General News of Monday, 19 September 2016
Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Jerry John Rawlings, on Saturday failed to attend the launching of the party’s manifesto for the December 7, elections.
The former president’s shocking absence at the function sparked confusion and anxiety among scores of members of the NDC, who travelled from all over the country to Sunyani, the Brong-Ahafo regional capital, for the event.
Most of the party faithful could not fathom why the founder refused to grace the occasion, with some of them considering Mr. Rawlings’ absence as a clear snub of the NDC ahead of the December polls.
Previous Manifesto Launch
Mr. Rawlings had in the past attended virtually all the outdoorings of NDC’s manifesto where he made statements which indicated that he was fully in support of the party’s flag bearer at that particular time.
He was at the National Theatre in Accra for the 2000 launch, where he signed the manifesto with his blood; he had been at the Trade Fair Centre for the 2008 launch that shot the late Professor Atta Mills to power and the last one at Ho for the 2012 elections during which he described some of the party leaders as “greedy bastards” and “babies with sharp teeth.”
His decision not to attend the Sunyani event on Saturday was not explained to the party faithful, who were bused from all corners of the country to participate in the event, attended by President Mahama and other dignitaries.
At least the NDC members that were in Sunyani were expecting the party to officially state what prevented the founder from attending the programme, but the party’s leadership was silent on the matter.
Mr. Rawlings, it will be recalled, refused to openly endorse President Mahama as the preferred choice for the presidency in the upcoming polls during the NDC’s campaign launch in Cape Coast, Central Region, some weeks ago.
Interestingly, Mr. Rawlings also refused to mention even a single programme which the NDC government, under President Mahama, had introduced to better the lives of the citizenry.
And to add salt into injury, the NDC founder used that party platform to sternly caution the party that the upcoming elections would not be a soft nut to crack, as most of its members had been brainwashed.
Mr. Rawlings stated that if the NDC encountered the elections with the belief that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is divided and not ready for political power, then it (NDC) might have the shock of its live.
As if not enough, he also went ahead to state that he had a special message for Ghanaians but he would tour the entire country after the December 7 elections to broadcast that special message.
Some of the NDC members that this paper spoke to after the Sunyani programme were sharply divided about Mr. Rawlings’ absence from the function, with some of them saying he had betrayed the party.