Top Inset: John Mahama, Nana Oye Lithur Bottome Inset: Former President Rawlings with other cadres at the programme
Former President John Dramani Mahama once again failed to take part in the commemoration of the 37th anniversary of the 31st December Revolution on Monday.
He was expected to join six other presidential aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to address the party’s supporters at the event held at Ashaiman Mandela Park on Monday, as the presidential election of the NDC draws closer.
Other aspirants such as Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Goosie Tanoh and Nurudeen Iddrisu addressed the gathering.
Representative of Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, Fritz Baffour, revealed that the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament had to attend to pressing family issues.
However, ex-President Mahama was conspicuously missing, with no message sent.
His avid supporters like former human rights campaigner and immediate past Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, who is fighting a bitter divorce case with her husband, former Minister of Fisheries Sherry Ayittey and some NDC youth activists, were in attendance.
Mr Mahama did not send a representative to the event held under the theme: ‘Deepening the core principles of good leadership for political governance.”
He rather turned to social media to commemorate the event.
On the same day, the former president, in a Facebook post, dared President Akufo-Addo to fight corruption and deal with nepotism in his government as he promised Ghanaians during the 2016 campaign.
According to him, the current situation under the government is a deviation from the values of December 31st Revolution that saw many sacrificing their lives for the purpose.
“31st December marks a pivotal period in our national life. It is a day which reminds Ghanaians of the period in our history, which eventually birthed the Fourth Republican Democracy.
“On this day, I commend President Jerry John Rawlings, cadres of the revolution, members of the NDC and all Ghanaians for our collective sacrifices made towards our enduring democracy.
“Notwithstanding the fact that Ghana’s journey towards sustainable democracy witnessed regrettable and turbulent occurrences, the principles of probity, transparency and accountability were established and have endured almost four decades after.
“Sadly, the recent upsurge in incidences of corruption and nepotism of historic proportions under the current administration are a clear deviation from the revolutionary values for which people laid down their lives,” he wrote on Facebook.
Many party followers have raised concerns over the boycott of such events by Mr Mahama, who does not want to share the same platform with the NDC founder.
Some have argued that persons who do not attend such functions do not believe in the principles of the NDC.
Over the years, Mr Rawlings has used the celebration to condemn corruption and bad governance at the national level and in his party, especially under the previous Mahama administration.
He accused the Mahama administration of entrenching endemic corruption in the body politic.
The Armed Forces Revolution Council (AFRC), led by Mr Rawlings on June 4, 1979, deposed the Supreme Military Council (SMC), led by Gen F.W.K. Akuffo and handed over power to Dr Limann after elections.
On December 31, 1981, former President John Rawlings led a group of soldiers to topple the government of late President Hilla Limann to form the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) which steered the affairs of the country until 1992 when the country returned to constitutional rule.
From Vincent Kubi, Ashaiman