Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described the newly elected leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a combination of “the good, the bad and the ugly.”
In an exclusive interview with Jonathan Donkor of the Ghanaian Times newspaper, Mr Rawlings declined to put the individuals into the aforementioned categories except to say the combination was not uncommon.
He was a “little disturbed” about the absence of an indigene of the Volta Region amongst the new frontline leaders, although the region was deemed the ‘world bank’ of the party.
The founder of the NDC was sharing his impression of the party’s just ended National Delegates’ Congress during which, after a marathon election, a new crop of leaders were chosen.
A former vice chairperson of the party, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo grabbed the chairmanship after a keen contest with four other stalwarts of the party.
The incumbent general secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, popularly called “General Mosquito”, defeated his deputy, Koku Anyidoho to retain the position he had held for a decade.
The entire congress, the former President said was “not too bad, not too good”, as a result of which the calibre of leaders were elected by the about 9,000 delegates.
He expressed his disapproval of what he described as the use of money to “corrupt the sanctity of the right of choice” at the various elections in the party adding that; “the misuse of money has undermined the force of our conviction.”
The practice, he said had been going on since the late former President John Evans Atta Mills’ leadership and had worsened today.
“The use of money to corrupt the sanctity of the right of choice is one of the worst mistakes we could have ever made,” he pointed out.
Former President Rawlings took the opportunity to clarify his unexpectedly short “one sentence message” delivered at the congress.
At the Congress, he said “I can imagine we would wish to bring back the spirit of the old days. But that can only happen if we cultivate the habit of listening to ourselves.”
While some people understood him as asking the party’s rank and file to listen to each other’s counsel, others thought he meant they should listen to their inner voice or conscience.
The latter, according to the former President, was the message he desired to send across but coded it to put the burden of “free-will” on the audience.
“They were expecting me to blast them instead I put the burden of free will on them and their conscience.
“We are not listening to our inner voice, our conscience - that godly voice in our nature. If we were, we would not be making the terrible mistakes we have been making,” he clarified.
To change the status quo, former President Rawlings said it was time for like-minded Ghanaians of serious integrity, devoid of their political colour and team up to form a “very dynamic movement.”
The movement, he said was to be a “Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to propel the values of probity, accountability, social justice,” stressing that it was not to be misunderstood to be a political party.
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