The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has not yet opened nominations for who gets elected to lead the Party for the 2012 general elections, but the Daily Guide newspaper reports that various schemers in the Party are employing different tactics to position themselves to boost their chances to oust President Atta Mills from the race.
Reports monitored on Adom FM yesterday gave indications that one of such strategic moves was unveiled in Anyinam in the Atiwa constituency of the Eastern Region on Sunday during a rally to end campaigning for today’s by-election.
Some supporters and members of the NDC, as well as brass band groups, were spotted wearing T-shirts that sought to promote the cause of Vice President John Dramani Mahama for the 2012 general elections. Checks have established that the green Lacoste T-shirts which bore a big picture of John Mahama, with an inscription ‘Great Success Winning NDC’, were distributed by the Eastern Regional Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo.
Though he confirmed giving out the T-shirts to the party supporters, Ofosu Ampofo said they were not meant to promote John Mahama’s presidential ambition as the party’s flag-beater but to enable them to campaign for the NDC to win the Atiwa by-elections, adding that the T-shirts were leftovers of those printed and used in the 2008 elections, when John Mahama was the running-mate to Prof Atta Mills.
Ofosu-Ampofo denied the T-shirt bearing any inscription which sought to further the ambition of the Vice President, saying “it’s an old stock, I printed plenty of them.” Efforts to reach Spokesman for the Vice President, John Abdulai Jinapor proved unsuccessful since his phone was “switched off or out of coverage area.”
But with this subtle campaign, Kwesi Pratt Jnr is raising alarm that the move was undermining President Atta Mills who has indicated his interest to contest the 2012 polls.The jostle for the presidency is on the blind side of the President, according to Kwesi Pratt.
It is not clear whether any such decision is likely to be informed by campaigns by people like Sekou Nkrumah, Ras Mubarak and a host of others who argue that Mills should not lead the NDC to the 2012 election for fear of losing since, according to them, he has not proven to be a strong leader who could pull Ghanaians along.
But the Ahwoi brothers, led by Ato Ahwoi, who is seen as the head of the Mills ‘kitchen cabinet,’ considering his closeness and influence on the President, are leaving nothing to chance as they are said to be working vigorously to get their younger brother, Kwesi Ahwoi, to be elected as the NDC’s presidential candidate in case Prof. Mills does not run for the position, or at least to be the running mate to John Mahama.
But the flyers are not down yet on the founder’s wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings. Close associates of the former first lady say she is still actively in the race, though she is trying to play it safe in order not to draw unnecessary attention to herself since Mills has some mileage to go.
Just last week, aide to former President Jerry Rawlings, Kofi Adams, said former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings was more than qualified to lead the NDC to election 2012.
A similar campaign was mounted for Konadu at the June 4 celebration in Tamale, where a youth group from the Ashanti region displayed a banner with the inscription, ‘movement for Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings 2012 president'.
Although some political analysts believe the banner was a confirmation of her quest to lead the party, Nana Konadu has since kept quiet over the issue, making room for more speculations.
Kofi Adams however, says Nana Konadu has very good qualities to be a leader, adding that “if she is our flagbearer, there is no reason why we cannot win the elections in 2012."
Even though the 62-year-old woman has not stated categorically whether she will contest or not, there is a supposition that she wants to.
Meanwhile, the former first lady has intensified her efforts by undertaking grassroots projects through her 31st December Women’s Movement and closer relationship with the youth of the party to boost her chances.
Some have also hinted that there are talks between the Konadu and John Mahama camps for John to consider Konadu as the running mate in case Mills does not seek re-election.
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