Kwabena Adjei Fumes Over Rawlings’ Comments

The National Chairman of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Kwabena Adjei has said former President Jerry Rawlings is losing respect within the party, for openly endorsing his spokesperson Kofi Adams, ahead of the party’s national delegates’ congress on Saturday. Mr. Rawlings who is the founder of the NDC, last month endorsed Mr. Adams saying the party needed people like his spokesperson to help it regain its “lost integrity”. “I wish I could keep him with me for us to do a lot of work together, but I think the party needs him more than I do. My integrity is still intact, it is the party that has lost its integrity or some members of the leaders that require some people like Kofi to go and increase the quality,” he said. Apart from vouching for the integrity of his spokesperson, Mr. Rawlings has also urged delegates to overhaul the entire leadership of the party. However, the incumbent party chairman, Dr Adjei, who is seeking to retain his position for the third consecutive time, in an interview yesterday said the former President should have remained neutral and served as a father figure for all the contestants. “There is a certain respect in being neutral on occasions like this and that neutrality I have tried to portray to Ghanaians without them seeing it. If I was not myself, showing neutrality between Jerry John Rawlings and the late John Evans Atta Mills, the party would have broken down, so you understand? “If I were in his position, I would take everybody who is contesting as my sons. I won’t support anybody. The moment you go out to support somebody, you lower your prestige and then the respect people have for you,” the former minister in the Rawlings administration said of his boss. “How do you think somebody like ‘Alan cash’ could get less than 3 percent or something? It was because the members of NPP perceived that he was being backed by President Kufuor – and the people don’t like that imposition,” he posited. Dr Adjei said even though he did not have Mr Rawlings’ blessings when he first decided to run for the chairmanship position, he won. “When in 2005, I wanted to contest, he was the first person that I respected as my founder, to go and consult. He said he wouldn’t support me, he would support Victor Gbeho, so I said: ‘Ok, you support Victor Gbeho, I will still contest.’ I contested and won. Today he is supporting his own man of integrity: that’s the way he refers to him. Let’s see whether he wins. If he wins, I will work with him; that’s if I also win, but I don’t like those external impositions by party bigwigs, I don’t like it, it’s not right.” Asked whether Mr. Rawlings is as relevant to the party as before, Dr Adjei said: “My founder has made so many mistakes by talking for this and talking for that, I don’t know why he does it and now that he is backing Kofi Adams, we simply wait and see. He determines his own political future as our founder. In times past he commandeered about 85 per cent of the votes in NDC but now I don’t know. If the command has reduced, he caused it”.