General News of Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Source: The Herald

Rawlings Joins NPP Today

Barring any last minute hitch, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings will today join former Presidential Press Secretary of John Agyekum Kufuor, by walking into another trap set for him by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to denigrate his party, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Ex-President Rawlings is expected to speak on the topic: “Corruption, A Threat To Democracy and National Development” with Nana Akufo-Addo and several NPP bigwigs, including Parliamentarians in attendance.

Mr. Andrew Awuni, owns and runs the Centre For Freedom and Accuracy, organizers of the “Freedom Power Lectures 2012”. The advertisement for the event has been running in the pro-NPP newspaper, DAILY GUIDE with Mr. Rawlings photograph.

An Accra-based television station, ETV owned by Mr. Edward Boateng, an NPP guru has also been running adverts on this evening’s programme.

Mr. Awuni, who once contested the Bongo Constituency seat in the Upper East Region, on the ticket of the NPP but lost, is famously remembered for falsely accusing Mr. Rawlings of beating up a District Chief Executive (DCE), Clement Apikiya, who drove through a group of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters at a rally in November 2004.

The topic on corruption is seen as a bait for Mr. Rawlings to further discredit the NDC government at this crucial moment of a few days to the 2012 polls, obviously to the advantage of the NPP. Analysts are hoping Mr. Rawlings, will provide some evidence on his claims by giving specifics and mentioning names of those involved in the corrupt practices.

Speakers who have mounted the Centre For Freedom and Accuracy platform, so far this year, include the NPP patron in the Ashanti Region, Akenteng Appiah Menkah of Apino Soap fame; Franklin Cudjoe of the pro-NPP Think-tank, Imani Ghana, and the Catholic Archbishop of Kumasi, Emeritus Reverend Peter Akwasi Sarpong.

At Mrs. Rawlings’s endorsement to lead the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2012 December presidential elections, Mr. Rawlings, as a guest of honour, did not miss the chance to rail corruption charges against the NDC, calling on Ghanaians to vote them out of power.

Mrs. Rawlings, in her acceptance speech as the flagbearer of the NDP, also called the NDC leadership a corrupt one that was not fit to be retained at the December 2012 polls.

There were reports that the NDP congress was sponsored by the NPP, including the provision of thousands of NDP T’ shirts to a rented crowd of NPP supporters, some of whom were bused from Accra, pretending to be members and delegates of the NDP.

Conveniently, the Rawlingses, in just a little over three years, have forgotten that the NPP government headed by Mr. J.A Kufuor had sought to use the courts to hound Mrs. Rawlings into prison for fraudulently acquiring the Nsawam multi-million Ghana cedis fruit juice cannery, during Mr. Rawlings tenure as President of Ghana.

Mrs. Rawlings is arguably one of Ghana’s richest women, who under the cloak of the 31st December Women’s Movement, a non-Governmental Organization (NGO), acquired a lot of properties, running into millions of Ghana Cedis, of which the Nsawam Cannery is part.

The Rawlingses, immediately after the Prof. John Evans Atta Mills-led NDC government came into office, started attacking it as corrupt, inept, incompetent and disappointing, with Mr. Rawlings loudly stating that President Mills had surrounded himself with “greedy bastards”.

After Prof. Mills’ demise, Mr. Rawlings at the endorsement of President John Dramani Mahama at the delegate’s congress in Kumasi, charged him to rid his government of corruption if he wanted to win the pending elections.

He asked him (President Mahama) to weed out of his government people he (Rawlings) perceived to be babies with sharp teeth of adults that could bite hard in terms of being critical of him (Rawlings).

Mr. Rawlings to the utter dismay of NDC members and supporters, but to the joy of the NPP leadership and supporters, at the NDC manifesto launch in Ho, the regional capital of the Volta Region, launched another tirade of invectives at perceived enemies and leeches in the Mahama government, calling them “old evil dwarfs”, who had to be done away with before President Mahama could be successful.

Not too long after this, Mr. Rawlings hosted his avowed enemy, Nana Akufo-Addo, the flagbearer of the NPP at his Ridge office in Accra.

He pleaded with him to treat his NDC officials as leniently as the Prof. Mills government had done to NPP officials, in the event that he (Nana Addo) won the upcoming elections.

He also assured the NPP flagbearer of his non-participation in the electioneering campaign.

Political watchers who have known Mr. Rawlings and the NPP leadership, as diametrically opposed in their political views, have come to the conclusion that the recent cordial relationship between them stems from the NPP trying to exploit Mr. Rawlings’s weakness, of pandering to his wife’s greed and unachievable political ambitions, to its (NPP) advantage.