Media prophecy on Nana Konadu for president come true?
Political analysts predicted, prophets prophesied, media practitioners speculated and run commentaries over a decade ago that the then sitting First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings was nursing ambitions to become the first woman President of the Republic of Ghana, but all were met with fierce rebuttals from the office of the Rawlingses.
A cartoon published by The Dispatch newspaper dated 10th -18th January, 2000, vividly captured the general perception people had about the silent but strong desire of Nana Konadu to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in a presidential elections.
Ten years down the line, the chickens have come home to roost, with a 4-yard banner with the inscription MOVEMENT FOR NANA KONADU AGYEMANG RAWLINGS 2012 PRESIDENT. ASHANTI REGION, flying high at the June 4, 2010 celebration which took place in Tamale.
Although political analysts believe the banner is a confirmation of her quest to lead the party founded by her husband former President Jerry John Rawlings, Nana Konadu has remained mum on the sensitive issue making room for more speculations and conjecture. She has neither commended nor condemned the group behind the Movement but ten NDC Regional Chairmen have had to quickly dash to the aid of President John Atta Mills where they affirmed their support for his candidature for the 2012 elections.
The banner and subsequent comments from some NDC sympathizers seem to have hit the core of the ruling party, with their National Chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, jumping into the fray and warning that “if Prof. Mills doesn't succeed nobody will succeed, nobody!” In an interview last Wednesday on Citi FM's 'Eyewitness News' programme Dr. Adjei who sounded troubled revealed, “the likes of me (Kwabena Adjei) have sat down. We have not said anything, we have watched events, and we are worried. We are worried because this is coming from the highest echelons of our ranks.”
According to Dr. Kwabena Adjei, there were people in the NDC who were trying to “rock the boat” and it was time to tell them that they (he and his compatriots) would not sit down and see the detractors rock the boat.
“It should be made very clear to them, those who want to make sure that they undermine Prof. Atta Mills so they come to power, they lie … the probability is that if within the party the top men continue to criticize the leader and president and cast aspersions on his health and everything, that party doesn't have the likelihood of surviving”.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the seeming power struggle brewing in the NDC, Kofi Adams, a Deputy General Secretary of the party has taken issue with the public announcement that President Mills will seek a second term in 2012. President Mills is on record to have told the BBC he would seek a second term.
Kofi Adams, who doubles as an aide to ex-President Rawlings, said President Mills' open declaration to contest in 2012 has the potential to discourage other members of the party who would have loved to contest for the position.
“When in less than two years we begin to get pronouncements such as this [from President Mills], it sort of disengages others who may also have interest in the position,” Mr. Adams opined Saturday on News File, a news analysis programme on Joy FM. According to Mr. Adams, what was more worrying was the failure of “advisers' to the president to call to order persons who are vowing to “crash” anyone who decides to compete with President Mills in the primaries to select a candidate for the 2012 elections.
Mr Adams, in recent interviews in sections of the media has highlighted the political credentials of Mrs. Rawlings. Nana Konadu, according to him, has for 28 years, worked tirelessly to better the lot of the underprivileged in the country and that the experience garnered in this journey makes the former First Lady stand tall amongst all the people whose names have so far come up as possible successors to President J.E.A. Mills.
“We have presidents across the world some of whom have not even half of the percentage of experience Nana Konadu has [accumulated] in the last 28 years that she has been actively involved in the political activities of this country”, he declared.
Touting the credentials of the President of the 31st December Women's Movement, Kofi Adams, said “…Nana Konadu always does things that she believes strongly, will bring about progress to whichever organization she so represents.”
At the June 4 event in Tamale, Mr Rawlings characteristically lashed out at what he called the incompetence of the Mills-led administration and at a point called the president a 'konongo kaya', - one who would not do the job but would not allow others to do it.
Such utterances, political pundits believe, are to undermine the president and incite the grassroots supporters against President Mills in furtherance of the aspirations of Mrs Rawlings.
“Today when we take one step forward we take two steps backwards. We took several steps forward in 2000 but the NPP took us back again. Now in 2008 we have taken them out and expect to move forward but we cannot move forward”, Mr. Rawlings observed.
The former President said precious political time was being squandered and cautioned that the government had up till the end of this year to put in place investigative machinery in every district to identify all the atrocities that were allegedly committed during the Kufuor regime. “By the end of this year Ghanaians will be making up their minds about the performance of this administration (Mills' administration)”, former President Rawlings cautioned.