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02.05.2007 Politics

Mills mad at Rawlings

By D. Guide
Mills mad at Rawlings

Exasperated by the constant nagging of former President Rawlings, Professor Evans Mills, known as “ Asomdwehene” for his peaceful stance most of the time, has at last burst out with the accusation that Rawlings is muddling the political waters.

A source within the ranks of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) disclosed that the ever-patient Mills was now growing impatient with the everyday interference from the founder, who was making things difficult for him to operate independently.

Apparently to make his stance clear, the source said, the beleaguered Mills had now taken a position of defiance by disobeying some orders of the former President Rawlings who is consequently mad at him.

The source which is close to the Mills campaign team, catalogued a series of 'orders' from the former president being forced down the throat of the flagbearer who had since rejected them, thus placing him on a collision course with the founder.

The source said Prof Mills was sending a clear message to Mr. Rawlings to 'keep his hands off” the political destiny of the NDC, which of course, has incurred the wrath of the NDC founder.

According to the source which was part of the Mills team to the Weija constituency on Monday, Mr Rawlings' anger towards the Prof stemmed from his rejection of an ultimatum given to him to choose a running mate for the 2008 presidential election, including an attempt to foist John Mahama, the party's Director of Communications on him.

The founder is said not to be happy as well with Mills for disobeying his directive not to attend the [email protected] Independence ceremony at the Independence Square on March 6, 2007.

The former President recently lambasted the NDC flagbearer at a crisis meeting dubbed “Family Meeting” at the Coco Beach Hotel, Nungua in Accra, accusing him of doing little to 'snatch' power from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Mr Rawlings carried the campaign even further against the flagbearer to The Hague, Netherlands, where he addressed party supporters on the activities of the party back home.

The source was of the view that there were many competent individuals in the party who could partner the Prof as running mates, if given the chance, but “if you try to impose John Mahama on him, then you are telling Ghanaians that you are still calling the shots and could influence Prof. Mills when he wins power.”

He insisted that Prof. Mills considered Mr. John Mahama a very good material, hardworking and youthful enough to be a running mate but wanted to adopt a more transparent means to selecting an acceptable candidate.

“The party is on the quest of wresting power from the NPP and if we don't put our acts together to pull all the floating votes to our camp, we would have ourselves to blame,” the source cautioned.

The source said Rawlings found himself so 'insulted and humiliated' in the face by Prof. Mills' rejection, and had literary 'washed his hands' off the political activities of the NDC flagbearer.

He however considered the rift between Prof. Mills and Mr. Rawlings as a good omen for the flagbearer and the party, since most Ghanaians were wary of the founder's interference in the party's affairs.

Prof. Mills who had since lost two presidential elections to the incumbent Mr. John Kufuor whose term of office expires in 2008, has been carrying the baggage of his political gaffe, for promising to consult Rawlings 24 hours, should he be elected as President.

Ever since, he has been struggling to create the impression that he is his own man.