Ghana’ most famous political couple has openly split over which way to go in the December elections. While former President Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has moved gingerly but steadily to endorse President John Mahama for the December 7 elections, his wife and Comrade, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, has intensified her campaign against her husband’s National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The couple had appeared to be singing from the same sheet before the demise of the late President J.E.A Mills, even though Mr Rawlings held a private meeting with President Mills at the Castle weeks before the latter’s demise.
Close watchers of the couple had stated that the two differed on how to relate with the NDC government.
However, till the assumption of NDC leadership position by President John Mahama, the couple had done remarkably well synchronizing their public pronouncements on the NDC.
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings had always been seen as the more hardliner in terms of adversarial attitude towards the NDC.
She had refused to have any dealing with her former party after she lost in the presidential primaries to the late President Mills.
According to former National Democratic Party (NDP) members, President Jerry Rawlings has been unenthusiastic about the formation of the NDP. He was not known to have attended any of the planning meetings, although he was at the party’s congress in Kumasi to publicly lend support.
Nana Konadu’s disqualification as presidential candidate by the Electoral Commission appears to have given her husband cause to be more forthright about his support for President John Mahama.
The President actually initiated the moves to bring Mr Rawlings back to the fold, but with Nana Konadu planning to contest the presidency, Mr Rawlings found himself in a difficult position.
Now Rawlings appears freer in his commendation of President John Mahama. Last week, he described him as a ‘winnable candidate’ in the upcoming elections, an elaboration of his earlier statement that President Mahama had brought a spark to the party’s campaign.
He also reiterated a point he had made earlier, that he suggested President Mahama as then candidate Mills’ vice presidential candidate in the 2004 elections.
Speaking in the same week in the Volta Region, however, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings asked her audience to vote out the NDC as they were doing the same things the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did when it was in government.
She accused the party of stealing, lying and showing disrespect. The former first couple, who came into political prominence nationally in June 1979 and have never contradicted each other publicly, now appear to feel comfortable marching to different drumbeats.