10 October 2012

Ghana: JJ Breaks NDC Hearts 'I'll Support Nana Konadu'

Photo: Nana Rawlings Website
Former President Jerry John Rawlings and wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.

It started with the description of leading elements in the government and party as 'greedy bastards' and 'same old evil dwarfs' among others.

At the National Delegates Conference of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to endorse President John Mahama in Kumasi recently, Jerry John Rawlings, Founder of the party, complained about babies with hard teeth causing havoc in the party.

At Ho, during the launch of the NDC manifesto, former President Jerry John Rawlings talked about 'evil dwarfs' surrounding the President and making his administration ineffective.

The party faithful still cheered him on, thinking that by openly showing their support, the founder of the party and NDC's most effective campaigner would put the criticisms aside, and mount the podium on the campaign trail to improve the chances of the party to get re-elected on December 7, 2012.

Yesterday, Mr. Rawlings broke the hearts of the party faithful, by openly announcing that he would be in the trenches with his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, as she seeks to defy the male-dominated Ghanaian political landscape to become the first female President of the Republic of Ghana.

Mrs. Rawlings would definitely not be running on the ticket of the NDC. The former First Lady is gunning for the leadership of the newly-established National Democratic Party (NDP), a political entity cobbled together by renegades of the NDC.

What is losing sleep for core members of the NDC is that success for the NDP would almost certainly spell doom for the NDC on December 7.

Although Mrs. Rawlings has not officially announced her interest in the NDP flagbearership, she would be acclaimed as presidential candidate when the newly-inaugurated party holds its first delegates conference in Kumasi at the weekend.

Yesterday, Mr. Rawlings comfortably welcomed the idea of his wife contesting for the highest office of the land by saying he would support the idea: "I will support her as I do, you know, [to] a good number of other candidates."

On an Accra-based radio station two days ago, the General Secretary of the NDP, Dr. Joseph Manboa-Rockson, put the rumours to rest, when he told the nation in an interview that Mrs. Rawlings would contest the Ppresidential election by accepting the party's flagbearership.

The news of Nana Konadu running against the NDC on the ticket of the NDP does not come as a surprise, as rumours and speculations have linked the party to the former first family, right from its birth.

When the NDP goes to congress this Saturday at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, it is likely that Mrs. Rawlings would be acclaimed as the consensus candidate, without a contest.

Although others have also shown interest in contesting the flagbeareship of the NDP, its General Secretary says he is optimistic that the party delegates would come to a consensus, to allow Mrs. Rawlings go unopposed..

Mrs. Rawlings' wrangling with the NDC, a party her husband founded and sealed with his own blood, became more evident after her defeat at the Sunyani Congress, where she contested the then sitting President, John Evans Atta Mills.

Nana Konadu heavily criticised the conduct of that election, and expressed concern about the level of insults, intimidation and vindictiveness that characterised the period leading to the congress, and during the event itself.

Although Mr. Rawlings has been criticising the government and officials of the ruling party, the founder of the party, thereafter, intensified his criticism of the NDC and the leadership style of the then President Mills, stating among others that the party had deviated from its core values and principles.

To him, the country was being led into the abyss by persons within the NDC, whom he had described in various terms as "greedy bastards", "broken and rotten planks", "babies with hard teeth" and "same old evil dwarfs."

It is, however, not clear whether Mr. Rawlings himself will defect to the side of his wife in her political adventure, but coming events will be an interesting case study for political science students, as the Konadu-led NDP battles it out with the NDC, with Mr. Rawlings lurking on the horizon.

Political pundits are of the opinion that Mrs. Rawlings' presidential adventure with the NDP would be the last straw to break the NDC's back in the coming elections, considering the fact that Mrs. Rawlings, as leader of the 31st December Women's Movement, commands a large following, and the party most effective campaigner would be in the opposite corner.

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