PHOTO: Ex-Prez Rawlings Introducing His Wife To Delegates

FOUNDER OF the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President Jerry John Rawlings has made ominous predictions for the ruling party ahead of the December general elections, stating emphatically that the NDC will lose key parliamentary seats. The former president, who was not specific about the NDC seats that would fall, claimed that several parliamentary candidates of the NDC won their party primaries because they were able to bribe the delegates who voted for them at the expense of credible and competent persons who were the clear choices of the masses. Addressing supporters of the breakaway National Democratic Party (NDP) during the party’s maiden National Delegates Convention to elect a flagbearer on Saturday, Mr. Rawlings said though it was not his wish for the NDC to lose more seats this year, he was not in the position to save the situation. His wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings was elected unopposed as the flagbearer of the new party, six weeks to elections. Sounding like a prophet of doom, Mr. Rawlings said he would not be surprised if more NDC MPs lost their seats to independent candidates or NDP candidates this year. “Can you imagine the number of MPs on the NDC front that are going to lose?” the NDC founder, whose face was beaming with broad smiles asked the crowd who were nicely dressed in the colours of the NDP, which was an offshoot of the NDC. He added: “It is not my wish for the NDC to lose and lose badly, but because people want to carry out their own agenda, they had to be used to bribe delegates to vote for candidates that the government want at the expense of credible and competent people who the masses want.” Held at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, the NDP congress, which was attended by about 2,500 delegates of the party, saw former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings being endorsed via popular acclamation as the party’s flagbearer for the December polls. Slams NDC A charged Mr. Rawlings descended heavily on the NDC government whom he accused of losing its moral high grounds, barely four years after emerging victorious in the last general elections with his valuable help. He observed that the NDC administration neglected the party’s core values and principles of probity, accountability and social justice immediately they won the 2008 polls; a situation which had paved the way for members of the party to champion their own agenda at the expense of the party and the country. He asked: “Why did we have to go away from these principles?” According to him, the current administration, after winning the polls, decided to move away from the party’s agenda and started engaging in acts that would benefit themselves, such as corruption which was currently on the ascendancy in the country. NDC Desperation He observed that the NDC was gripped with the fear of losing power and going into opposition, indicating that was the reason the sitting government was so desperate to win the elections. He said the present government was afraid of losing the polls because they knew they were equally culpable of the corrupt practices and injustices that members of the erstwhile NPP administration members were accused of before they left power. The NDC founder noted that the Mills/Mahama administration had failed woefully to deal with the rot of the past administration, disclosing that his countless pressure on the late President Mills to ensure justice fell on deaf ears, stressing, “I am a free man now because during my time I ensured proper justice to all manner of people.” Mr. Rawlings said his constant cry for justice was not a personal or family affair, stressing that it had been his long-cherished wish that justice be given to every Ghanaian irrespective of their tribal, religious or political affiliation. According to him, had the late president heeded his call to ensure economic, social and judicial justice when he took over power, it would have served as a stern caution to members of the present administration to lead acceptable lifestyles. He said the NDC’s anxiety with regard to retaining power should be a concern to the good people of Ghana, stressing that if a party was afraid of going into opposition, it meant it could even resort to foul means to retain political power at all cost, adding, “They are afraid if we go into opposition they will taste injustice.” Vigilant Mr. Rawlings urged Ghanaians to be “very vigilant” but peaceful to make sure that the polls were held in a free and fair manner to help the country to continue enjoying its peace before, during and after the elections. He said under no circumstance should the polls plunge the country into chaos, entreating all and sundry, irrespective of party affiliations, to collectively contribute to make the elections peaceful to help Ghana continue charting the path of democratic rule. According to him, all stakeholders of the elections, including the Electoral Commission, the security agencies, political parties and Ghanaians, should make sure that their contributions and efforts would make the polls free and fair. Ecstatic Crowd & Revo The charged crowd, who seemed to have accepted Mr. Rawlings’ statements, started yelling at the top of their voices “JJ do something before you die! JJ do something before you die!!” The shouts and joy of the enthusiastic crowd interrupted the speech of Rawlings who was speaking extempore, as he stood on the dais for almost 10 minutes nodding his head in admiration of the support being displayed by the crowd. Mr. Rawlings predicted that irrespective of the outcome of the polls, the NDC would experience massive internal revolution which would result in the people whose clothes had been tainted with ‘dirt’ being cleaned. “Yes some day after this election, the NDC will see a proper revolution,” he stated, stressing that the house cleaning exercise that would hit the NDC “will take place so we can join hands again.” Until the day the massive revolution takes place, Mr. Rawlings entreated the NDP members, whom he referred to as ‘bold people’, to hold firm onto their conviction of joining the NDP. Weeps About NDC Congress The NDC founder, who seemed bitter over the horrible treatment that the NDC members handed to him and his wife at Sunyani in 2011, claimed that the outcome of the Sunyani Congress spelt doom for the party. “I will not repeat the things that took place at Sunyani, but I remember saying whoever buys that congress with money and bribes so that we don’t have the true results of the polls, will cost the NDC the elections.” Mr. Rawlings said the NDC sunk to its all time low immediately after the Sunyani Congress where the late President Mills emerged the party’s flagbearer to the extent that the party could not even gather just 100 people to celebrate its 20 years anniversary. He noted that the party was so down and heading to an imminent defeat until the sudden emergence of President Mahama who seemed to have brought some hope to the party ahead of the polls. Explains Meeting With Nana He said the recent meeting between him and Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP leader, was meant to send strong signals to Ghanaians especially the fans of the NPP and NDC that Ghana needed peaceful polls. The historic meeting, he said, was to display that Ghanaians irrespective of their political affiliations, were one people with a common destiny, so they could meet and have a discourse about the direction of the state. Mr. Rawlings reiterated the need for the people to be more vigilant so that nobody would take advantage of them to rig the coming general elections, saying, “Let’s have peaceful polls but be vigilant.” Thieves Fear Konadu In a sarcastic manner, the former President referred to his dear wife as a “little woman”, wondering why the NDC officials were afraid of her presence, recounting Nana Konadu’s efforts which spans some 33 years, that had brought the NDC this far. He observed that when Nana Konadu was seriously criss-crossing the country doing party work during the AFRC, PNDC and NDC era, some of the so-called big men in government that were flexing muscles now were having good times with their wives and girlfriends. But instead of praising her for her efforts in bringing the party this far, he lamented that the NDC officials rather turned against her, taking her to the cleaners at the least opportunity. Describing Nana Konadu as a compassionate and patriotic person, Mr. Rawlings said those that were afraid of his wife “were people that were undisciplined, thieves that have lost their morals,” stressing that his dear wife did not initially plan to become president. He explained that Nana Konadu started harnessing plans for the presidency when it became evidently clear that the members of the NDC had turned from the party’s principles of probity, accountability and social justice. Insult For Post The NDC founder also lamented over situations whereby the people in the party that mustered courage to insult him and his family publicly were given positions in government by the Mills administration. He disclosed pathetically that on several occasions, Michael Teye Nyaunu was offered a government appointment to turn against him (Rawlings) but since Hon. Nyaunu was a man of principle, he refused to kowtow to the enticing offer from the government. Rousing Welcome For Rawlings Prior to the start of the historic event, Mr. Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu appeared at the Baba Yara Stadium to a rapturous welcome by the charged crowd of NDP delegates. The entire foundation of the stadium nearly shook with the emergence of the Rawlingses who waved back to the charged crowd whose large number came was a big surprise to political pundits. Asebu Amenfi Thrills Fans The attendants at the event, at a point were seen displaying their dancing skills when ace musician, Asebu Amenfi took the stage to sing. Asebu Amenfi sang a ‘Twi’ song which literally means “the real owner of the umbrella will soon come for it.” Mr. Rawlings and his wife seemed touched by the lyrics of the song as they were seen nodding their heads in admiration.