General News of Thursday, 13 September 2012
Source: Daily Guide
It is now confirmed that former President Jerry John Rawlings, founder of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), has deserted his party to join forces with the newly formed National Democratic Party (NDP).
Interim General Secretary of the NDP, Dr. Joseph Mamboa-Rockson, dropped the hint during an encounter with journalists in Sunyani that Mrs. Rawlings was gearing up to contest the flag bearership position of the party for the December elections.
Credible sources have told Daily Guide that former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo was flown into the country on Tuesday night in the private jet of Ibrahim Mahama, the younger brother of President Mahama, to plead with Mr. Rawlings to campaign for the NDC.
But Mr. Rawlings was said to have maintained his position not to campaign for his once-cherished NDC, leaving General Obasanjo and his sponsors in a state of disappointed.
According to source, Pesident Mahama had pleaded with former President Obasanjo, former President John Kufuor's good friend, to broker peace for Rawlings to join the NDC campaign.
On arrival in Accra on Monday, Daily Guide learnt that President Obasanjo requested to hold a meeting with President Kufuor before meeting with President Mahama and later President Rawlings, after which the Nigerian strongman was driven to Ada for another round of meeting.
According to sources, Mr. Rawlings was to embark on a nationwide tour to explain to opinion leaders why he could not be part of the NDC campaign.
He started off with a meeting with the Awomefia of Anlo, Togbui Sri III, on Tuesday.
According to Dr. Mamboa-Rockson, the NDC founder's decision to attend the recent special national congress of the NDC with some NDP chieftains was because “we were there for him to show them that these are my other children apart from the NDC”.
The NDP chief scribe stated that Mr. Rawlings' presence at the congress was not to show support for the NDC, insisting that the issue of whether or not the former President would campaign for the NDP or the NDC would be clearer when the NDP was officially launched.
Mrs. Rawlings, who is also the President of the 31st December Women's Movement (DWM), is among three persons who have expressed interest in contesting the flag bearership race of the NDP.
Dr. Mamboa-Rockson's visit to the Brong Ahafo Region was to commiserate with the Interim Regional Chairman of the NDP, Kofi Vinyo, who was recently attacked by some persons suspected to be members of the NDC.
Out of the three persons who have expressed interest in the position, Dr. Mamaboa-Rockson said, two, including Nana Konadu, were women.
He claimed that the former First lady stood tall among the presidential candidates presented by the various political parties.
Apart from that, he said “she is the most celebrated politician in Ghana today”, insisting Nana Konadu had done a lot in terms of organizing, sensitizing and giving women the mouthpiece socially, politically and economically.
He was of the belief that having her on the party's ticket would boost its chances of wining the elections with about 85% margin.
Yesterday, workers were seen busily putting finishing touches to a newly acquired headquarters of NDP at Kokomlemle in Accra.
The one-storey office facility, which is located on the Faanofa Street, close to the traffic intersection near Joy FM, was being painted in NDP colours.
The NDP is expected to go to congress at the end of this month to elect a presidential candidate for the upcoming elections slated for December 7, 2012.
But general secretary of the party said grassroots supporters of the NDP were calling for Nana Konadu to join the race and therefore, he said, the party would be honored to have her as their presidential candidate.
NDP Final Certificate
Barring any last minute hitches, the Electoral Commission (EC) is set to issue a final certificate to the NDP tomorrow, Friday.
Dr. Mamboa-Rockson said officials of the Commission called its (NDP) offices to inform them they were satisfied with the documents and information provided so far.
The party was said to have dispatched seven groups going round the country to mobilize its supporters for what promises to be a vigorous campaign ahead of the upcoming elections.
He has since confirmed the involvement of the Rawlings (Mr. and Mrs Rawlings) in the party, saying, “We have the support of both Rawlingses”.
A leading member of NDP, Joseph Bediako, insisted that Mr. Rawlings would not campaign for the NDC and that the NDC should stop tickling itself.
“I can say it on authority from my sources within that he is not going to campaign for them”, he said, adding that “anybody who tells you we are going back to join the NDC is a liar”.
He swore heaven and earth to quit politics should the NDP go into any alliance with the ruling NDC before or after the elections.
That was because “NDC as a party stinks, nobody will buy it if you put it up for sale and you will be embarrassed if you attempt to market it”.
For him, what they were only waiting for was for the EC to supervise the process to elect substantive national, regional and constituency executives.
“We have put all structures in place for a smooth take off”, he stated.