Former President Jerry John Rawlings has responded to accusations that a ‘gift’ from former Nigerian dictator Sanni Abacha was a bribe.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Rawlings described as ‘nasty’ and an ‘orchestration’ the allegations against him.
In 1998 after the death of the then Nigerian President Gen. Sani Abacha the media revealed that Rawlings had received $5 million from the deceased. But Rawlings said he received $2 million, which was used for the preparation of an upcoming election.
In an interview with Kobby Asmah of state-owned Daily Graphic, the former leader debunked the bribery allegations and sought to entrench his anti-corruption reputation.
“If we are looking for something negative to believe about Rawlings, then go search for something else. If we are, however, as weak and faithless as to want to believe a dirty charge of bribery and corruption against me, then evil has triumphed. My unshakable integrity has served a noble purpose almost all my life. The neo-colonialism struggle is not over, and people cannot afford to lose the dignity and strength of their integrity. You need it to continue the fight against neo-colonialism and the destructive effect of bribery and corruption.
This orchestration is designed to weaken your belief in Rawlings and most of all in your very own self. You need an incorruptible degree or quality of strength to fight this evil, and you need your integrity to fight a good fight. I find it laughable that some have used the media to try to rationalise and even speak almost as if they know the facts more than I do.”
“What could be the explanation for the media stoking this issue to this extent? My reputation and image present a huge challenge and obstacle to bribery and corruption, so if the press can be used to create the impression and convince people that I am corruptible, this would change the paradigm and destroy the factor that makes Rawlings a very potent force.
If the people began to have doubts about my integrity on account of this falsehood, our enemies and traitors would have won. For them to misinterpret a contribution or support in our fight against neo-colonialism is quite disingenuous. A few too many characters in the media earn their living this way. Destroying the integrity of Rawlings has been the primary objective since 1979 to this day. Newspapers and other characters have been set up and financed with this objective as the primary goal.”
The criticism of Rawlings has come mainly from the opposition New Patriotic Party led by Hackman Owusu Agyeman former Minister of Foreign Affairs
The matter resurfaced after an interview with a Nigerian newspaper published earlier this month.