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Opinions Wed, 20 Apr 2011

Watch Out For Jerry Rawlings Surprise Comes July 8

From: Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada.

All of a sudden, news in Ghana these days are centered on the former president Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Yaa Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and their quest to win the National Democratic Congress NDC, presidential primary especially for the wife to contest the presidential election next year.

The former first couple is showing a lot of seriousness in grabbing the flag bearer ticket to contest the presidential seat next year as all can see how they have been campaigning vigorously for it.

Their no turning back campaign has shaken the foundation of the tax professor’s camp making his bid for a second slot a challenging one. Although the former first lady intention to contest President Mills at the primaries is healthy for democracy, it could be observed that it is creating a big headache for some hawks under the umbrella party now.

The tsunami of declarations all over the country in support of Professor Atta Mills in a bid to sway the former first lady from contesting the incumbent president gives indication that the party propagandists are sweating finding it difficult to solve their internal matters before taking the NPP on in the general elections.

Now things are appearing that the devil to deal with as far as Ghana politics is concern is not the main opposition party NPP as the NDC has made us to believe for sometime now. Rather the devil within which are the internal wrangling, accusations and counter accusations, back biting, factionalisms and favoritisms.

If the winner of the upcoming delegate congress could be determined on a face value as to who has a lot of followers, it could be easy for one to raise his hand and mention Professor Atta Mills looking at the way he has received a lot of supports through declarations from the national level, regional level to the ordinary Ghanaian on the street.

However those declarations are not creating any fear for Nana Yaa Konadu Agyemang Rawlings to back out from her bid to contest the incumbent president come the delegate congress in Sunyani on July 8.

Very much assured of her husband Jerry John Rawlings backing, the lady has made it clear that she was going to win and has since improved her campaign for the contest.

Former president Rawlings has been around for quite a long time now when one talks about Ghana politics. He metamorphose from military leader to a constitutional president so no one should doubt him if he claims he will win a bid for a contestant.

Readers should not forget that the same man bulldozed his way through the NDC party hierarchy to handpick the professor and imposed him on them as the party’s presidential candidate in 2000 elections at the popular Swedro declaration.

For reasons of not listening to him the founder of the NDC, Jerry Rawlings has fallen out with the incumbent president and aspiring flag bearer in 2012 election therefore throwing his support behind his wife to ensure that she defeats his former best choice for the flag bearer of the party Professor Atta Mills.

The question which is threatening the fortunes of professor Mills is where are the delegates who will vote on that day? Do they comprise of the national executives or regional executives who have been throwing declarations in the air everywhere they go? Will the percentage of these party executives making declarations be higher than that of the percentage of followers who are either quiet and keeping their votes secret?

Come to think of it members at the grassroots who are carrying the party at their back and selling the ideals of the party to the electorate in their constituents, wards, electoral areas, assemblies, hamlets and villages where are they?

The national executives as well as regional executives have been making declarations in support of the president but what about these party faithful who are going to form the higher percentage of the delegates that will cast their ballot in selecting a presidential candidate on that day?

That is where the chunk of the work lies for execution when it comes to campaigning for votes of delegates and the former president together with his wife have been carrying their message to them.

Let us cast our minds back to what happened in 2008 electioneering campaign and we will realize that was the strategy the former first couple used to defeat Nana Akuffo Addo and his elephant NPP in the general election.

I can bet with my last bottom “Loonie” that if not because of the hard work of the former president Rawlings, professor Atta Mills would have never defeated the NPP to emerge the president of the country.

Touring the country in his campaign bid for the professor, Jerry Rawlings made sure that whiles he was on campaign platform speaking to the electorates at Wa, professor Atta Mills was on campaign duty at Sunyani.

Whiles professor Mills was doing his door to door campaign at Cape Coast, Jerry Rawlings was also seriously appealing to voters at Koforidua and other constituencies in the Eastern Region to vote massively for the professor.

That is why certain politicians in the party are not happy about the rift between the former president and the incumbent president as they entertaining fears that without him professor Mills can not win the bid for NDC come 2012 general election.

What is Jerry Rawlings beef one may ask? No one can tell but trying to find an answer from his numerous complaints will point out to one thing. He did all that he could to carry the professor to power to reciprocate that gesture by giving his supporters appointment only to turn deaf ears on his calls.

Jerry Rawlings may not have a point as it will sound as dictating to the president as to what he should do against his free will of knowing what the best for the country is. But was president Atta Mills not aware that definitely something of that sort was going to come up when he was going to make the former president his chief campaign manager at that time?

The declarations have started to misfire on people said to be fully in support of the president against his would be main contestant with allegations of money used to induce party members to declare for Atta Mills.

Eastern regional executives declared their full support way ahead of the congress to professor Mills but as I said earlier on party faithful who are carrying the party far have made them to rescind their decision openly and apologized to the Rawlings’s meaning the area is now one’s world bank according to Daily Guides report filed by Thomas Fosu Junior from Koforidua.

Fellow readers, the Rawlings’s can pull a magic wand come the delegate congress which all must watch out trust me. See how Dr. Josiah Aryee and his national executives were removed by delegate congress.

I believe the Koforidua delegate congress where Jerry Rawlings supported Dr. Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketia and the rest to kick out Dr. Obed Asamoah from office as the national chairman of the party are still fresh on your mind.

If yes, then trust me that Jerry Rawlings is full of political strategies if when implemented can floor political giants so watch out for his surprises come July congress.

THE AUTHOR, STEPHEN ARMAH QUAYE, IS THE FORMER EASTERN REGIONAL REPORTER OF THE GHANAIAN CHRONICLE NOW A FREELANCE WRITER IN TORONTO-CANADA. HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS teemagi20o3@yahoo.com

Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.