributed to the late President Mills’ refusal to deal with alleged corrupt practices of the Kufuor Administration.
He explained that “having now taken this country back… we refused to deal with it. That is when the sleeplessness disease started; under the Mills regime, not Kufuor’s regime. Because I was so scared…” because nothing was being done about it and “…finally when we won, we let him get away with it.”
Will not Leave Kufuor Alone
The former President, whose temper seemed to have risen at this time, vowed never to let former President Kufuor have his peace of mind, “after all that he put this country through”.
He averred that “people keep saying that I should keep quiet on Kufuor. The day I begin to keep quiet on Kufuor, his image will become whitewashed. And he will use that stolen corrupt wealth to determine the political destiny of this country; I will not! All I have is my integrity like you as young people.”
He also accused Kufuor of rigging the 2004 election.
“In 2004, make no mistake about it, they (NPP) didn’t win, they know it. But, Mills did not react appropriately; the country had to suffer another four years. We won the election in 2008, these guys wanted to steal it again.”
Warning From Nigeria
He added that “Nigeria had to send a general to come and warn Kufuor, ‘don’t try it’. Because that time Ghana was so poised for the possibility of an explosion if he steals again. Yes… Yes… Yes. Even as far back as 2005, the corruption was so much, I told you and people don’t want to believe it.
“The US sent their CIA Director – he was called Porter Goss – to come and warn Kufuor that ‘you better do something about the corruption in your government otherwise you will be overthrown by a military coup and don’t expect the US to bail you out because the coup will be extremely popular’. Instead of dealing with corruption, he started prosecuting more innocent people including my wife.”
Present at the event were the Deputy Volta Regional Minister Francis Ganyaglo, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Joseph Yammin, the Central Tongu DCE Mary Agbenyenu and her colleagues from the South and North Tongu Districts among others.
From Fred Duodu, Adidome