The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to the gains of the 31st December Revolution, which, it said, had contributed immensely to good governance through sensitisation and introduction of grassroots mobilisation and participation.
This is contained in a statement signed in Accra by Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary of the Party, to mark the 30th anniversary of the event.
It said the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC was therefore calling on the party leadership and membership to rally round the Founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings, President John Evans Atta Mills and the Cadre Corps to give the event a memorable commemoration.
The Party urged regional, district and constituency executives to evolve programmes to mark the occasion.
The theme for this year’s celebration is, “Three Decades of Grassroots Democracy: Its Relevance to the Current Political Dispensation.”
The statement said the Party celebrated the event annually to remind the nation of events that ushered Ghana into a path of socio-economic and political transformation.
It said: “31st December also reminds Ghanaians of the enormous sacrifices made by cadres led by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings in restoring respect and patriotism to the rank and file of workers and the ordinary Ghanaian.”
The statement said the pre-revolution era was characterised by a near collapse of the economy and breakdown of socio-political institutions, adding that it was a period of lack of basic essentials and consumables caused by successive governments.
“The period also paved way for some citizens to engage in massive hoarding, smuggling and other cross-border illegal activities which had serious negative impact on the growth of the country’s economy.”
The statement said the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), progenitor of the NDC, brought a new sense of belonging and awareness creation, patriotism and nationalism culminating in the spirit of mobilization and grassroots participation for national reconstruction and development.
“Ghana recaptured her economic glory as she began registering massive economic and social infrastructural improvement following the launch of the 31st December Revolution.”
It said Ghana’s GDP, which was negative 2.0 per cent before the revolution, was transformed to 8.0 per cent at the time when the first NDC administration was in power.
“Within the last three years, the second NDC-led administration, through prudent economic management has reduced inflation from 18.1 to 8.4 per cent, stabilised the Cedi against the major international currency, with the country’s economy growing at an appreciable rate of 13.5 per cent. Indeed the country’s current growth rate in the economy is among the best in the world.”
The NDC said as a result of the Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP) initiated by the PNDC, a large number of communities hitherto not connected to electricity had been connected to the National Electricity Grid during the NDC One administration, a feat being replicated by the current NDC Government which had within three years increased access to electricity in the country by about 20 per cent.
It said cocoa, one of Ghana’s main cash crops and mainstay of the economy, had hit all time low in the country’s history, depreciating from 500,000 tons in the 1960s to132,000 before the revolution.
“The onset of the revolution saw a restoration in the cocoa sector, through the implementation of programmes and policies, including the Cocoa Evacuation and Rehabilitation Programmes to revamp the sector,” the NDC said.
Under the evacuation programme, huge tonnes of cocoa previously locked up in the bush across the country were evacuated to the ports for export.
The Cocoa Rehabilitation Project was also embarked on in 1985 during which large hectares of cocoa farms were replanted by volunteers using high yielding seedlings to improve on the quality and quantity of cocoa yield throughout the country. Currently, Ghana’s cocoa production capacity has reached all time high of one million tonnes.
The programme lined up for the celebration includes a call on Former President Rawlings by representatives of the Cadre Corps, documentaries and radio discussions, medical outreach, commemoration lectures and presentation of citation to Cadres.
The celebration will be climaxed on Saturday, December 31 with a route march, anniversary parade and wreath laying ceremony at the Revolution Square in Accra.