“I Will Contest NDC Vice Chair” – Rawlings
Former First Lady and wife of ex- president Jerry Rawlings, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has finally openly declared her intention to contest the ruling party’s first vice chairmanship position.
The National Democratic Congress, NDC which won power in the 2008 elections by a hair’s-breadth goes to congress in December to elect its national executives. Mrs. Rawlings said her decision to run for the position has become necessary because the party they suffered to build is “crumbling before my own eyes.” She is of the view that the party’s structures are weakening and her inclusion on the executive committee will help strengthen the “crumbling” structures.
Mrs. Rawlings who sounded overwhelmed by complaints from party foot soldiers about the NDC government’s pace of work said she plans to use the office to help better organize the party and to foster stronger unity.
Her office, according to her, since the assumption of power by the Mills-led administration, has been flooded with a blizzard of complaints from party members, and it is her wish to use the first vice chairmanship platform to help address some of those grievances. Mrs. Rawlings alluded that the party was losing touch with its grass root supporters who strained every sinew they had to return the NDC to power.
The NDC which she recounted was founded on the ideals of social democracy, “… basically looks at always helping with development for the downtrodden, for the vulnerable, rural areas and always for the people…and apart from that we take care of each other as party members. We hold each other and that is what makes us strong as a party.”
But she bemoaned that, “… there’s a certain level of despondence and …I sit in my office and people come to me and discuss issues…they tell me about their disappointment, I try and give them hope. I can only give them hope.
In the course of talking to people for these ten months, I said to myself why is everybody coming to me? They should be consulting people who have the positions. That really gave me the feeling that I could do a lot more than just helping members of the movement (31st December Women’s Movement, 31st DWM).
Mrs. Rawlings continued that she wants to be “… an executive of the party at the national level, a level where it will not take all my time and still have time to look after the Movement’s activities. So I chose to go for the first vice-chairmanship position of the party”.
Asked whether her presence on the National Executive Committee will not be an attempt to take charge of the party, the former first lady said “…I think that no mother brings a child into this world and cuts off the head of the child. Unless that mother is really raging mad.
As if extolling her contribution to the NDC, the 31st DWM President said she helped with the building up of the party and “there’s no way I’ll want to get in there to destroy it. I want to make it more formidable. “Spio Factor”
Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings (r) and the husband Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings (l). In her response to the widespread allegation that party founder Jerry Rawlings – her husband – wants to hijack the party because the Mills administration does not heed to his advice, whims and caprices, by positioning Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah, – who contested the sitting President for the NDC flagbearship slot in 2006 and a widely touted Rawlings protégé, to also vie for an executive position, Madam Rawlings said “my husband is the founder of the party. It rests on his shoulders. It rests on his lap.”
“He (Rawlings) made it possible for President Mills to be our candidate for three times. He talked to people and convinced them.” She revealed that, “all the regions were coming and saying two times was enough, choose another candidate and as a founder he said, look, give him another chance if he wants to run …” referring to the then candidate Mills.
Broaching the Spio Garbrah/ Ato Ahwoi media brawl, Madam Agyeman Rawlings said she had read Dr Spio Garbrah’s article in the Daily Graphic which ignited the media fracas and remarked that she was puzzled that an internal constructive critique could elicit the kind of response it did from party stalwarts, when party leaders have insulted themselves in the past without any punitive action meted out to them.