THE BEAUTY and total peace that characterized the National Democratic Congresses (NDC) congress at Sunyani last Saturday was marred at the last minute of the event when the party’s founder, Jerry John Rawlings, left the congress grounds before the event officially came to a close.
Minutes after President Mills was adjudged the winner of the tension-packed elections for the NDC flagbearer for the 2012 polls, Mr. Rawlings dashed to him and shook hands with him.
Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, who lost the elections to President Mills, followed her husband’s lead by also moving to the other side of the dais where a jubilant-looking Prof Mills was standing, to shake his hand.
The instant uproar and shouts by jubilant NDC followers that followed this significant spectacle nearly shook the entire foundation of the Coronation Park at Sunyani. Shocked and utterly surprised about the Rawlingses’ actions, President Mills and all the other high-ranking members of the NDC were seen smiling in admiration.
NDC members at the event grounds were also seen displaying their party paraphernalia, amid shouts of “Papa J Papa J”, with others yelling that “we have shamed our enemies who said we would be divided.”
But the shouts of joy among the NDC members were short-lived as Mr. Rawlings shocked everybody at the congress venue, including President Mills, by marching straight from the dais to his car whilst the programme was still ongoing.
After the hand-shaking incident, Mr. Rawlings then lifted the hand of President Mills to the cheering crowd to signify victory in the important elections for President Mills.
Minutes after that, Mr. Rawlings called his wife Nana Konadu, and the two leading personalities and their close aides marched to their waiting car which was parked at the VIP section of the car park.
Mr. Rawlings’ departure came just as President Mills was about to deliver his acceptance speech. The sudden turn of events naturally affected the psyche and delivery of President Mills.
President Mills was full of high hopes when he was declared winner; however, his body language indicated shock and sadness after the Rawlingses’ departure. It was not only President Mills who displayed signs of sadness over the Rawlingses’ departure but the entire NDC fans that had travelled from far and near were also hugely hit by the development.
The shouts and cheers of victory also died down completely following the Rawlingses’ exit. After the event, NDC fans were seen standing in groups late in the night discussing whether the Rawlingses’ action was an indication that they were leaving the party.
Source: Joe Awuah, Morgan Owusu & Fred Amoako, Sunyani
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