The upcoming national delegates’ congress of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to elect new national executives has taken an interesting twist, founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings is contemplating contesting the post of National Chairman in order to help restore sanity and discipline in the affairs of his party and the nation in general.
Strange as this may sound, Ghana’s former President, Jerry John Rawlings, who is said to be worried about the regrouping of opposition elements in the country with the sole purpose of hiding behind economic hardship to topple the infant Mahama administration, might be getting ready to comeback to mainstream politics.
JJ, as he is popularly called, according to impeccable sources close to him and the party, is also incensed at what he sees as ‘indiscipline” in both government and party which is believed to have strengthened the opposition elements in the country and presented them a field day to mount vicious attacks on the ruling party and government with the intent of using whatever means necessary to oust the Mahama administration.
This extraordinary decision by the former president, is part of an elaborate ‘rescue mission’ by Mr Rawlings to restore the party’s core values of probity, accountability and social justice and also to bring to a halt incessant vicious attacks from the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and their cohorts against his party and the President. Though three party stalwarts, incumbent chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, NADMO Coordinator and first vice chairman, Mr Kofi Portuphy and Ambassador Dan Kwasi Abodakpi, have so far expressed their readiness to battle for the post, the ‘entrance’ of Chairman Rawlings, their former boss, our sources say, may force all the three to rescind their decision.
While the former military strongman is yet to firm up his decision, some potential delegates including polling station, constituency, regional and national executives this paper spoke to said, they will crown their founder with a 99.9% endorsement if he puts himself up for the post.
“Even though our father has over the years abandoned us, I’ll be more than glad to endorse him as leader of our party if he decides to contest for national chairman. I’ll personally campaign for him and advocate that as a mark of respect for him, all those who have declared their intension to contest the post shelve their plans,” a national officer who spoke on condition of anonymity noted.
A constituency executive in one of the constituencies in the Greater Accra region ecstatically stated “If JJ decides to be chairman of our party today; I’ll cut short my support for Portuphy and endorse him to help stop this wicked attack by the NPP on us. When JJ was active in our party affairs, did you see or hear NPP members do the kind of vicious things they are doing to us today?”
Surprisingly, many of the party’s old guards variously referred to as “greedy bastards” and “old evil dwarfs” are said to be relishing this supposed move by their ‘master’ and are heartily waiting for the day Chairman Rawlings (as he is affectionately called by the cadres) will enter the battlefield and help restore some semblance of discipline and order in the party and the government.
One of the old guards who has been at the forefront of the party’s scaly struggle to power in 2008, said, the present state of the NDC needs an indomitable character in the mould of Jerry Rawlings to lead the party and whip everybody in line in order to ensure that the social democratic agenda is executed for the progress of the nation.
“Regardless of what happened in the past, Chairman Rawlings stands out as one of the most charismatic political figures not only in our party but in Ghana as a whole and his chairmanship will let our party stand on its feet again…. His mere presence alone as Chairman will send these rogue opposition elements into obscurity,” the NDC old guard asserted.
Ask if Mr Rawlings needed to be Chairman to bring the kind of sanity he desired in the party especially when his coveted position as “Founder” makes him the automatic Chairman of the party’s Council of Elders, the respected NDC elder stated that, “being a party Chairman brings you directly into the day to day running of the party than being chairman of advisory body such as Council of Elders.”
Some party insiders also said, though the former President’s decision may seem to be “political retrogression, it is the mark of a good father to descend from his high position to help his children put their house in order when the going gets tough.”
The ruling party, apart from battling with internal wrangling, is also buffeted with ruthless attacks from opposition elements for what they claimed as mismanagement of the economy, leading to general hardship in the country.
Even as some of the criticisms against the infant Mahama administration may be genuine, the NDC founder has consistently berated members of the NPP for lacking the moral high ground to censor the government, insisting, most of the present difficulties could be traced to them. As precursor to his “rescue mission”, Mr Rawlings is said to have ordered his wife, Nana Konadu, to disband her party, the National Democratic Party, and kick start processes to whip all its members back into the NDC fold.
President Rawlings is said to have sympathized with the Ghanaian public for the raging economic hardship, the source told The Al-Hajj that the former President still believes in his earlier claims that the current economic crisis and the Cedi depreciation can be traced to policies under the Kufuor era. He still has the strong conviction that the redenomination of the currency is the major cause of the currency instability that we are experiencing now and it is incumbent on the NDC government to educate Ghanaians on the mismanagement of the national economy under the eight years of NPP administration.
In a recent statement marking the 35th anniversary of June 4 uprising, Rawlings accused his successor John Kufuor and his NPP government of being responsible for the present economic hardship in the country. He attributed the situation to the 2007 redenomination of the country’s currency, the cedi by Kufuor government.
“I have said over and over again that Kufuor is responsible for setting in motion the moral and economic crisis that we are experiencing today, and I will say it again today. The investigation that Mills should have initiated never took place. But today let me give one very visible and concrete example of Kufuor’s mismanagement that we are all feeling the effects of.” “…When Kufuor’s government removed four naughts from the cedi, he overnight abolished the people’s economy. He abolished the people’s economy because he abolished the means to exchange goods below the value of 1,000 old Cedis,” Rawlings bemoaned.
Unable to further stomach the NPP “nonsense”, Mr Rawlings is reported to be rolling up his sleeves to whisk his party from the present difficulties and threats by securing the National Chairman post.
It is however, not clear if Mr Rawlings’ latest decision was what informed his spokesperson and deputy General Secretary, Kofi Adams, to have hinted his readiness to quit as his official spokesperson.
Kofi Adams, who has expressed his intention to contest the party’s National Organizer post, recently said unlike his current position as deputy General Secretary that allows him to combine the two jobs efficiently and effectively, that will not be the case when elected as national organizer.”
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