Former President Jerry John Rawlings was known for his charisma and boldness to speak his mind.
He was a former military leader and politician who ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.
Rawlings led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.
During his time a leader of Ghana, he made some great speeches, out of which some of his notable quotes were derived.
“I, Rawlings will not turn round and commit the very crime for which another man lost his life,” is one of his popular quotes, and below are five more of his powerful quotes on democracy and patriotism.
1. “Democracy is not realised merely by having a machinery for registering voters and getting them to vote every four years, but also by there being a machinery for identifying the needs of those voters in between the election periods, and monitoring the realization of those needs.” – January 5, 1982.
2. “We owe a sacred duty to Ghana to serve her people and help to achieve our legitimate aspirations. The worst crime is to abuse the trust reposed in us and thus, destroy the hope of our people; that the sacrifices we make will yield a better future for all of us.” – January 2, 1990.
3. “It is not the absence of military interventions, which we seem to have achieved that will restore democracy, freedom, justice and development. What is required is the integrity of leadership and ability to empower the people. Leadership should have confidence in our people and not feel intimidated by empowering them.”
4. “Whatever form of government we adopt as a people to suit our peculiar circumstances, our basic tenet is our common yearning and concern for every individual; for politics, whatever its colour must be an avenue to serve our fellowmen.”
5. “Nothing is more shameful for a people than a government imposing itself on the will of the people. Genuine electoral processes conducted without fear or intimidation, without the harsh use of our armed forces, produces a cleansing effect in society and reassures the people that their will has prevailed. The denial of the will of the people and its attendant corruption is what used to generate the coups of the past. If we want to distance our political dispensation from coup d’états then it is incumbent upon us to maintain the sanctity of the right of choice and the electoral process.”
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