General News of Saturday, 20 August 2016
A member of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kojo Adu Asare has rejected claims that the founder of the party, Jerry John Rawlings, failed to endorse President John Dramani Mahama at the party’s campaign launch in Cape Coast.
According to Adu Asare, the former president’s mere presence at the event at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in the Central Region was an endorsement of President Mahama. “The founder graced our occasion. I wonder what one can call that if it’s not an endorsement by itself.
This is the founder’s party, [John Mahama] is the founder’s party’s flagbearer,” he said on Citi FM‘s news analysis programme, The Big Issue. “Who else was he supposed to endorse? Did he endorse someone else? Was he indifferent? He kept on saying ‘we’ in expressing himself. I think we should take the statements line by line because there’s no ambiguity. Papa J of all people wouldn’t show up [if it wasn’t an endorsement].”
Rawlings received the loudest cheer when he entered the Stadium on Sunday and again when he took the stage to deliver his speech. He advised the party not to be complacent ahead of the elections and not to act like members of the opposition NPP if they want to stay in power for long. “Let me just give you one point.
The NPP cannot be underestimated, you know it and I know it. They’ve been in existence for a long time, and have been changing their names up till this day. The nature of who they are, and what they are and where they’ve come from, it’s something they are happy with and they will be there for a long time,” Rawlings said.
“Let’s not mimic their behaviour. Let us reach into the principles and the values that came, which emerged out of the circumstances that gave birth to us.” The former President did not refer directly to President Mahama in his speech, neither did he declare any intention of campaigning for the party. Members of the opposition have pointed this out as a sign of lack of support for the president ahead of the polls.
However, Adu Asare believes that the party was content with Rawlings’ comments and added that the former president is not expected to be as active as he has been previously in NDC campaigns due to his advanced age. “This is an old man we’re talking about, Rawlings is turning 70 next year. He’s not the Rawlings we knew some 15 or so years ago when he was exiting. Rawlings is our founder, he came to his function,” he said.