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30.05.2007 General News

NDC set to sacrifice Mills

By Daily Guide
NDC set to sacrifice Mills

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has indicated its preparedness to sacrifice on any altar, its presidential candidate, Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, provided that action would translate into electoral victory for the party in the 2008 general elections.

Former president and founder of the party, Jerry John Rawlings, who sent the signals on Friday in Accra, said the professor had already set in motion modalities for what he called 'sacrificing himself for freedom and justice'.

Rawlings said Prof Mills' decision to put his life on the line for the party was commendable, hoping that the party would smile at the end of the day.

“I am happy that Professor Mills has hit the road for his campaign, and you have all heard him saying that he would not allow the NPP to do their thing again, and promised to sacrifice himself for freedom and justice”, he told party supporters at a rally at the Madina Zongo Junction in Accra to mark the 25th anniversary of the revolutionary 31st December Women's Movement (DWM).

Recent threats by the NDC candidate to reject any election results if it smacked of rigging brought to the fore Mills' claims that he only conceded defeat in December 2004 to avert a looming nationwide bloodbath at the time.

After lampooning his former vice for what was described as 'womanish and cowardly pre and post-elections decisions', Rawlings said Mills had for once impressed him.

The former law lecturer and chief tax collector had also told students at the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) that he was not prepared for any further slaps by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) or the Electoral Commission (EC), claiming his two previous electoral defeats in 2000 and 2004 were stage managed, and that even though he conceded defeat in both cases, he never accepted the results.

Prof Mills had indicated recently that he was persuaded to accept the results of the 2004 elections by eminent Ghanaians including Mr. Kwame Pianim, Chairman of Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, ECOWAS Commission President.

Ex-president Rawlings, seen as the de-facto head of the nation's largest opposition political party, said he supported the decision of the professor to reject results of any future elections if he did not see it as free and fair.

Unlike the scenario at Coco Beach Hotel, where the law professor was harshly castigated for his soft stance and virtually branded 'a sleeping beauty', Friday's recommendation was a complete reversal of several other boardroom NDC gatherings.

On the health of the three-time presidential candidate, Rawlings noted that it was absurd to infer that Mills was having some problems, citing the on-going house-to-house campaign as a testimony to Prof Mills' good health.

“Prof. Mills has been going from house to house campaigning, but some people say he is sick. If they say he is sick, has he collapsed from one house to the other? Rawlings enquired from his listeners.

It would be recalled that soon after the 2004 general elections, which retained President John Agyekum Kufuor in power, Rawlings was reportedly advised Mills to reject the results and instead call for civil disobedience as happened in Ukraine at the time, but the former vice president threw the advice into the rubbish can, saying he did not want a bloodbath- a development that earned him the name, 'Asumdwehene'.

Media speculations also indicated that the rejection of the idea nearly led to a series of problems between the two NDC stalwarts.
But current developments strongly suggested that the professor had changed dramatically, and was not prepared for a historic three-time defeat.

Not only has he openly served notice of his intention to put his life on the line, he has also directly or indirectly warned of a looming Armageddon.

While the NDC deputy general secretary, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, was quoted in London as having threatened mayhem if the NDC lost another election, the founder also said the party could not wait for election 2008, occasionally calling for 'positive defiance'.

What was not clear yet was the extent to which the professor would follow through with his threat.