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Politics Wed, 19 Nov 2014

Unite With JJ & Konadu or risk losing 2016

NDC Gurus Warn JM & Party

Despite suffering an embarrassment following the decision by delegates of the National Democratic Congress in the Greater Accra region to defy his orders and vote in a certain direction at the just ended congress, kingpins of the governing party are warning President Mahama and the governing party not to underestimate the political clout and influence of former President Rawlings.

According to these party gurus, contrary to claims that the NDC founder and his wife Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings have become a spent-force because the party retained power in the keenly contested 2012 elections without their participation, “the 2016 elections like every poll will come with its own dynamics requiring different strategies”.

Speaking to The aL-hAJJ in separate interviews on condition of anonymity after results from the Greater Accra regional elections showed Rawlings’ preferred candidates suffered humiliating defeats, they said “let us not use this as yardstick to dismiss the influence of our founder and his wife, we would be better off talking on how we reconcile with them as 2016 will be a different ball-game.”

Greater Accra regional delegates of the party last weekend shrugged off admonishment from the former President and NDC founder to vote out some incumbent executives including its chairman, Mr. Ade Coker. But the delegates overwhelmingly voted to retain him.

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This has led many sympathizers of the NDC proclaiming, especially on social media, that the party founder and his wife, Nana Konadu, who had earlier left to form her own party, National Democratic Party (NDP), as irrelevant in the advancement of the party.

But some party gurus disagree: “It is true that we won the 2012 election without the support of Rawlings and his wife, but the dynamics at the time was completely different from what may happen in 2016. We can’t continue to be fighting with our founder and his wife. It is in the interest of the NDC, especially President Mahama to reconcile the party with the founder and his family,” a party elder told The aL-hAJJ.

“Let’s even agree for a moment that Mr Rawlings and the wife Konadu are spent-force…have we for another moment put a thought if they decide together to rejuvenate the NDP going into 2016, and with Rawlings spearheading the NDP campaign? What do you think will be the chances of the NDC in 2016…? I know the NDP cannot win the 2016 elections but, imagine with Rawlings, if even they manage to make 2 or 3 percent of the votes in the 2016 elections that surely will end the NDC’s rule?”

Meanwhile, intelligence report reaching The aL-hAJJ indicates that Mr. Rawlings has been hinting close associate that if by June 2015 the President and the leadership of the party remained recalcitrant in reconciling the party, the ‘boom of all booms’ will start.

Sources at the Ridge residence of the former first family say, Mr. Rawlings is all but ready to dialogue with the NDC leadership to reunite and restore integrity to the party ahead of the 2016 elections, but “what the founder is not ready to do is to walk to the party begging.”

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The aL-hAJJ has gathered that the NDC founder and his wife, Nana Konadu “are ready to put the past behind them, reconcile the party to restore its core values of integrity, probity and accountability.”

This view found expression in the NDP chairman, Dr Josiah Aryeh’s speech when the party recently called on Nana Akufo Addo to congratulate him for winning the NPP presidential primaries: “We [NDP] have tried to approach the NDC but our stretched hands have never been reciprocated and there is nothing that we can do about it”, he stated.

A leading member of the party told The aL-hAJJ on the sidelines of the Greater Accra regional congress of the party at Dodowa over the weekend that, the party risks suffering irreparable political damage in the 2016 elections if it officials continue fighting the former first family.

“At this juncture what I think we should do is to bring back the founder and the wife into the party. I know some of my comrades would not agree to this but the fact still remains that he is our founder and Mrs Rawlings was once a first lady on the ticket of NDC. I agree that by their actions they have compromised their positions in the party, but how long are we going to hold on to these things in the name of pride? It has already happened so let us find ways to resolve our differences with our founder and the wife…”

The Rawlingses and the leadership of the NDC have been at loggerheads soon after the late Mills was sworn into office in 2009 over what the former described as the sidelining of core values of the party; probity, accountability and social justice.

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For what they described as moves to restore party values, Mrs. Rawlings with support from his hubby mounted a challenge to be elected as the party’s flag bearer for the 2012 elections at Sunyani but was walloped by late President Mills.

The former first lady then broke away from the NDC to found the National Democratic Party (NDP) in a botched attempt to contest the 2012 presidential elections.

Mr Rawlings, though claimed to have remained in the NDC, yet he failed/refused to support and campaign for the party even after President Mahama had been made presidential candidate after the death of Prof John Mills.

Indeed, Mr Rawlings, two days to the 2012 elections, was reported in the media not to be sure of which of the candidates he will vote for as president. His wife on the hand was also reported in the media to have endorsed Nana Akufo-Addo ahead of President John Mahama.

Since the NDC won the last election, the position of Mr Rawlings in a party founded on his ideals and principles has become something political pundits have been struggling to explain.

This prompted the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr, also a social commentator to rhetorically ask “Sometimes I just wonder…Where Mr. Rawlings does truly stand? In these 2016 elections, is he going to campaign for Nana Konadu, or he is going to campaign for an NDC candidate? Are we still going to have a situation in which Nana Akufo Addo will be paying courtesy calls on him in his house just as he did for the 2012 election? I don’t know”.

“Are we going to have a situation where he will go to the Volta Region and tell the Chiefs and people there not to be afraid of being under the leadership of Nana Akufo Addo? I don’t know, I’m just wondering.”

Source: Al-Hajj
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