NDC Panics Over Rawlings

Anxiety appears to have gripped the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the supposed intention of the party’s founder and former President Jerry John Rawlings to defect to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). The Al-Hajj newspaper, a pro-NDC tabloid owned by Alhaji Iddrisu Bature, yesterday reported that Mr Rawlings was in talks with the NPP to announce a decision to join the main opposition party. It cited the presence of Mr Rawlings at the launch of former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s foundation at the University of Ghana to give credence to the claim. Though some political analysts including Mr Rawlings’s spokesman, Kofi Adams, have virtually rubbished the story, saying it had no basis, DAILY GUIDE sources in the NDC said Mr Rawlings’s appearance at the event sent shivers down the spines of those in the corridors of power. This, according to the source, was due to Mr Rawlings’s overbearing influence in the NDC, especially at the grassroots. The issue of Mr Rawlings’s supposed intention to defect to the NPP was said to have dominated conversations and discussions among key and influential members of the ruling party at its Kokomlemle headquarters and the seat of government, the Christianborg Castle at Osu, with some suggesting that his exit would affect the fortunes of the party. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, the founder’s wife, who was defeated at the party’s congress in Sunyani in July, has been attacking the Mills administration, raising questions about its commitment to the NDC. Mr Adams however told Daily Guide the story had no basis and should be treated contemptuously. “In the first place, I don’t even want to waste my time to even read this paper because I don’t credit Bature as somebody who should write a paper for me to read,” Mr. Adams said. Others have also rubbished the story because they do not foresee Mr Rawlings leaving the very party he so-much toiled to form to join his virtually avowed enemies. One of such persons is Ras Mubarak, who describes himself as an ‘Apostle’ of Mr Rawlings. He told Daily Guide, “I don’t think Alhaji Bature’s journalists are allowed to speculate. It’s ridiculous to suggest that President Rawlings would be a member or would consider joining the opposition New Patriotic Party; a party that is completely diametrically opposed to the ideals of the NDC. “Yes indeed, President Rawlings isn’t happy about a lot of things in the NDC but it’s just impossible that he would want to be a member of the opposition NPP. I don’t know where my brother Alhaji got his source from but if you look at President Rawlings, he’s been very critical of the Kufuor administration and I don’t think that Alhaji wants to suggest that to President Rawlings, the Kufuor administration is any better than the Mills administration; I don’t think so.” In all this, Ras, who is running for the Ablekuma-North constituency parliamentary seat on the ticket of the NDC, said, “As far as I am concerned, it is one story that could be seen purely as speculative and nothing more.”