The National Democratic Congress (NDC) hierarchy has turned the heat on its flagbearer, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, blaming him for the dwindling fortunes of the party.
The Daily Guide newspaper reports that at a crisis meeting dubbed, "Family Meeting" hurriedly convened to address nagging issues affecting the party on Tuesday, speaker after speaker, including party founder Jerry John Rawlings singled out Prof Mills for tongue-lashing to the point that the NDC flagbearer had to be spirited out to save his skin.
The paper quoted sources at the closed-door meeting held at the Coco Beach Hotel, Nungua, as saying that the former Vice President took exit from the highly charged meeting under the guise of preparing for Wednesday's press conference he had on the energy crisis.
The meeting was held under tight security, with all phones off and no note taken between the hours of 9am to 7:15 pm, reports the Daily Guide.
Virtually describing the former vice president as use¬less, Rawlings noted that Prof Mills had not shown strong will enough to capture power in the 2008 elections.
"Prof will sleep and rest till thy Kingdom come," Rawlings was reported to have said. He added that the only way to get power from the NPP which he described as "enemies" was through force and they must go for it.
According to Mr. Rawl¬ings, the people surrounding the NDC flagbearer were also opt helping matters, with what he described as a display of arrogance.
He cited an instance where Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Mills' Communications Di¬rector, refused to accord re¬spect to Dr. (Mrs) Mary Grant, a member of the party's Council of Elders at the late Ga Mantse's funeral in February.
Nii Lante, Jerry Rawlings noted, refused to give his seat to Dr. Grant until he (Rawlings) shouted at him before he reluc¬tantly released the seat to Dr Grant.
At the funeral, Rawlings said, he received more ap¬plause than Prof. Mills, further giving the impression that the NDC flagbearer was a light¬weight.
The Minority Leader, Alban Sumanu Kingsford Bagbin also jumped on Prof Mills, accusing him of letting the party down, the paper continued.
Bagbin said the flagbearer was sitting in Accra with the hope that power would fall on his laps.
It took Major Achaab, a veteran military officer's fu¬neral and Hawa Yakubu's death for Prof Mills to move to the Upper East Region, he pointed out.
The flagbearer, he said, undertook even that trip without informing the MPs of the areas visited.
Bagbin pointed out that the sudden exit of the flag¬bearer from the family meet¬ing was a strong indication of his lack of commitment to the cause of winning power.
He wondered whether the press conference was more important than the meeting to chart a way forward, describ¬ing the excuse as too “flimsy.”
Prof Mills left the meeting under the excuse that he was going to prepare for the press conference.
At the family meeting which was attended by party executives, MPs and seven visitors - four blacks and three whites described as consult¬ants and led by a certain Obuabi, questionnaires were distributed to the participants to analyse the party's strength.
The consultants, flown from America by the party, are here to assess the chances of the main opposition party in the run up to the 2008 polls.
Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who was visiting the country after losing the party's presi¬dential slot to Mills, also took a swipe at the former vice president.
He said Prof Mills had not done enough to resource the party in readiness for the 2008 battle and the flagbearer's suggestion that people should donate their old pick-up vans did not show any seriousness to the task ahead.
Spio, who is the Chief Executive Of¬ficer of London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organi¬sation noted that the NDC needed $20 million to prosecute its campaign.
Taunting Mills, Spio, a former Minister of Education asked rhetorically, “you gave your mandate to Mills, so how will resources come?”
The former president also charged on the Minority MPs, saying that they had sold their conscience for a pittance.
He claimed that NDC MPs had compromised them¬selves by being on the payroll of the National Security Min¬ister, Mr. Francis Poku and had therefore not shown any commitment to get the NPP out of power.
However, he said he could understand their predica¬ments, especially since they had collected huge loans which repayments took the bulk of their salaries.
Rawlings explained that with a salary of about ¢500,000, an MP was left with no option but to fall for Mr. Poku's handouts.
The former President was particularly not happy with his long time loyalist, Mr. E.T Mensah, MP for Ningo Pram¬pram, castigating him for fol¬lowing President Kufuor to the United States for the MCA cash.
The NDC founder lashed out at Francis Agbotse, MP for Ho West also for defend¬ing Dr. Richard Anane, former Minister of Transportation.
The former President then turned the gun on party chair¬man, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, whom he described as not good enough.
He said he had the impres¬sion that Dr. Obed Asamoah was the problem, but with his exit, things had not changed.
Dr. Adjei, Mr. Rawlings noted, was not a better choice for the position.
He expressed suspicion that the National Executive of the party had equally been bribed by the National Secu¬rity.
After lambasting the NDC Chairman, he turned to him, asking “are you annoyed.”
Credit: Daily Guide