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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


“I really should not come and sit here and decide who is justified or who is not, but my husband has run this country for 18 years and he can see when something is going down the hill. He can feel it,”.
By Bismark Bebli  & Daniel Nonor
Ex-president Jerry Rawlings (left), President Atta Mills (middle), Mrs. Rawlings (right)
THE FORMER First lady, Mrs. Konadu Agyemang Rawlings has mounted a strong defence for her husband, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings over his criticisms of the President John Evans Atta Mills’ government.
According to her, though she is not the right person to talk about the justification of her husband’s criticism of the Mills administration, she explained that the former President does so because he expresses the feelings of the people.
Mrs. Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, also the first Vice National Chairperson of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) contended that her husband’s comments against the government are based on realities, and not just for the sake of critique.
‘I really should not come and sit here and decide who is justified or who is not, but my husband has run this country for 18 years and he can see when something is going down the hill. He can feel it,” she said.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show yesterday, hosted by Mr. Evans Mensah, the former first lady said her husband receives a number of text messages and calls about developments all over the country.
She declined to comment any further on her husband’s consistent attacks on President Mills’ administration,’ adding -“I hope it is good for me to leave it like that.”
Touching on her relationship with President Mills, she underscored that she hardly meets with the President, except at official programmes, adding that she and her husband had separate relationships with the President.
According to the NDC Vice chair, when her husband was propelling President Mills to his current status, there was no indication that it was done by the former first family. “It is important to note that we have always had separate relationships with President Mills. When my husband was propelling him … and helping him to get to where he is today, he did not say, my wife and I ….”
On whether she often meets with President Mills, she said “Hardly, if there is a programme that he has to be there, then we meet, but he has not called us as a team. I think it is his prerogative.”
Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, the President of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM) noted that as part of courtesy, the leadership of the NDC, the Functional Executive Committee (FEC), met with the President after the elections and paid their respect and compliments, and insisted that President Mills had not invited them as a team for discourse.
Speaking on the future of the NDC, she observed that it was still bright, but was quick to hint that the events that led to the victory of the NDC are still prevalent. “I believe that the issues that we fought for are still relevant.
They are still there. The problems are still there. The thieving has not stopped, unless we want to make it a natural thing for a politician to rob the state,” she intoned.
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings,  recently received massive support from members of the party to unseat President Mills and to eventually lead the NDC in the 2012 general elections, of which she has kept an open silence.
The former first lady spoke on a wide range of issues, including her 31st December Women’s Movement.
Speaking on the role of women in politics, she claimed that during the NDC regime in 1996, a document was presented to parliament to ensure that 40% of women were given positions in various public institutions.
It has been barely five months since the Ridge residence of the former first family was gutted by fire, but it seems the former family is still grappling with issues of accommodation.
Asked how the family has been coping after the fire incident, the former fist lady said she has since been putting up with her mother, while her husband is also staying in a family village at Tefle, near Sogakope, a situation she says is making life very difficult.
According to her, her husband has had to bear with the inconvenience of commuting from his “village” to attend meetings in Accra “and that has been very difficult.
It is not good for marriage life, it is not good for partnership, it is not good for family life and it is not good for anything. It is not easy but we are coping,” She noted.
The Chronicle

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