NDC leadership race – Rawlings’ blessings matter

A significant number of the NDC leadership aspirants have paid a courtesy call on former president Jerry John Rawlings’ office for his anointing in their bids to  lead the party come 2020. One fundamental question is what necessitated all these leadership hopefuls to embark on such a move prior to informing the party’s headquarters of their intentions to contest the flagbearership race?

Former president Rawlings remains a formidable pillar in the NDC and Ghana’s politics as a whole, but far from that, Chairman Rawlings remains a public figure who continues to divide opinions. Undoubtedly, all these candidates who have visited the offices of Jerry John Rawlings are also aware of the impact of Rawlings’ endorsement on their campaign.

The personality of former president Jerry John Rawlings continues to wow many Ghanaians, although, there are some elements within the NDC who have the penchant opinion that, Rawlings should be stripped off his right as the founder of the party. Many of Rawlings’ critiques either refuse to recognise him or are oblivious of the fact that, to be an accepted member of the NDC, the individual has to swear an allegiance to the party and also accept Jerry John Rawlings as the founder. Many are of the view that, recent utterances and criticisms of  the NDC by Mr J. J. Rawlings  has contributed to their undercurrent desire not to recognise him as the founder of the party. Similarly, a section of the party membership also believe that Mr Rawlings has been doing the bidding of the new patriotic party to the detriment of the NDC.

The National Democratic Congress constitution clearly defines the role of the founder of the party who is no other person than former president Jerry John Rawlings. You could argue that, NDC is Rawlings and vice versa. This is because the NDC’s constitution in article 6, highlights the vision of Jerry John Rawlings as the basis for the establishment of the National Democratic Congress.

The question still remains, what could be the rationale behind these candidates desire to seek Mr Rawlings’ blessings first before declaring their intentions to the party. With the leadership race gathering momentum, some candidates would wish that the founder openly endorses them. Without a doubt Rawlings’ endorsement of a candidate could boost his or her electoral fortunes in the upcoming leadership elections.

As the campaign intensifies, it appears the “old attack dogs” and “babies with sharp teeth” have thus far been tamed to foster peace and also court Rawlings’s support. On the contrary, Mr Rawlings has been careful about endorsing any candidate publicly.

So far notable among persons who have visited Mr Rawlings include John Mahama, Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Sylvester Mensah, Goosie Tandoh, Elipklim Agbemava, and Kojo Bonsu.

Top L-R: John Mahama, Ekwow Spio Garbrah and Alban S. Bagbin. Bottom L-R: Prof Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah and Goosie Tandoh. Credit: Citinewsroom 

By: Assay Nkrumah


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