Confusion has reared its ugly head in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the current status of President John Evans Atta Mills in the party.
A section of NDC supporters are of the view that with the opening of nominations for the party’s flagbearership contest, President Mills naturally forfeits his status as leader of the party. Others too are of the contention that once a new flag bearer has not been elected and the tenure of President Mills not expired, he remains the party’s leader.
This debate suddenly became the subject of discussion on ‘Encounter,’ a socio-political programme on Boss Fm, a Kumasi based radio station on Wednesday evening. It all started when one Abu Saddick, a leading member of Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings (FONKAR) accused President Mills of showing disrespect to ex-President Rawlings.
He said if President Mills had a bit of respect for the former president, he would have sought audience with him when he picked his nomination forms. This according to him was because ex-President Rawlings is the founder of the NDC and therefore must be accorded the needed courtesies deserving of his position as father of the party.
However, Kobby Onansis Rosely, a leading member of Get Atta Mills Endorsed (GAME) denied the accusation saying President Mills was not bonded by any provision of the party’s constitution to have sought audience with the founder after picking his forms.
He noted that it was rather the former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings who exhibited disrespect to President Mills by not seeking audience with him after picking her nomination forms.
Onansis pointed out that Mrs. Rawlings ought to have demonstrated respect to President Mills by showing her forms to him because he is the leader of the party and therefore deserves that reverence. This contention annoyed Saddick who butted in by indicating that President Mills ceases to remain the leader of the ruling party once the party has opened nominations for the flagbearership race.
Disagreeing, Kobby said it has not been stated anywhere in the party’s constitution that once the party opens nomination for flagbearership race, the incumbent leader automatically loses his/her position.
He insisted that President Mills will remain the party’s leader till a new flagbearer is elected and his tenure as President of the country elapses in 2012. The temperature at the studio reached boiling point when the two gentlemen were not ready to back down, a development which forced the programme host Frank Aboagye Jackson to take a premature commercial break.
Tempers were however still very high after the break as the two determined youth activists continued with their heated arguments. With the emergence of this debate, it is expected that more party bigwigs will want to clarify to the public what the NDC’s constitution says about the current position of President Mills.
It will be recalled that the combined position of founder and leader of the NDC was separated at the party’s national delegates’ congress at Tamale when an amended motion was upheld. Ex-President Rawlings held the position of founder and leader of the party until the amendment which saw the leadership position being given to President Mills.
Source: Daily Guide
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