Attacks on JJ Heat Up

The series of attacks on former President Jerry John Rawlings by National Democratic Congress (NDC) officials appears to be intensifying by the day as the latest to take jabs at the party’s founder, are embattled businessman and financier of the party, Alfred Agbesi Woyome and the Eastern Regional Minister, Victor Smith. Last Friday, Kwame Tawiah, aide to businessman Alfred Woyome, in a shocking move disclosed that his boss, Alfred Woyome, would soon expose ex-President John Rawlings to the world “for everybody to know his true character”. He said when they were done with Mr. Rawlings, everybody would know “who the real criminal is”. It is unclear the kind of exposé Mr. Woyome intends to give on Jerry Rawlings as Kwame Tawiah has been extremely tight-lipped about specifics; his only hint was that at the “right time”, Mr. Woyome would spill the beans. Apparently, Mr. Woyome is not amused about ex-President Rawlings accusing him of being a criminal for fraudulently fleecing the Mills/Mahama government of a whopping GH¢51.2million. Meanwhile, just a day before the explosive comment by Mr. Woyome’s aide, Victor Smith issued a stern warning to Rawlings not to harass President John Dramani Mahama with his caustic public condemnation of policies of the NDC, just like he did during the John Evans Atta Mills administration. “I will only pray and hope that he doesn’t engage us in what happened in the last four years; taking on and literally harassing government. I really pray and hope that it wouldn’t happen with the John Mahama administration,” Mr Smith, a former aide to Rawlings who was sacked through a text message, was quoted to have said. According to the minister, if the patriarch of the NDC had any problem with the new administration of President Mahama, he should use the party’s internal communications channel to table his frustrations. Jerry Rawlings was a fierce critic of the erstwhile Atta Mills administration; he openly condemned the administration for alleged acts of corruption. Victor Smith’s outburst comes on the heels of similar reprimands from the Head of Policy Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency, Dr. Tony Aidoo, who was almost personal in his attack on the former president. Dr. Aidoo’s attack was apparently motivated by the former president’s suggestion that the electoral misunderstanding between the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Electoral Commission (EC) should be settled in the Supreme Court. In the brouhaha that sought to question the legitimacy of the NDC’s win at the polls on December 7, Jerry Rawlings felt that if the NPP claims that the verdict was stolen, the matter should be dragged to court. But Dr. Aidoo felt otherwise about this advice: “I am very sad that our own President Rawlings also had to say something to that effect that the activities of the EC must be investigated. There have been several elections that these little flaws and impediments have taken place but under the circumstance when you make statements that it must be investigated, it carries implications that the elections were deliberately mismanaged for the purpose of facilitating the victory (of the NDC)…it is very very irresponsible.” Seeking Favour It is unclear the reasons why Jerry Rawlings has become a favorite punching bag for NDC officials. The secretary to the office of former President Rawlings Kobina Andoh appears to have an answer for the phenomenon. In his response to the invectives from Dr. Aidoo recently, Mr. Andoh, on behalf of JJ Rawlings stated, “Criticising Jerry Rawlings was a ruse used by many to win brownie points during the era of President Mills. We cannot continue like this under the President Mahama administration and expect the NDC to move forward.” Essentially, Kobina Andoh thinks these attacks are ploys used to court favour from President Mahama, particularly during such a sensitive phase when the president is considering names for his new appointees who would be running the new government. Indeed, President Mahama is currently deeply engrossed in the process of selecting his new batch of ministers and administrators. The transition team set up last week has ordered all ministers to forward their handing over notes. Daily Guide gathered from sources that an intense lobbying is currently going on in the NDC as officials passionately jostle to be considered for positions in the new administration.