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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has said the recent 35th anniversary ceremony of the 31st December revolution was not “an avenue to promote any individual’s political ambition or agenda”.
Shortly after the anniversary ceremony on Saturday at the Revolutionary Square in Accra, broadcaster Paul Adom-Otchere said the event was more or less used as a platform by Mr Goosie Tanoh, a cadre and former member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to re-launch his presidential bid on the ticket of the NDC.
Mr Tanoh broke ranks with the NDC in 1996 after Mr Rawlings, then president and flag bearer of the party, chose Prof John Evans Atta Mills as his running mate for that year’s election over the cadre who had worked closely with the former military leader and had been highly tipped for the position.
Speaking to Joy FM after Saturday’s anniversary ceremony, Mr Adom-Otchere said: “This is the re-launch of Goosie Tanoh’s presidential ambition; that’s what truly happened.”
Explaining his stance, Mr Adom-Otchere said: “Goosie Tanoh has been primed for the presidency within the workings of the cadre movement of the PNDC and NDC for a long time. The Professor Mills interruption and interference is what got Goosie off the path of inheriting the Rawlings political platform, and out of the Professor Mills interruption, President Mahama also emerged. And, so, Goosie had always been on the sidelines. In fact he returned in 2008 to help Professor Mills win, but has really been on the sidelines and I get the sense that he had been looking for the opportunity because he, all the time, had carried this narrative of probity and accountability and had become the hero of the cadres who actually built PNDC and NDC and the so called time tested values they have been talking about. So what I take out now really is that this certainly is a re-launch of Goosie Tanoh’s political and presidential ambition.”
The former president’s office, in a statement, however, said Mr Rawlings “wishes to inform the general public that the 35th anniversary event held at the Revolution Square last Saturday was not an avenue to promote any individual’s political ambition or agenda. The head of the anniversary planning committee for the June 4 and 31st December events has since been asked to step down. A new head will be announced after consultations with cadres and other planning committee members.”
Mr Tanoh was a founding member of the NDC. He served as the Executive Director of Finance and Administration of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation from 1989 to 1992. He was also a lecturer of law at the University of Ghana and board member of Ecobank. He served in the Consultative Assembly which wrote Ghana's 1992 constitution, as a representative of the grassroots-based Committee for the Defence of the Revolution. He was formerly Attorney-General in the Provisional National Defence Council junta led Mr Rawlings, and served as a member of Ghana's diplomatic delegation to the UN from 1986 to 1989.
He formed the NRP and contested in the 2000 presidential election, where he garnered 1.1 per cent of the national vote.
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