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Mills, Rawlings Must Continue To Dialogue- Triddles   
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Mr Alfred Kojo Triddles, the Coordinator of the Media Analysts Group, a group sympathetic to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is urging President J.E.A Mills and former President J.J. Rawlings to continue talks aimed at resolving their differences for the sake of party unity and progress, ahead of the 2012 polls.

Reacting to a reported meeting between the two NDC leaders, Mr Triddles described the move as a morale booster for the teeming supporters of the party who are all worried about their strained relationship.

According to him, an end to the impasse between the former and the current president would further improve the fortunes of the party ahead of the 2012 elections.

He, however, cautioned, saying the former president instead of being actively involved in the campaign should rather take a back seat to prevent credibility crisis for the party.

Former President Rawlings was reported to have met President Mills last week at the Castle to welcome him back from his routine medical check-up visit to the US.

The former President was not in the country when the president returned and therefore used the opportunity to call on him to wish him well.

The two who met behind closed doors were reported to have discussed issues of mutual interest and also developments in the NDC, particularly as the 2012 elections draw closer.

Reports of the meeting of the two NDC stalwarts came as a surprise to many since the former president had not failed to consistently criticise the Mills administration for what he describes as the government’s departure from the principles that brought the party into power in 2008.

The bad blood was also manifested in the decision of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings’ to contest the NDC’s flag bearer race against President Mills last year.

That was the first time a sitting Ghanaian President had to win his /her party’s nomination through the ballot via a keen internal contest. The convention had been for the ruling party to acclaim a sitting President for a second term.

Since then, there had been a few smiles and a lot of jabs from President Rawlings and some uncharitable words from President Mills’s camp.

That, Mr Triddles noted, could be the party’s undoing if the former President joins the NDC’s campaign trail because “everybody in this country can testify that he said so many negative things about the government.”

“My fear is that he coming back is in the right direction and good for the party but what is he going to tell Ghanaians?” he asked.

He observed that Ghanaians were now discerning and suggested that “let us have him as our beloved founder of the party, but in this election, the campaign team has already been formed.”

“As much as we respect him as a founder, we will also appreciate it if he takes a back seat in the party’s campaign,” he said.

That notwithstanding, Mr Triddles said the decision of former President Rawlings and President Mills to seek a common ground in the interest of the NDC was a good move for the party’s progress.

“No matter what, former President Rawlings has a huge mass appeal among the youth within the party. When the misunderstanding between the founder and President Mills heightened, the party’s supporters at the grassroots said they would not vote for the NDC or the NPP.”

“Now that he is getting on talking terms with the President, it is going to boost the morale of the youth who have already decided they are not going to vote because their mentor is Jerry John Rawlings,” he said.

He was optimistic that supporters of the party across the country would be further motivated by the action of the two leaders to move the party forward.

“We have a brighter chance because for about four or five months to the 2012 election, the two are getting on well.”

“It is indeed good news, because we have been to villages where supporters are asking us to patch the differences between the two and now that they are hearing about it, it is good for the party,” he said.

The recent formation of the National Democratic Party, said to be the machination of some unhappy members of the NDC, has generated a lot of controversy.

The party, according to the rumour mill, has the blessing of the Rawlingses.

But Mr Triddles discredited what he described as speculations and unfounded.

“Rawlings will be the last person to go and form another party because he formed the NDC. He told us some time ago that he wouldn’t form another and leave the NDC but rather, he will be with the party and see others leave.”

He, therefore, rallied supporters of the party and urged them to be energised by the recent development and trumpet the achievement of the NDC.

“A house divided against itself can never win its battle. They should all come together so that on December 7 we will all vote to keep the party in power for a second term,” he said.
Source: Seth J. Bokpe/D-Graphic

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