General News of Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Rawlings urges past NDC executives to join campaign

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called on former executive members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) from across the country, to hit the campaign trail because their input was valuable to the cause of the NDC.

“We may, however, have to call on our dear brothers and sisters in the National Democratic Party (NDP), the party leadership and membership to consider seriously withdrawing parliamentary candidates from constituencies where the NDC has credible candidates,” he said.

Former President Rawlings, who is also the founder of the NDC, said his criticism of the party was always done with deep pain, since “failure to do so will be a betrayal of the people who held the party up and gave it a life.”

President Rawlings made the call when more than 100 former party executive members called on him in Accra Tuesday, to encourage him to join the campaign trail to ensure victory for the NDC in the December elections.

In response to their appeal, President Rawlings said: “I have in recent public statements expressed my desire to see the NDC win the election and have also expressed the feeling that John Mahama has brought some sense of hope to the NDC.”

He expressed the hope that the current crop of party executives would take a cue from the level of deep commitment and love exhibited in the past by the former executives.

He said even as the party introduced young faces into it fold, “we should not ignore the old experienced hands who still have so much to offer to the NDC”.

President Rawlings expressed regret over the divisions within the party which led to the establishment of the NDP with the aim of salvaging the ideals of the NDC and called on the new party, to consider withdrawing its parliamentary candidates from constituencies where the NDC had credible candidates.

He said he was touched by their plea for him to join the campaign trail.

“What has really given me hope, however, is the fact that you as former chiefs of our party have noted with concern the problems that encounter our party and which cannot be wished away simply by the possibility of an electoral victory,” he added.

President Rawlings expressed the hope that the statements of the former executives were not cosmetic and would be followed up with real action and words of reproach and action to the current leaders of the party, some of whom approach party issues as if they had no understanding of the issues that affected ordinary Ghanaians.

“As a party, we have failed in several aspects of governance, particularly with respect to offering confidence to the people that they will receive justice at all times. I need not delve into the details because you are aware of these and I have stated them several times over, he said.”

Former President Rawlings urged party members to keep the channels of communication open in order that they could work hand in hand to “re-ignite the revolution to restore our party to its rightful position of respect and value in our society”.

In an address read on behalf of the group by Alhaji Abdallah Ahmed Abdallah, aka Alhaji PMC, the former executives said: “It is our belief that your party needs to be revolutionised and reinvigorated. We, as former executives of this party from various levels can, therefore, not continue to sit idle when just a few people in the name of being executives of the party or ministers of state engage in acts that have the tendency to destroy this great party of ours.

“We share your concerns and we are here to identify with you. We also will want to inform you of plans we have put in place to help in the 2012 general election.

“…Our campaign machinery cannot fly without your involvement. We have witnessed our campaigns in the past and can say without fear or favour that your absence on the trail is not a good development.”

Mr Kofi Adams, spokesperson for the former President, enjoined the former executives to strengthen their front and constitute themselves into a formidable group or organisation so they can offer valuable advice and input to the party’s progress.