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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

JJ leaves NDC divided & shaken

While President John Evans Atta Mills and the remnants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) leadership  were singing in the rain and frantically extolling the virtues in party unity and its democratic credentials at Mantse Agbona, just at the entrance of the James Town Mantse's Palace in what used to be called British Accra, at the week-end, the wife of the founder, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, was busily unmasking the Head of State and his political edifice as pretenders who  stole the vote at the Sunyani  congress.
'People who were not delegates were voting as delegates. I know all the delegates; more than one thousand who voted were not delegates,' she told the Akuafo Hall Ladies wing of the Students Representative Council of the University of Ghana, at Legon.
'I let it be, because if I wanted to deal with it, I would take the whole bunch of them to court. I just decided, no, it's not worth it, let them steal it. If that makes them happy, let them steal,' she said, cheered on by the students.
At a time the NDC is clamouring for unity as a sign of strength to tackle the formidable force of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its leader Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the wife of the founder's exposé at Legon puts the party and its leadership on the defensive.
According to the former First Lady, she had been silent over the issue in order to protect the unity of the party founded by her husband, observing that the internal bickering and disunity among party members were some of the fall-outs of the Sunyani congress.
'In my heart of hearts, I felt sorry for the party I belong to, because it was like cracking the party in the middle, and for me it was said because we have built a party for more than 19 years, and then suddenly, 'boom' is not good.'
Reports of a crack in the NDC front after the Sunyani congress have been rife in the body politic for some time, but the statement from the office of Jerry John Rawlings on the eve of the rally in Accra, that he would not be at Mantse Agbona with a warning that the party should not use his name to campaign towards the 2012 elections, was the major song that all may not be well with the party he founded.
As the President and the remnants of the NDC leadership basked in their glory of leading this nation to their own ideas of what constitute prosperity, the Chairman of the party, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, revealed on television on Friday, that his private and confidential letter to the President, calling for a meeting to patch up with the Rawlingses, was leaked from the Castle.
He tried frantically to absolve the President from blame by insisting that at the time the letter got to the Castle, Prof. Mills was out of the country. But the revelation from the party chair that his letter was leaked, rather feeds into the general notion that the orchestrated attempt to exclude the Rawlingses in matters pertaining to the NDC might be the handiwork of the occupant of the Castle.
Political analysts believe it is a means of carving a niche for himself, after being brought in by the founder, who has remained his bedrock and source of legitimacy all along.
At the rally at the weekend, President Mills mocked those he claimed were disappointed in his leadership.  'Let us be positive and not listen to the cries of those who are disappointed, because they will remain disappointed,' he mocked.
Political commentators are reading different meanings into this particular statement. Some political analysts believe the President was referring to the opposition, who are bitterly contesting his claim that the achievements of the party in government were unprecedented.
Others believe the President was further widening the gap between his Presidency and the Rawlingses, who have criticised his style of leadership since occupying Government House three years and a quarter ago.
This school of thought holds that by that statement, President Mills was sending a powerful message across to Boom Junction that he was thriving better without being talked down upon, and that the Rawlingses could do nothing to influence his leadership of government and the party.
If that is the intention of the President, then he would have already offended many in the party who look upon the former President as the man whose sacrifices brought the party into being in the first place, and who nurtured the NDC with his charismatic leadership.
Across the country, billboards and posters are emerging with the effigy of President Mills and former President Rawlings poised to propel the NDC to victory in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.
If the founder is chalked off the scene, many are those in the NDC who would know where to pinpoint if the elections fail to go the way of the party in power
Ghanaian Chronicle

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