Former President Jerry John Rawlings has urged the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to carry out some “introspection” and identify the factors for its loss in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, instead of pointing an accusing finger at him for its electoral misfortune.
He said the party leadership, by losing the “moral high ground”, what with its “crass display of wealth” had betrayed and left a “very gaping gap” between itself and the grassroots, occasioning the NDC’s defeat in the elections won by the opposition New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who beat incumbent John Mahama by more than 1.5 million votes to become Ghana’s next president.
Mr Rawlings, who founded the NDC in 1992 following Ghana’s return to democratic rule and led the party to win two successive elections afterwards, was speaking at the Revolutionary Square in Accra to mark the 35th anniversary of his December 31, 1981 coup, which brought him to power and saw Ghana return to military rule, after the overthrow of the government of Dr Hilla Limann.
The former military man has stayed away from the NDC’s campaign for the last two elections while his wife broke away from the party four years ago to form her own party and suggested some elements within the party seek to make him the lightning rod for the latest setback instead of looking within for possible causes.
“…Rather than facing the obvious truth about why we lost, Rawlings once again has to be made the scapegoat of their failures. I believe this time around our people have seen through it and we will embark on the right steps to regain our moral high ground, the moral high ground that we abandoned and on which the new leader is now standing. Think about it,” he said on Saturday.
According to him, the party would be better served in the aftermath of the outcome of the 2016 polls to do some “careful introspection and openly show remorse for the betrayal of the people’s trust”, lest it would not “recover in time for the next election”, adding: “This is the time to pre-eminently speak the whole truth frankly and courageously.”
However, the former president was certain that the NDC had the ability to pick up the pieces and make itself more attractive to the electorate
“Ladies and gentlemen, let me assert my belief though that the intrinsic ability of the NDC to rejuvenate and recapture the moral high ground is also in no doubt, but it lies in a silent majority who would have to rise up and activate processes that will cleanse us. …We owe it as a duty to restore and protect the legacy that we fought for from the beginning,” he added.