Speaking from his Ridge office in Accra, the Ex-president bemoaned the “present Ghana” which he said has become “extremely boring and stagnant with corruption, indiscipline, etc.”, saying, “this crass behaviour is just not good enough”.
Recounting how he was confronted with this kind of decadence in a certain country several years ago, Mr Rawlings said he prayed “this disease does not engulf us here in Ghana”. He however quickly added, “but sorry, ladies and gentlemen, today this kind of selfish, crass behaviour is solidly in Ghana”.
“I remember I used to warn ourselves that if we do not deal, restore the moral behaviour and ethical values of our society, we will sink deep. Can we rescue our values that are being replaced by money? Can we bring back the discipline we used to know, the dedication”; that a young lady will have to sleep with somebody before she gets a job; this is not good enough. I bleed for this country. Where we find ourselves is absolutely unnecessary”.
“All those big countries we see, they have not thrown their values overboard in spite of all the money they have. How could you adopt money to replace your values? I have said it over and over and I will continue repeating it”.
The former President made these remarks a while ago in his Ridge office when ace footballer, Sammy Kufuor paid a courtesy call on him to invite him to attend his testimonial match at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Saturday, December 23, 2011.
Ex- president Rawlings who expressed honour at the invitation to grace the occasion was full of praise for the former Bayern Munich and Black Stars defender; Sammy Kufuor, a man he said he has grown to respect. He called on Sammy compatriots to emulate the fine example that he has demonstrated both on and off the field.
“I am touched, grateful and honoured to be invited by Sammy to come and watch his testimonial game. I’m glad to hear that I did affect his life when he first started off. If he stood on the shoulders of someone who was great but was unknown, it is his mother; he probably doesn’t know what I know about his background”.
“The discipline he has demonstrated both on the field and off the field has won him a great deal of respect and admirers. When he will get knocked down and he will only smile; I have grown to respect this young man. There were good number of others like him, but I wish they will also be bold enough to branch out like he is doing, to reinvest his energy to help his community and his people. This is what Ghana needs the most; this kind of discipline and dedication we need to see”.
“I’ll try my possible best to be there for the 23rd and I will like to appeal to all patriots as many of them as can possibly can to be there”.
Emotionally drained Sammy Kufuor recounted how the former President had personally contributed to his personal success.
“I feel like crying… I remember in 1990, we had a game against Sierra Leone. We were camping in Teshie when his Excellency passed by. All the players run away but I was bold and faced him. He told me ‘tomorrow you had to win’. We won the game and he gave us five million. That money made me who I am today. My mother who has been an inspiration to me advised me to invest the money wisely. So today, I am here to just say your Excellency, please, once again I believe you will make time to be there for me, please.”
Herbert Mensah, a former Chief Executive of Kumasi Asanti Kotoko, who was also present, said the likes of Sammy Kufuor; who remember their roots “need to be respected”, saying, “we live in a society today where people forget where they came from and the people who made them.”
He saluted Sammy Kufuor for his exploits, saying “anybody who can play for Bayern Munich and the Black Stars needs to be respected”.
Xfm 95.1/ Accra/ Ghana