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01.11.2008 Politics

Rawlings Overshadows Mills

By Daily Guide
Rawlings Overshadows Mills

THE OPPOSITION National Democratic Congress' (NDC') strategy of involving former president Rawlings in Prof. Mills' just-ended campaign tour of the Ashanti region seemingly failed to achieve its purpose of winning votes for the latter, as instead of telling the electorate about the policies of Prof. Mills, the former president used his six-day tour of the region to blow his own horn and attack the Kufuor administration.

Although Prof. Mills' campaign team arrived in the region four days before Mr. Rawlings stormed Kumasi, hundreds of NDC supporters and executives including the regional chairman, Daniel Ohene Agyekum, abandoned their presidential candidate to follow Mr. Rawlings.

Under the circumstance the media's attention was shifted to Mr. Rawlings.

Political observers who spoke to DAILY GUIDE described the strategy as rather unfortunate, wondering how Mr. Rawlings would overshadow Prof. Mills.

Although Prof. Mills pulled relatively large crowds at Asante Bekwai, Obuasi and a few other places especially at the Asokwa constituency in Kumasi, the crowds that former Rawlings attracted were unrivalled.  

The NDC founder used the various campaign platforms to talk of his achievements and track record since 1979.

Also, instead of talking about pertinent developmental and national issues, former president Rawlings virtually used the six days campaign period to praise himself and attack president Kufuor and his government.

On the first day of his tour, which was in Nsuta-Kwamang-Beposo, former president Rawlings rather revisited the old issue of the controversial killings of 34 Ghanaian women shortly before the 2000 general elections.

He accused president Kufuor and some of his ministers of being responsible for the killings of the women, and dared president Kufuor to come with him to the Antoa river deity to prove his innocence.

In all the communities he visited the NDC founder consistently heaped insults on president Kufuor and other officials of his government.

At Suame Magazine, Mr. Rawlings failed to outline a convincing vision of Prof. Mills and the NDC to the crowd, and rather promised them he would become a history lecturer for the youth so as to explain what transpired in the country before, during and after his tenure of office as president of the Republic of Ghana.

He indicated that a lot of Ghanaians are currently living above their ages because of the poor leadership of the NPP government.

Former president said the achievements the NPP is claiming to have made especially in the area of road construction does not come anywhere near what the NDC did for the nation while in government.   

According to him, the NDC under him did seven times better than what president Kufuor and his ministers have done for the nation.

Preaching tribal politics, the NDC founder said he devoted his time and resources to the people of Ashanti even though he could have channeled those resources to the Volta region where he comes from, or Accra, where he was born.

“I started projects in Kumasi because of the love I have for the Ashantis. Again, we chose Kumasi because it is at the crossroad of east and south of the country,” former president Rawlings said, without telling the people what Prof. Mills is capable of doing when he is elected president in December.

Mr. Rawlings toured Nsuta, Kwamang, Beposo, Mampong, Ejura Sekyeredumase, Pankrono, Tafo, Kumawu, Effiduase, Asawase, Suame Magazine and other communities in the region.

From James Quansah, Kumasi