A former President of Ghana, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, has advised the ruling Malian military junta, led by Colonel Assimi Goïta, to empower and encourage their citizens to own their political climate, and to improve on the quality of multiparty democracy that the Western powers “have hung around our necks.”
According to the former President, who also once led the country as a young military officer through coups: “It is unfortunate that the world is being forced into multiparty democracy with corruption and violence, rather than other forms of democratic practices with none or minimal corruption.”
The former President made the call when Col Goita, leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) of Mali, and three others paid a courtesy call on him on Tuesday.
The group was in Ghana to partake in an Extraordinary Consultative Meeting of leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held at Peduase, in Ghana, to discuss political developments in Mali.
Flt Lt Rawlings intimated that multiparty democracy had created a general climate of stress and tension that may destabilise some areas in our region, but “the West appears to favour corruptible political tendencies, in order to continue to dominate our security and economy.”
He, thus, advised the Malian leadership to mobilise their people into taking up productive activity, through a positive vision, to boost the country’s development.
The former President said he that was dutifully passing on ECOWAS leadership’s concerns, while sharing his own political experiences and observations.
Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings also urged the new leadership in Mali to use the transition period to exhibit exceptional leadership for the country, and usher her into a prosperous era, and encouraged the transitional unit to govern with humility and diligence, and inspire the people to fight and defy corruption and injustice.
Colonel Assimi Goïta was accompanied by Colonel Ismaël Wagué, Major Talibe Konte and Captain Demba N’daw. Also present was the Malian Ambassador to Ghana, Abdoul Kader Toure.
Meanwhile, Monday’s meeting at Peduase Lodge ended with a call on the ruling military junta to ensure a civil transition in a matter of days.
“In a week’s time, the Mediator will go to Bamako to see the state of affairs. By the time he gets there, these things would have been completed so that the sanctions can be lifted. And we are talking in days, not in weeks,” the Chairman of the ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo, told the press on Monday after the meeting.
The meeting, which brought eight West African leaders to Ghana, was necessitated by the failure of the Malian military junta to meet the September 15 timeline ECOWAS had given to have a civil transition.
ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions on Mali after the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18, and gave September 15 (yesterday) as the deadline for a new president to be appointed.
The military junta pushed through a charter on Saturday September 12 that stated that the interim president could be either a civilian or a soldier, but did not indicate when the new government would be formed.