The founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings has openly castigated President John Evans Atta Mills for not stamping his authority on the administration of the country.
According to him, the President's inaction has not only deepened the crisis within the rank and file of the party but has also given a leeway to the opposition members to engage in acts to suggest that they are still in power. The former President, who left in the middle of a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party at the Ravico Hotel in Accra, to receive the overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom an his contingent, expressed his frustration in an interview with the press at the conference venue, yesterday.
Flt. Lt. Rawlings claimed that some party members were livid about the leadership style of President Mills, which is no longer a secret within the party, since the same view was variously expressed at the meeting. He insisted that President Mills had lost moral control and that had paved way for some other people to be calling the shots.
The NDC founder, who was not ready to delve any further into the nitty-gritty of the party matters, said “Many things are going wrong and we need a kind of leadership that should be calling the tune, but not for others to be dictating to him,” he said. Mr. Rawlings charged the presidency to live up to expectation because people voted for the party to have their problems solved.
“I am not feeling any different from the way others are feeling,” he said. Responding to measures to address the teething problems within the party, which he believed were dampening the moral of party members, he urged the party leadership to make their voices heard, since they know better the problems confronting the party.
“I have solutions but this is not the time. We shall talk about this another time, but the leadership of the party must be heard,” he said. He added that the people were not elected as independent candidates but on the ticket of the NDC, and hence they must work to satisfy the demands of majority of Ghanaians.
He confirmed reports that there was friction within the party, based on some disagreements on the government's appointments and allegations of hijacking the party.
On his views about the appointment, he noted that it was unfortunate that a lot of party potentials were left out and that there was a lot of mediocrity in the selection process, falling short of mentioning any particular names.
The former President strongly believed that President Mills' administration was going at a slow pace, as against the demand of the masses who voted for the NDC for some urgency in decisions taken by the government.
In a swift reaction, the Vice President, Hon. John Dramani Mahama denied the existence of division within the party. According to him, in every political party, there are different shapes of opinion and this does not suggest friction. Pushed by the media to speak on the founder's view, the affable Vice President declined to be drawn into any outburst on the part of Mr. Rawlings.
The NDC, after winning the last general election has not officially met as a party, until the party leadership met yesterday. The meeting was to assess the performance of the party in government over the last three months, undertake a review and propose further moves to help make the party attractive, and also to find out means of ensuring that the goal of a better Ghana promised by the NDC was achieved