Pro-NDC group, 'Eastern Forum Network' has voiced its agreement with comments made by Ambassador Victor Smith about former president Jerry John Rawlings.
The former spokesperson of the Rawlingses in an interview with GhanaWeb’s Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng over the weekend had made several revelations about the founder of the NDC and also called on the party leadership to call him to order.
A group calling itself ‘Friends of the Rawlingses’ who were not pleased with Ambassador Smith’s comments have described him as a ‘shameless opportunist seeking cheap attention’ but the Eastern Forum Network thinks otherwise.
According to EFN, Ambassador Victor Smith's proposal to call Rawlings to order was in the right direction as the former president had breached many provisions in the party's constitution over and over again with impunity.
In a statement signed by the Winston Mills-Lamptey & Godsway Agbodo, the group urged party members "to see this crusade of calling our founder to order not only as the first step in our reorganization towards 2020 but as our civic and family responsibility of defending the constitution of the NDC".
Read the full statement below
EASTERN FORUM NETWORK RESPONDS TO SO-CALLED FRIENDS OF THE RAWLINGSES
Ever since Ambassador Smith granted that interview in which he sought to lay bare what constituted the reasons for Mr. Rawlings’ treacherous conduct, some amorphous group obviously comprising, those in their zone of hero worshippers, doing their hatchet bidding to destabilize the NDC, has risen in defense with basically no facts to substantiate their vague claims.
The group sought to create an impression that Amb. Smith’s positive-defiant confrontation of this long-standing negative attitude of our founder, which has been our Achilles heel for a while now, was intended to damage the reputation of the Rawlingses.
In sharp contrast, we humbly state that the harm that Mr. Rawlings and his wife have done to their own selves and political interest both locally and internationally is worse than what anyone would want to do to them either now or in future.
From the barrage of misguided utterances against the NDC especially after the Sunyani 3% Disaster, through the formation of the NDP and how he continued to stab the NDC in the back, to how he refused to support the campaign of 2016 but featured to baselessly paint Candidate Mahama black at the least opportunity, one is left with no other choice than to describe him as being BITTER.
Those of us who respect the constitution of our party, remain true AKATAMANSONIANS (not NDC by mouth and NDP by deed) and wish the party well, believe Ambassador Smith spoke for the overwhelming silent majority of us during the said interview especially by calling on the former President to come clean.
Our NDC constitution enjoins all well-meaning members in Article 39(a), (b) and (c) inter alia, to FAITHFULLY ensure the unity and cohesion of the party, defend the name and its decisions and to show loyalty to it AT ALL TIMES. The framers in Article 40(b) cautioned vehemently against "anti-Party conduct or activities likely to embarrass the party or bring the Party into hatred, ridicule, or contempt”.
Clearly, Mr. Rawlings has breached these provisions again and again WITH IMPUNITY and yet we all sit aloof.
We, of the Eastern Forum Network (EFN), are of the view that the party is bigger than any individual and for that matter the cult that Mr. Rawlings intends to sustain in the party to cause needless embarrassment and ridicule, must be met with the force that it deserves and crushed once and for all, at least, in defence of our constitution.
Sadly, “Friends of the Rawlingses” could not prod Ambassador Smith but rather decided to criticise him for the decision to contest in the Parliamentary Elections of 2012 and 2016 on the ticket of the NDC in the Abuakwa North constituency.
To set that record straight, Akyem Abuakwa is Nana Akufo-Addo’s backyard; home of the main Opposition Leader in those elections. He had held that seat in the name of the NPP for many years as the region’s foremost political figure given his rich ancestral lineage. That constituency was and had always been a no-go area for the NDC. The party had always struggled to even field a candidate there.
In 2012, when Amb. Smith decided to step in, it was like a “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” or better still “David and Goliath” episode. Although he failed to capture the seat on both occasions, the electoral records today, show clearly that Victor Smith’s presence in that very constituency has boosted the support base of the NDC and grounded it firmly for possible victory, regardless of who leads it in subsequent elections.
Again, “Friends of the Rawlingses” group is clearly destitute of the fact that the Abuakwa north constituents still remain thankful to Victor Smith for the path of development he carved for them to change the face of that constituency.
It is also worth noting for the sake of the records that Mr. Victor Smith is not one of those politicians who simply became a ‘somebody’ because of politics. Indeed, he is a well-educated gentleman in the strictest sense of the word who had his education at St. Augustine’s College in Cape Coast and in the United Kingdom. He holds an MBA from the Cardiff Business School, University of Wales, UK and a BSc. (Hons) in Maritime Studies from the same university.
His career life did not begin at the office of the Rawlingses. Among the many positions he had held were the following:
1. Senior Analyst, Volta Lake Transport Co.
2. Field Sales Manager, Leyland Motors Ghana Ltd.
3. General Manager, SABEL Timber Co. Ltd.
4. Administrative Officer, Dept. of Social Security – United Kingdom (UK)
5. Consultant, State Enterprises Commission
From a family of well-nurtured and educated professionals; his father was a fine Police Officer who rose to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police to become the Greater Accra Regional Commissioner (an equivalent of a Regional Minister) in the NLC government. His cousin, Lt. General J.H. Smith was an Army Commander long before he was appointed Defense Minister under the NDC and later, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America.
Yes, Victor Smith may have become popular on the Ghanaian scene through his association with the Rawlingses but CERTAINLY NOT one of those people that anyone could describe as, a “riff-ruff-turned-somebody’’ through politics.
In any case, knowing the Rawlingses, would they have brought ‘just anybody’ to play a role as high and sensitive as a Spokesperson and Special Aide to them???
Whilst with them, Victor Smith worked tirelessly for the Rawlingses especially during the Kufuor era and was instrumental in averting a botched attempt by the goons of that era to invade the privacy of JJ Rawlings. This singular effort was very much appreciated by Rawlings himself in those good old days.
We, therefore, call on all well-meaning AKATAMANSONIANS to see this crusade of calling our founder to order not only as the first step in our reorganization towards 2020 but as our civic and family responsibility of defending the constitution of the NDC.
Winston Mills-Lamptey & Godsway Agbodo
Eastern Forum Network
27 - 03 - 2018