As NDC Leaders Clutch Each Others' Throat Rawlings digs into Mills Accuses Him Of Harbouring Punks

By The Statesman
By The Statesman

3/31/2009 5:28:50 PM -

Jerry John Rawlings, notable for his gripe with Governments of which he isn't part, yesterday made President John Evans Atta Mills an object of his vituperations.

Regardless of Mills" standing as a mentor of former President Rawlings, the latter found time and space for smacking his President, who he accused of harbouring wrong people and allowing them to influence major political and Governmental decisions, including appointments.

Ex-President Rawlings, who expressed the same misgivings in 1981 over elections which the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council supervised in 1979, launched his attack on Mills when members of the National Executive Committee of the ruling National Democratic Congress held their first meeting after assuming the reigns of power at the Royal Ravico Hotel at Nungua in Accra.

He, however, in this instance, fell short of calling such people punks, a name he has consistently used for people he disagreed with.

Present at the NEC meeting were President Mills and Vice President John Dramani Mahama, as well as the top echelons of the party.

Spinning his top, the founder of the ruling party accused President Mills of being too slow to act on any issue, and not providing the kind of "dynamic leadership' the nation needs at the moment, virtually expressing doubt about the ability of his mentored-politician to deliver the goods.

Mr. Rawlings, however, failed to give details on ways in which he thinks President Mills is being colourless in providing solutions to the nation and party's woes.

 'I think he is not proving the kind dynamic leadership that should have been dictating and calling the tune…I mean things are very slow; things are very slow, but it is even worse than being just slow,' Mr. Rawlings lamented when he spoke with a section of the media after the meeting.

Ex-President Rawlings also accused the Mills-led administration of not moving "onto the high moral grounds the people voted for,' adding that the situation had allowed some of his appointees to engage in unacceptable acts.

 'We are not driving onto the high moral grounds the people voted for.

 I have said it before and I"m saying it again…Some things are going on in the wrong direction…Quite frankly, I think some of the characters around him are taking advantage of the situation and doing what they are not supposed to do,' he stated.

Mr. Rawlings also expressed some disappointment about the appointments made by President Mills, stressing that though there are a certain number of people of integrity in the Mills administration, 'there is quite a bit of mediocrity… they are obvious.'

The former President further urged the NDC administration not to consider the New Patriotic Party as opposition, but enemy. 'They don't want to be called enemies, but opposition, but I think the actions of members of the NPP do not make them people who can be called opposition,' he insisted.

Turning to the party, founder Rawlings told the Kwabena Adjei-led leadership to rise up and make its voice heard about the wrong things going on in the Mills administration. 'The party must make its voice heard; the party is not unaware of the problems we're talking about.

They have to be more assertive; they have got to remind people who have been elected that they are not independent candidates, but were elected on the platform of the party,' he charged.

Also speaking to the media, Vice President John Dramani Mahama, in calculated demeanour, and who was visibly not happy about the outburst of the former President, said the government would not be run on the basis of the outburst of individuals, but on the basis of collective decision that will be in the interest of the nation.

Mahama insisted there was no crack in the NDC government, as is being claimed by a section of the media. 'There are different shades of opinions in any political party. How you manage these opinions is what makes a successful party.'

The Vice President, however, confirmed that there were 'all kinds of power centres that need to be managed in terms of moving forward.'

Meanwhile Squadron Leader (Rtd) Clend Sowu, a member of the National Executive Committee, yesterday confirmed there was a lot of bitterness in the NDC, especially at the grassroots level.

Speaking on Asempa Radio, an Accra based radio station, the leading party member regretted that even though he and several other members had raised the issue at various platforms, their concerns had been totally ignored.