After woefully failing to get her name on the 2012 presidential ballot, forcing her party to go on hibernation, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, wife of former President Jerry John Rawlings is in the news again; this time, on a nationwide rebranding mission to re-launch the almost moribund National Democratic Party.
Bent on equaling her husband’s record as Head of State, the disqualified NDP presidential candidate is leaving no stone unturned as she is said to have vowed this time around to have her name fixed on the 2016 presidential ballot to among other things ‘teach’ the ruling National Democratic Congress a bitter lesson.
To achieve this diabolic and burning political desire, Mrs. Rawlings, who decamped from the NDC after losing the party’s 2012 flag-bearer slot to the late Prof. Mills at the 2011 Sunyani congress, is said to have taken advantage of the growing attrition and despondency among supporters of the ruling party and has begun touring the regions to attract them to her side.
In order to position her party, which has become an operative machine doing the hatchet-job of the opposition New Patriotic Party, as the second home of disillusioned NDC members, the former first lady is said to have started campaigning for 2016.
As part of resuscitating her almost deserted party, Mrs. Rawlings, according close sources, has begun refurbishing and equipping NDP offices across the country.
Reports are that some aggrieved members of the NDC in the regions, some of whom were members of the defunct Friends of Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings (FONKAR) but had to ditch Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and her NDP ahead of the 2012 elections to support President Mahama’s campaign are regrouping to join the former first lady resurrect the defunct political group and the NDP.
A founding member of FONKAR who wants to remain anonymous disclosed to this paper that Mrs. Rawlings has not backed-down on her presidential ambition and as part of plans to give it a further push, she has started injecting resources into making the NDP more attractive to members of the NDC and Ghanaians in general, in order to make it a force to reckon with come 2016.
Late last year, the failed NDP presidential candidate was reported to have dispatched 50 motorbikes to FONKAR members up North to start preparing grounds for her “grand entry”.
“It’s true…, it’s true, madam brought us 50 motorbikes before the Christmas and we are happy, what has the NDC done for those of us who defied her to support John Mahama’s bid?” an enthused ex-FONKAR member early this year told The aL-hAJJ.
In all of these underground moves by the former first lady whose real dream according to a close source, is not to contest the 2016 election and win but to slim the chances of the NDC, what has been agitating the minds of political pundits is the oscillating position of founder of the ruling party, Dr. Jerry John Rawlings.
While Mr. Rawlings per his public utterances appears to have a soft spot for the Mahama government as compared to administrations before him, his deafening silence and inability to halt his wife’s destructive agenda of dipping NDC votes in the 2016 elections is a source of worry to many party sympathizers and officials.
Mr. Rawlings has carved a niche for himself as a harsh critic of administrations after his 19-year rule, accusing them all of being corrupt and losing the moral high ground. He did not spare his own protégée, the late Prof. Mills under whose watch President Mahama served as vice-president.
Ironically, while Mr. Rawlings stood beside his wife to kick-out the Mills-Mahama-led administration, his 360 degree somersault, becoming Mahama’s ‘guardian angel’ after the unfortunate death of the late president still remains a puzzle.
This was against the backdrop of the fact that days leading to the 2012 elections, the NDC founder was skeptical about the chances of Mr. Mahama winning against NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo. Indeed, Mr Rawlings was nonchalant over the competency of the then vice president’s ability to lead the country following the demise of the late president Mills when, in faraway Congo he told the BBC, “I don’t know…, maybe lets wait”.
It is still unclear if the barrage of accusations against the Mills administration by the NDC founder was genuine as he has since been seen in functions with the late president’s number two after the 2012 elections and has consistently scolded members of the opposition for blaming President Mahama for ills of the country.
Knowing Mr Rawlings for his complex political antics, political watchers are patiently waiting to see if he would support president Mahama in the 2016 elections at the expense of his wife.