Founder of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Jerry John Rawlings refused to light the perpetual flame at the ongoing 38th-anniversary commemoration of the 31st December revolution, MyNewsGh.com’s Central Regional correspondent has reported.
Rawlings who has performed the ritual for decades declined to do so this year at Winneba in the Central Region but instead appointed Brigadier Nunoo Mensah to do it on his behalf.
Observers say all may not be well as the last time (in the year 2012) Rawlings attempted to make another person light the perpetual flame instead of he himself, his close confidantes had to plead with him to change his mind. He had earlier ordered the flame to be extinguished but for the presence of senior NDC members, Rawlings had regard for.
At that time, Rawlings was very angry with the “babies with sharp teeth and the greedy bastards” in the NDC who had hijacked the party. They had to kneel and plead with him to light the flame before he agreed to.
In 2012, an emotional Rawlings clutching a stick of flame at the Revolution Square in Accra in readiness to light the perpetual flame to mark the 33rd Anniversary of the revolution, dramatically pointed the flames to the skies, turned and handed the flame to an aide and ordered that the fire be extinguished.
Mr. Rawlings at the time said he had lost the zest and moral turpitude to light the flame as the aloofness of government to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian had made it a travesty to continue to light the flame.
He told hordes of NDC cadres at the ceremony that the lighting of the perpetual flame had become a meaningless exercise, enunciating his long-held mantra that the government at the time formed by the party he founded – National Democratic Congress – had deviated markedly from the principles, values and ideals of the June 4 Uprising which served as a lynchpin for the formation of the NDC.
This year, Rawlings is marking the 38th anniversary of the 31st December revolution in Winneba under the theme ‘Monetisation of Elections in Ghana: A threat to National Development and Genuine Democracy’.
It is not clear why Rawlings declined to light the flames as yet. MyNewsGh.com is covering the event and will report more accordingly.