Rawlings dodges NDC again
As was widely expected, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday endorsed President John Dramani Mahama as its flag bearer for the 2012 general elections. But it was ex-President Jerry John Rawlings who stole the show by keeping the NDC in suspense with regard to his role in its campaign agenda.
The former President once again left NDC supporters wondering exactly what he had up his sleeves as he failed to declare whether or not he would join President Mahama’s campaign wagon.
In a 15-minute address, Flt.-Lt. Rawlings, the founder of the NDC who has been at loggerheads with his party folks for a long time, spoke in parables to an overly enthusiastic crowd that kept cheering him on at the Special Delegates’ Congress held at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region ? heartland of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He, however, seemed to suggest by his proverbial language of throwing away the baby with the bathwater, and rotten planks on a wooden bridge, that it would be best to get rid of the so-called “greedy bastards” as a way of cleansing the NDC to appease him.
He seemed to suggest that he would take a backseat and allow “those waiting at home and abroad” for the NDC’s victory before getting on board to also jump in the fray and taste how hard it is to get in the woods. He said the time has come for them to also wake up and hit the campaign trail.
Mr Rawlings is said to have campaigned for the NDC’s victory in the 2008 elections sometimes at night. And in an apparent reference to this, he said those waiting at home and abroad should also taste how hard it is to campaign at midnight and at 3am.
But he gave President Mahama a lifeline in one of the clearest points he made, pointing out to him that his “first hurdle towards being an elected president” was getting the endorsement of the delegates. Beyond that, he told the President that, the scheme for marking his script would include “how quickly you can restore integrity to the presidency,” the government and to the NDC too.
For over three years, he did not steer away from his usual criticisms that the party had gone astray from its core principles of probity, integrity and accountability. Mr Rawlings’ appearance at the special delegates’ congress was initially in doubt but once he appeared, he was cheered on by party faithfuls, especially during his speech. e congress without his beloved wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, who contested late President John Atta Evans Mills at the Sunyani primaries congress in July 2011.
Uncharacteristic of him, Mr Rawlings was at the congress without his beloved wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, who contested late President John Atta Evans Mills at the Sunyani primaries congress in July 2011.
Political pundits assign the conspicuous absence of Nana Konadu to the probability of her clandestinely nursing the ambition of leading the National Democratic Party (NDP), the newly-formed break-away party from the NDC. The NDP was reportedly invited to deliver a solidarity message as was done by the NPP, the Convention People’s Party, People’s National Convention and a motley of minor parties.
The atmosphere was different this time, as contrary to what happened in Sunyani, party supporters were allowed into the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. It would be recalled that the Sunyani congress was a tense event during which only delegates were allowed into the stadium.
As many had expected, yesterday’s congress ended with President Mahama securing the he founder here means that the disagreement is over…I am not that naive.”
He told the crowd that the party’s task was to work together to consolidate the healing of the wounds of the party through the symbolic appearance of Mr Rawlings. Leading by example, he said: “I pledge to open the door of opportunity to re-cement the bond of unity that bound the party together; I will do everything possible to restore the confidence” that the followers of the party have reposed in the leadership.