…Faces Tough Times In Party Control
Former President, Jerry John Rawlings’ dream of taking hold of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and dictating who becomes flagbearer in the 2020 election, might just pass as a terrible nightmare, as he is been blamed for his party’s thumping defeat in last week’s general elections.
The Greater Accra Regional Organizer of the NDC, Anthony Nukpenu, believes the founder’s absence from the campaign, undermined the party’s chances at the polls.
There was a school of thought in the NDC which held the view that, having Kofi Adams, Rawlings’ Spokesperson as the National Organizer and John Mahama 2016 Campaign Co-ordinator, was going to get the Ex-President on the campaign.
Some people, including Greater Accra Regional Organizer of the NDC, Anthony Nukpenu were also of the opinion that, having Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, the first child of the Rawlingses on the Korle- Klottey NDC parliamentary seat, was automatically going to drag ex-President Rawlings and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings into the John Mahama campaign, but they got it wrong, as the two did not join.
Indeed, Nana Konadu, set up her own political party to contest the election, always fighting from Akufo-Addo’s corner.
In the end, the governing NDC’s candidate, President John Mahama, obtained 44.40 percent to lose his re-election bid to his main rival, New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, who obtained 53.85 percent of the valid votes cast.
The routing of the NDC, was severest in the Central region, where the governing party, survived the NPP onslaught in only 4 constituencies.
From 16 parliamentary seats in 2012, the NDC, now has only 4 seats. The NPP, has 19 seats.
The NDC founder, known for his charisma and charm, was conspicuously missing in the NDC’s campaign, which analysts say, is evidence of disagreement between the former President and his party.
Anthony Nukpenu in an interview with Adom News, put the blame at the door-step of former President Rawlings.
He alleged that, their founder, was the key to unlocking the votes in the Volta region, which is NDC’s stronghold. But he deliberately stayed out of the campaign to ensure their defeat, he said.
“He [Rawlings] did not just stay out of the campaign; he did a lot of things which resulted in voter apathy in the Volta region and other areas to ensure we lose the elections,” he stressed.
Unprecedented voter apathy in the Volta region saw a huge drop in voter turnout across the Volta region’s 26 constituencies.
“He [Rawlings] deliberately worked against the party in so many ways to undermine the integrity of the NDC and its flagbearer to make sure we were defeated at the polls,” he stated.
Rawlings, has been complaining that his party is losing its core values of probity and accountability and warned the party could go to opposition, if it did not re-dedicate itself to these values.
The NDC Regional Secretary, wondered why a father of a political party, would want his children to suffer before he put things right.
However, Anthony Nukpenu, said they have taken the defeat in good faith and would re-strategize and come back stronger for the 2020 elections.
Meanwhile, the Former President Rawlings, has charged the president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, to pursue an anti-corruption drive across-the-board during his tenure.
In a congratulatory message to Nana Addo, Mr. Rawlings wrote; “Your victory is a manifestation of the people’s desire for new leadership, and comes with enormous responsibilities, including a commitment to pursue an anti-corruption drive across-the-board.”
Mr. Rawlings, did not mention the specific names of persons who must be pursued for their corruption conduct, but he is on record to have stated that some members of the outgoing government were corrupt.
“All I can do is speak up. I find myself in a situation where I have moral responsibility and no executive authority. I would have wished that my moral authority could have the same influence. But that is not the case, corruption has infiltrated our institutions and their leaders so badly today, that they use some kind of lens to demonstrate that you can keep your moral authority, but this is executive power at work,” Rawlings said in an interview he granted the Guardian Newspaper in Nigeria.
According to the NDC founder; “Ghana faces huge challenges, many of which you promised to tackle during your campaign tours. You have been elected as President, because the electorate believes you have the ability to confront these challenges and lead the country with fearlessness, humility and honesty. I commend you for committing to be a leader for all Ghanaians in your acceptance address. The onus is on you to pursue a leadership that unifies the people, so members of the losing side have no reason to feel insecure. I wish you the best of luck, as you prepare to assume the mantle of leadership.”
Nana Addo, upon the receipt of Mr. Rawlings message, wrote back to him: “This is to acknowledge, with thanks, your letter of December 10, 2016, with its heartwarming contents. Our people, as clearly expressed in your letter, are confronted with huge challenges – unprecedented levels of joblessness, high costs of living, widespread and rampant cases of corruption, and deterioration in governance and in the quality of our health and education services – which they want addressed.
My goal is to provide effective leadership, which is honest, competent and determined to deliver, and address these challenges, so that we can put our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity, and, thereby, improve rapidly the standards of living of Ghanaians.
For this to happen, I would need the unalloyed support of every Ghanaian, irrespective of their ethnic group or religious or political affiliation. There can be no room in such an undertaking for witch-hunting or acts of political vendetta or harassment. No member of the NDC has anything to fear from my future government.
I am fully committed to pursuing “an anti-corruption drive across-the board”, as you put it, which will be fully anchored in the rule of law and strict respect for due process. That is the best form of security for every citizen of the country”. Mr. Akufo-Addo, concluded.