Ex-President Rawlings Defects To NPP?

Disturbing but unconfirmed information available to the Al-Hajj newspaper suggest that former President Rawlings is planning to politically make 360 degrees about-turn and join the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in what promises to be the mother of all defections in the annals of politics since the birth of the nation-state called Ghana, in 1957. Credible intelligence from the corridors of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) founder and corroborated by close confidents revealed that former President Rawlings is on the brink and has reached the point of no return in his desire to defect to the opposition NPP, together with his wife in what insiders described as the ‘oldman’s big expression of disdain’. According to sources, negotiation between NPP leaders and former President is expected to make an announcement of defection to the largest opposition in the coming weeks in a mammoth ceremony to be organized by the NPP. The ceremony, according to the Al-Hajj newspaper sources will be organized in the Volta Regional capital Ho to be dubbed the ‘Home Coming’, with reference to Major General Kotoka, one of the masterminds of the 1966 coup that first brought the Danquah Busia tradition to power. According to sources, the choice of the venue and use of Kotoka in the event is to show to the people of the Volta Region that after all one of the founding fathers of NPP, Kotoka is a son of the land just as Rawlings is also their son and so they should end what one NPP stalwart called their perennial animosity against the party. Coincidentally, former President Rawlings himself has on numerous occasions described Kotoka as a hero, and close confidents of Rawlings have told this paper that the former president deifies Kotoka and sees him as his mentor despite hypocritical occasional praises of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the founder of this nation and ardent political opponent of Kotoka. What propelled the former President more in his desire to join the opposition NPP is the recent announcement of defection of Major Boakye Gyan, his rival and mortal enemy to the ruling party, the party he has personally labored to father and nurture. Rawlings is reported to have told his very close friends and associates that there is no way he and Boakye Gyan can be in one political party and so he is calling it a quit to the NDC. His recent unannounced participation in the Kufuor Foundation ceremony at the University of Ghana is another testament of the conclusion of a successful negotiation between the former president and the leadership of the opposition to don their colors in the next year’s general election. According to media reports, former President Kufuor told the large gathering of partisan NPP supporters that ‘it is gratifying to have ex-President Rawlings in the historic John Kufuor Foundation for Leadership, Governance and Development’. Again, the media report stated that ‘the enigmatic ex-president was welcomed with loud cheers by a partisan New Patriotic Party congregation and a cross section of students of the University of Ghana at the Kufuor Foundation ceremony. Other media publications also quoted President Rawlings as saying just after the ceremony had ended that he taught he and others fought a successful battle to remove the nation out of hell in 2008, but now under President Mills, the nation is in a state of purgatory because the country’s youth are distraught for lack of jobs. Former Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor have been on each other’s throat since the beginning of the Fourth Republic. There has been accusations and counter accusation between the two leaders with Rawlings associates accusing the NPP government under Kufuor of attempting to assassinate the NDC founder. Rawlings and his close aides had accused the then Kufuor administration of reneging on its constitutional obligations by denying former President Rawlings his privileges under the Constitution because he was not seen to be behaving in a way acceptable to the NPP government. Ex-President Kufuor and his ministers had on many platforms been described by former President Rawlings as thieves and criminals. In fact one of the reasons of animosity and wide chasm between President Mills and Rawlings was the inability of the Mills administration to successfully prosecute members of the Kufuor administration. This was to replicate what happened under President Kufuor when the then numerous Rawlings appointees in the first NDC administration including the former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings were rounded and prosecuted. Former President Kufuor was also said to have been on constant alert against potential military coup hatched by the former president Rawlings in his entire eight year administration. Consequently Jerry Rawlings was put under constant security surveillance. However, the animosity is coming to an end as the two protagonists will soon stand in the same political platform to campaign for their candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2012 elections to displace Prof. Mills. As at press time, all attempts at getting President Rawlings’ special aide, Mr. Kofi Adams to respond to his boss’ defection moves proved futile.