Former President Jerry John Rawlings seems to have fallen out with the very cadres who supported his 1981 coup d’Ã©tat which returned him to the helm of affairs of state.
He told them point blank that they should leave him out of their activities this year.
A story attributed to the state-controlled wire service, Ghana News Agency and pro National Democratic Congress (NDC) newspapers yesterday claimed Mr Rawlings was not only scheduled to be at the national delegates’ congress of the United Cadre Front (UDF) between today Saturday April 13, and Sunday April 14, in Kumasi, but was also billed to address the occasion.
This was said to be contained in a statement issued and signed by one Shmuel Ja’Abm said to be press secretary of the group affiliated to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The current leadership of UDF include Kofi Portuphy, national coordinator of NADMO and a vice chairman of the NDC who is being tipped to replace Dr Kwabena Adjei as NDC chairman when the ruling party goes to congress later in the year.
P.K. Abonie, a deputy national coordinator is also a key member of the group. Mr Abonie has however not been seen in public in recent times.
Hours after the issue became public, the office of the former President issued a statement rubbishing the claim, and describing it as false.
‘The general public is informed that President Rawlings has not accepted an invitation from the United Cadre Front and will not be attending the meeting in Kumasi.
‘We wish to caution institutions and organisations that send invitations to the former President not to issue statements to the media confirming his acceptance of such invitations when he has not done so,’ the statement said.
The theme for the congress is, ‘Towards a sustainable and economically empowering cadre front for victory in 2016 and beyond’, to be addressed by former President Jerry John Rawlings.
President John Mahama is also expected to attend per the announcement by the group.
This is not the first time Mr Rawlings has had cause to complain about the use of his name to organize events without his consent and approval.
Similar developments occurred ahead of the 2012 general elections where some groups in the NDC used his name in advertising events they were planning to host, which he came out to deny.
In view of this, the office of Mr Rawlings who is also the founder of the NDC, has asked media practitioners ‘to endeavour to crosscheck with our office when they receive statements announcing President Rawlings’ participation at events’ with the hope that the practice would not be repeated in the near future.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu