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Opinions Sun, 15 May 2011

NDC: Let The Current Wranglings Play Out

By Margaret Jackson

One person does not have it all. Again, one person does not possess everything. I am talking about big ideas, excellent leadership qualities, integrity and composure. You may have some of these qualities but not all. Which is why bringing together a consortium of people to undertake any venture is vital towards its success. Leaders who have possessed most of these qualities have been considered special breeds because they come on board once every century.

The NDC has come of age whereby the party is far, far bigger, better and brighter than one individual. The party has grown into a terrestrial stage where it can no longer allow just one individual to have swagger and ultimate voice over the party. It is a party with many knowledgeable people than one can think of. But over the years most of these highly regarded individuals who did the heavy lifting in Rawlings’ administration, have been made to play chicken roles instead of becoming hawks thus allowing the Rawlings and his petty, fickle minded wife Konadu to bamboozle members of the party and cowing them into submission.

It is on record that Rawlings is the only Ghanaian leader who has had the luck to be served in his administration by people from the entire political divide in Ghana. Rawlings had politicians from CPP, NPP, PNC, Reform Party and others serving him at one point in time. Even former President Kufour served him at a point in time. But the big question is where are all these people, some of them who left their education and gainful employment to follow Rawlings. I do not want to belabor readers by saying that due to the appalling behavior of Konadu, Rawlings is feuding with almost everybody who has ever served under his administration.

The way the Rawlingses have treated members of the NDC has forced many credible and well-meaning members of the party to be on the sidelines much to the detriment and growth of the party. The Rawlingses have a simple philosophy, its either their way or the highway. Those who cannot contain the Rawlingses incessant control freaking attitude have even left the party. Konadu is on record to have compelled GBC to sack her own sister Nana Yaa Agyemang over a small family feud. And to add insult to injury when Nana Yaa was later employed by Construction Pioneers (CP) as a Public Relations Manager, Konadu again showed her ugly face and petty instinct by threatening to have CP’s contracts with the government cancelled if they did not fire Nana Yaa. It is sad to say that CP had no other option than to let Nana Yaa, a much more gracious lady than Konadu, go.

The second fiddle role that have been played by members of the NDC over the years may have given the Rawlingses a false sense of conclusion that the party belongs to them and that whatever they say must be taken to the bank by members of the party. It is against this backdrop that Rawlings immediately attempted to jump into the saddle when President Mills won the 2008 election with the view of directing him on what to do and what not to do. Rawlings may have falsely judged the barometer at the time by attempting to hide behind the scenes and instruct President Mills on who to appoint to his administration, who to arrest, persons he should ignore and even what he President Mills should eat. But when Rawlings hit a snag by realizing that President Mills was acting as his own man with greater conscience than he has, Rawlings felt ‘betrayed’ and decided to run President Mills’ government aground. It was therefore no wonder that just two months into President Mills’

administration, Rawlings started pounding on the president with so many silly requests and accusations one of them being that President Mills has abandoned the NDC foot soldiers by not employing them in his administration. Rawlings ruled Ghana for almost two decades with most of these foot soldiers acting as cadres and volunteers. He did nothing for them. I mean Rawlings cared less about their welfare which is why most of them are still unemployed. Even members of Rawlings own security detail, people who laid down their lives for his comfort are penniless and walking on the streets of Accra with nothing to show about for all what they did for this self-seeking holier than thou man who thinks he is the smartest being God ever produced in Ghana. If Rawlings had found something for these foot soldiers to do during the time that he ruled Ghana, would they have been unemployed today? How can you rule Ghana for almost 20 years and not found any gainful employment for these party foot soldiers and then think that President Mills should do it in two months during his administration.

Initially when Rawlings was rambling all over many NDC people thought that he had genuine concerns that must be addressed until it surfaced that he was doing that to pave way for his terrible wife Konadu in 2012. I remember Rawlings who claims to be the most pious and truth telling person ever to walk in Ghana telling the whole world last year that none of the members of his family wants to contest for the presidency or challenge President Mills for the 2012 flagbearership. What has changed now and can Rawlings come out and update Ghanaians on what he said last year when people questioned him about what he was doing behind the scenes to pave the way for Konadu.

President Mills may be moving slowly but surely this man has changed the face of the NDC party. Many NDC gurus who stood by Rawlings during his revolutionary years through his presidency but were chased out of the party by his vicious wife Konadu are now back to the party working hard to bring economic relief to Ghanaians. President Mills, a law professor who has thought almost 70 percent of lawyers operating in Ghana today, has through his believe in the rule of law changed the face of the NDC party. The respect that President Mills enjoy even from the opposition due to his adherence to the rule of law has brought home many NDC faithful who deserted the party. And this is something that is ticking off the Rawlingses big time. They cannot comprehend that they have lost ground and even the little respect they have in the NDC is fleeting away from them, hence their decision to bring Konadu, a discarded rug in party, to the rescue.

But the Rawlingses did a terrible unpardonable political miscalculation this time round. They never thought that their time is past and that the NDC has moved on them. The Rawlingses thought they still enjoy the uncontested respect and glow in the NDC only for them to have the biggest shock when Konadu launched her dubious presidential campaign last week. The NDC party members demonstrated that they have had enough of the Rawlingses by refusing to honour her invitation to her presidential launch. There were not even five credible members of the NDC present leading Rawlings to be crestfallen when he went to the launch. This should have sent a strong signal that the days when the Rawlingses held swagger on the political turf in Ghana is over. Their political myth is broken so they should take a back seat. But bolshie Konadu wants to soldier on.

I am very gratified that bolshie Konadu is soldiering on to a humiliating defeat at the pending NDC congress that will forever free the NDC from the political tenterhooks of the Rawlingses. I can bet my coin that judging from the way all the NDC political heavyweights rallied behind President Mills when he launched his campaign to contest for the party’s flagbearership in 2012, bolshie Konadu would have to thank her stars if even she garners 5 percent of the votes at the congress. One thing bolshie Konadu is failing to recognize is that party members who came to her launch are not delegates who will not be voting during the congress.

Facing an imminent humiliating defeat, now the bolshie Konadu’s camp is throwing the old time communist guerrilla inferior face-saving tactics around that President Mills is spending a whopping amount of money to contest her in the primaries. Who is bolshie Konadu at all for President Mills to waste that amount of money to contest her? And their second lying bomb going round is that their camp is being chased away from delegates who will sign off on her nomination forms. Many people are surprised to hear this from bolshie Konadu’s camp because this lady who has stepped on every big toe in Ghana says she is much more popular than President Mills. Therefore, if bolshie Konadu is very popular as she claims, why is she getting difficulties in getting her nomination forms signed?

Bolshie Konadu and her tyrant husband Rawlings are smelling defeat in the air. They can feel it. And they can also sense it based on the numbers on the ground which does not favour them. Their lies are not working to their advantage this time around. And they are looking for an end game; a game that will bring them a face saving act in the midst of a pending humiliating defeat. That is why the bolshie Konadu’s camp is lying about the amount of money being used to defeat her and the difficulties of getting her nomination forms signed. What is going to happen is that if bolshie Konadu decides to go ahead and contest for the flagbearership and gets real jabbing plus upper hooks from President Mills and tumbles, her camp will come out and claim that the defeat is due to the amount of money spent. On the other hand if bolshie Konadu decides to chicken out by failing to submit her nomination forms, her camp will blame it on her members being prevented from putting their signatures on her nomination forms. In any case what is happening in the NDC will be a good thing for the party in the long run. In fact if bolshie Konadu is beaten soundly by President Mills during the congress, the party will stand tall whilst the Rawlingses will diminish tremendously. And the diminished stature of the Rawlingses will greatly help the party to forge ahead and rebuild to greater heights. It will also free the party from the incessant ranting from Rawlings who will see his respect and stature tumble in the party. One thing that Rawlings who had been a control freak and still is, cannot stand is seeing his influence in the NDC tumble. But NDC will be bigger and better and be able to pursue its Better Ghana Agenda only if the Rawlingses decrease whilst the NDC party increases.

magjackson80@yahoo.com

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret