THERE is the contentious issue doing the rounds as to the obvious drift of the National Democratic Congress party disengaging itself from its founder and leader, Mr. Jerry John Rawlings.
And there was no forum where the spectacle was obvious other than the 6th March Golden Jubilee Anniversary, held in front of close to 70,000 or more cheering audience at the Independence Square in Accra.
But before the party’s presidential hopeful Professor John Evans Atta Mills and his moderate bunch of NDC caucus could accept to step foot at the Square, there had been backdoor underhand deliberations of verbal nature.
According to insider sources within the Party, a steady stream party executive hot-heads considered to be skin-on-head party faithfuls, actually stood by Rawlings’ idea of boycotting the anniversary celebrations.
It had been a heated debate among the NDC caucus, as they sank their teeth pretty deep into the carcass of the over-flogged issue of honouring the anniversary celebration or not, until there was the evidential split as to which group would go and which would not.
In the end the Atta Mills group, drawing into its fold Dr. Mrs Mary Grant, Party Chairman Dr. Kwabena Adjei, General Secretary Asiedu Nketiah, ex-presidential hopeful Mr. Eddie Annan and a column of other friends in the same pool, decided very finally to honour the invitation.
According to deep-throat NDC sources, Prof. Mills had to exorcise the ghost of his careless statement of consulting Mr. Rawlings 24 hours in a day, first made in 2000.
And indeed the Professor really seized the opportunity by the scruff of the neck, and even beat President John Agyekum Kufuor to it with the wearing of Kente and a jumper.
And with Atta Mills went a host of the supporters of the party, who, unlike J.J. Rawlings, felt that it was a chance in a life-time opportunity for the NDC to redeem itself.
Back at Ridge Hospital, a fuming, raving and ranting Rawlings was barking even loudly atop of his voice complaining of a betrayal by the very man had had handed the baton to in 2000.
Now faced with what chess game Rawlings can play, the Atta Mills faction that screeched past the Rawlings caucus to honour the celebration is hard at work, beating a fine path towards the heart of the party leader in a bid to explain issues.
But even before the faction could start the journey, INSIGHT editor and Committee for Joint Action executive member Kwesi Pratt has lambasted the hypocrites within the NDC, as opportunists who need not be relied upon. True to form, Mr. Pratt and J. J. Rawlings were notably absent from the celebrations. And so be that as it may, Mr. Rawlings is being impressed upon to sit at his Ridge office to meet with yet another group of elders, this time within the NDC, after he last received the emissaries of the President of the Republic, last February.
Will Atta Mills lead the breakaway group to apologise and explain to Rawlings? As the good Professor and party executives sat to contemplate the move, a slap and a snub have landed on their wrists all the way from the Ridge residence of the Rawlingses.
THE SUN’s Nigeria correspondent last Friday called to inform our deputy Editor that, he was aboard the airline with Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, the former First Lady, heading for Northern Nigeria, Kano.
The Atta Mills delegation on the explanation mission may soon find out to their chagrin that, meeting Rawlings minus the influential Nana Konadu is just like having an encounter with Jesus Christ minus the Holy spirit