General News of Friday, 7 July 2017
Former Health Minister, Hanny Sherry Ayitey, says she has a ‘live and let’s live’ relationship with former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings whom she used to work closely with on the 31 December Women’s Movement (DWM).
She said they have different ideals when it comes to politics, where a person has to make up his own mind about his vision, beliefs and philosophy.
The former Fisheries Minister said it does not seem fair to comment on whether the ex-First Lady who stood on the ticket of the National Democratic Party (NDP) will make a good candidate for president of the country.
Taking her turn on Personality Profile on Drive Time on Joy FM with Lexis Bill, she said, “when you go to elections you look at people’s electoral performance to see if they are acceptable to the public or not.”
Madam Ayitey who also served as the Minister for Environment, Science and Technology has been an active member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) since the days of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
She was involved in the 31st December Women’s Movement, a non-governmental organisation affiliated to the NDC, whose president is the former First Lady.
She served as the Projects and Programmes Officer of the organisation.
After the NDC lost the Ghanaian presidential election in December 2000, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of former President John Kufuor put a lot of NDC activists, Madam Ayitey included, on trial for different reasons.
Sherry Ayitey was put on trial, together with Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, in relation with the divestiture of the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited. Sherry Ayitey had been a member of the Divestiture Implementation Committee.
Shortly before President Kufuor’s term ended, his government dropped the charges against Mrs Rawlings, Sherry Ayitey and others. An Accra Fast Track High Court subsequently discharged them in January 2009.
The former First Lady threatened to repossess the logo of the NDC, claiming she designed it on her own and registered it in her name at the Copyright Office in 2010.
Through her lawyers, Konadu served notice she will withdraw her permission for the party’s use of the logo if steps were not taken to unite the party and respect the views of the party footsoldiers.
This was what many described as sour grapes after she lost the NDC’s nomination to the late President John E.A Mills at a congress in Sunyani in 2010.
Mrs Rawlings later formed the NDP for which she was the flag bearer in both the 2012 and 2016 elections although she was disqualified in 2012.
Answering questions regarding why she did not join the NDP since it had a woman bearing the torch for women in Ghana [as the 31 DWM sought to do], Madam Ayitey said, “the Movement was an NGO and not a political party.”
She said she did not share in Nana Konadu’s ideals with the NDP adding “I believed in the social democracy of the NDC so I wanted to stay with the NDC.”
According to her, the society does not encourage good women to come forward to partake in politics as they are mostly denigrated by the media “top to bottom.”
“There are quite a lot of women who are very good but they want to stay in the background so if the media is a bit friendly to women leaders I am sure we will get a lot of women coming forward to take over the leadership mantle from the men,” she said.
She confirmed she was called all sorts of sorts of names when she was with the 31 DWM, helping women to know their right and fight for themselves.