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Opinions of Friday, 18 May 2012

Columnist: Al-Hajj

The Woman behind JJ's Self-Destruction (Part 3 of 50)

As mentioned in the two previous write-ups, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Founder and charismatic former president Jerry John Rawlings’ first gripe with President John Atta Mills began in 2000 when the well-mannered Law Professor gently declined to select Rawlings’ choice, Obed Asamoah as his running mate for that year’s presidential elections.

In the same manner, wife of the Founder, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings’ disappointment in Mills also began in the same year 2000 when Mills bypassed her, (despite the enormous contributions of her hubby, Rawlings in making him a vice president in 1996 and NDC flag bearer in 2000) in the consideration of a running mate for the 2000 elections.

Unlike Jerry Rawlings who though despite being somehow displeased with his protégé Mills, he did not allowed that differences to stand in his relations with him, Nana Konadu on the other hand, and characteristic of her, has been unforgiving till date.

Unfortunately for Konadu, she has remained a lame-duck, incapable of halting the inexorable but inevitable meritorious rise of the good old law professor, President Mills.

As earlier on indicated, Konadu’s hubby and NDC founder Jerry Rawlings, after his party was plucked out of power by Kufuor’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2000, had to hurriedly rally behind professor Mills once again in the face of glaring threats from Obed Asamoah, who as co-chairman of the NDC re-organization committee sought to punish Mills by replacing him with his pal and one time Finance Minister under Rawlings, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey as NDC flag bearer for the subsequent 2004 elections.

Nana Konadu had little choice under the circumstances and was therefore compelled to follow suit, albeit, with the bitterness of 2000 still lingering in her mind.

However, there was a lull in 2002, when the Rawlingses pitched camp with Professor Mills to battle Obed Asamoah and Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, over the control of the party.

Thus, years 2001 and 2002 just as 2011 and now represent the most turbulent period that threatened the very survival of the National Democratic Congress, (we shall return to this subject in subsequent editions).

Nana Konadu and Jerry Rawlings, having supported Mills in his victory over Kwesi Botchwey at the party’s 2002 congress at Legon consequently wanted to impose then Member of Parliament for Bole-Bamboi and now sitting vice president, John Mahama on candidate-elect, Mills for the 2004 presidential elections as his running mate, but this was robustly resisted by the professor of Law.

Not even after ‘dragging’ the professor to the residence of their common bosom friend and Chief Executive Officer of Masai Developers, Mr. Eddie Annan, would Mills budge and this gravely infuriated Nana Konadu, who thought Mills’ insolence was becoming horrendous and must be curbed.

Even more pronounced was Konadu’s enragement when professor Mills remained adamant to overtures made to him by children of the former first couple via text messages some of which says ‘please Uncle Atta Mills we want you to select John Mahama, we will be more comfortable under vice president John Mahama’.

This was Konadu’ second brush with Atta Mills after 2000 ‘incident’ and since then she has been extremely wary of the man Professor Mills. Stay tuned for part four.