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15.09.2002 Feature Article

How The PNDC Ballooneed Into NDC

By Press
How The PNDC Ballooneed Into NDC
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The Confession of Sqr. Ldr. Sowu Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)

'Rawlings felt insecure and nervous at the time, knowing how 'bad' politicians are'

SQUADRON LEADER (Rtd) Clend Sowu, two-time NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Anlo (1992 and 1996) till a palace coup initiated by his party with the tacit support of some Anlo chiefs punctured his dreams, last Sunday attempted to explain to Ghanaians how the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) transformed into the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Squadron Leader Sowu was contributing to GTV's popular Talking Point programme which discussed the apparent problems in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the way forward, especially in the light of the struggle for the party's flagbearership position and the cracks that appear to have developed in the party.

But the honest and astute Clend Sowu, who even in the days when the NDC had almost 100 per cent MPs in Parliament showed a stunning sense of independence and patriotism, we are told on authority, did not reveal in toto how Dr. J. J. Rawlings, who had all the while stated in public and in private that he did not (he still does not) believe in multi-party democracy and the ballot box, managed to lead a political arrangement he had perpetually been condemning.

Chronicle independent investigations have, however, established that, just like the venerable Clend Sowu disclosed, when the green light was given for a return to multi-party democracy, the general feeling among PNDC appointees at the time was that, since the nation had two political traditions, there was the need for a sort of presidential commission to oversee the transition as the two traditions went their separate ways to establish independent parties from independent funds.

Chronicle has also learnt that it was therefore the thorny issues of independent funding and the fortunes of the ex-president as well as the political expediency of the times that compelled radical elements in the PNDC to "divide and rule" using "ways and means" to create several parties and groupings as a political base to nurture their new political baby and swing it into office.

Rawlings, Chronicle was told by insiders in the (P)NDC, felt insecure and nervous at the time, knowing how 'bad' politicians are when it comes to the ballot box palaver and issues of "the law."

His particular worry was that his own boys could use the Constitution to upstage him in one way or the other.

The paper further learnt that since the ex-president had a morbid fear, particularly for CPP politicians who "seem to know the terrain too well", something had to be done about the whole arrangement to assuage his fears.

When it was also noted that the 'old man' was feeling edgy about constitutional rule and all its implications like the rule of law and press freedom and how that would affect his personal security and future, a way had to be found to convince him that he was still loved by the people and that constitutional rule was only going to legitimise and regularise his stay in political office.

The grand plan as we all now know was that, they (the CPP elements) were going to "organise and prepare the ground for him."

United Party (UP) elements who initially favoured the separation into original political groups, had to give in just for the sake of political expediency and join the gravy train.

Efforts to rope in then opposition political stalwarts like Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, Speaker of Parliament and Mr. Sam Okudjeto, another veteran politician failed.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby and a few UP stalwarts, who had the courage of their convictions, left the government in protest.

They resigned and joined the New Patriotic Party (NPP) the Chronicle was told, but Wereko-Brobby later left to form the United Ghana Movement (UGM).

"Sqn. Ldr. (Rtd) Sowu's statement to the effect that it has always been difficult for our heads of state, down the years, to tell which of his appointees were speaking the truth to him on a particular issue at any particular time, is revealing enough", a former PNDC appointee told the paper.

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