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Opinions of Sunday, 28 October 2012

Columnist: Akwesi-Yeboah, Cyril

NDC: When The Mosquito Twists The Commander-In-Chief’s Arm

Since the death of President Mills, President Mahama achieved significant strides in restoring civility into the NDC's ways and gave hope to expectations of reconciliation between the Rawlingses and the party.

One outcome of the President's encouraging overtures was that Former president Rawlings started speaking positively about the NDC and the President's chances in the coming elections. Signs were that the NDP was going to give up spinning off from the NDC and instead join forces to ensure victory for John Mahama and the NDC.

But all the progress received a huge body blow days before the NDC's manifesto launch at Ho. For some reason the NDC General Secretary Asiedu Nketia decided not to invite the Rawlingses. Kofi Adams had to blow his cover by crying foul on radio, less than 24 hours to the Ho congress. The President, according to grapevine wires, had to place a call to Mr Rawlings and request the latter's presence at Ho. It was that which made JJ Rawlings turn up at Ho, even though without a speech and literally speechless about the destructive "evil dwarfs" twisting the president's arm.

The Ho debacle destroyed the Rawlingses' Confidence in the President's chances and capacity to succeed in resolving the matter; it thus fuelled the resolve of the NDP to press on with their congress which then took place in Kumasi.

For Asiedu Nketia to turn round and attempt to expel the founder of the NDC for a mess caused by himself is particularly dangerous and disloyal for two reasons:

First, Asiedu Nketia's failure to invite the Rawlings unnecessarily antagonizes the President and sets himself on a collision course with the President. But having observed him for a long while, it will be farfetched to think that Asiedu did not know the implications of his action.

Second, he has exhibited a lack of commitment to the NDCs victory; which victory will be critical development needs of the underprivileged Ghanaian. It is this perfidy that makes Asiedu Nketia a dangerous liability to the campaign team of John Mahama.

Clearly in an attempt to douse the flame generated by Asiedu Nketia's ill-advised expulsion attempt, the President distanced himself from the idea of expelling Mr. Rawlings and signaled again to the Rawlingses that he will be an all-inclusive leader of Ghana and the NDC.

The question is, will Asiedu Nketia fall in line with what the President stands for or he will keep twisting the latter's arm? Is he aware the NDC brand is losing its attractiveness as a result of his persistent petty quibbles? What will Asiedu Nketia gain from President Mahama's defeat? Is Asiedu Nketia thinking about the hopes of many Ghanaians that depend NDC being able to win power?

Asiedu Nketia's capabilities as a practical, result-oriented leader is unquestionable in the NDC's history. But he seems to be oblivious of how much his current stubborn antagonism with the Rawlingses is damaging himself and the whole NDC. People around 'The General' must tell him to 'come off it!'. Who knows; he may snap out of it. We will all be the better, for it.

It is not too late, General! You can win this war by pursuing a truce. The 'troops' are looking up to you. Morale in the camp is at its lowest ebb.

Arise, Arise for Ghana!
Cyril Akwesi-Yeboah.