15 October 2012

Ghana: NDP Holds Successful Congress

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

The National Democratic Party (NDP), last Saturday, shook off alleged frustrations and underground machinations by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), to organise a massive and well-decorated Delegates' Convention, to officially endorsed its sole flagbearer, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, as the presidential candidate of the party.

The party survived what could be described as an alleged last minute political mafia by its apparent antagonist, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which tried unsuccessfully to scamper the function, held at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

Employing alleged covert and overt moves to thwart the efforts of the NDP from organising a successful congress, the ruling party almost succeeded in convincing some delegates from the Upper East, Volta and the Eastern regions to leave the rally grounds, by speculating that the former president and his wife would not make it to the congress.

It all started on Friday morning, when leading communicators of the NDC in the region posted various comments on their facebook walls, speculating that some delegates outside the Ashanti Region were complaining of lack of accommodation and food to eat.

They further alleged that the party, with the assistance of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), had bused senior high school students to fill the stadium in order to create the impression that the NDP had supporters across the country.

But, in spite of the alleged scheming, the executives of the NDP stood their grounds and ensured a successful organisation of the congress, which was not only well attended, but also colourful.

Before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, enthusiastic supporters of the party had already filled the VIP stance of the stadium, waiting anxiously for the arrival of the former first lady and her husband, Mr. Jerry John Rawlings.

When the couple finally made their entry into the stadium, it was all joy and excitement from the enthusiastic crowd of supporters and delegates present.

The former President, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the function, delivered yet another thunderbolt, taking on his progenies within the NDC for destroying the very principles and ideologies of the party.

His speech covered various aspects, including the loss of moral ground, the poor celebration of the party's 20th Anniversary, the alleged rigging of votes at the Sunyani congress, and why his wife decided to form the new party.

The former president also touched briefly on his recent meeting with the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, stressing on the various interpretations being given by members of the ruling NDC.

The National Chairman of the party, Dr. Josiah Aryeh, who was the first to deliver his speech, lamented how the ruling party tried desperately to scuttle the congress from being organised.

He also touched on the fact that the country was drifting through poor leadership, stating "that the captain of the ship is weak and must be changed."

Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings was formally endorsed as the presidential candidate of the party.

In her acceptance speech, which was mainly philosophical, the former first lady said she would put the concern of the people over politics, promising that she would ensure the principle of "People Over Politics," which she interpreted as reclaiming the meaning of genuine citizens' democracy, where the best ideas flow up from the communities, rather than being imposed by the ruling elite.

'People over politics means reclaiming the meaning of inclusive governance, starting from the grassroots; it means placing people (not politics) at the centre of our nation's development; it means restoring our sense of common purpose, increasing transparency and accountability," she stressed.

The former First Lady also promised to place high on her agenda, the issue of youth and women empowerment, emphasising that the greatest unexploited resources in the country were not the oil fields or goldfields, but rather women and the youth, who are denied education and shut off from playing a major role in our formal economy.

She also said her party would uphold the ideals and principles of former President Jerry John Rawlings.

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