NPP does not and will never wish Mills dead - Sammy Awuku
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described as frivolous and churlish claims by the General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia that the NPP orchestrated rumours of the death of the president.
A Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Mr Sammy Awuku says the claims of the NDC scribe were as malicious and distasteful as the rumours themselves.
President JEA Mills, last weekend before departing for the United States for medical check-up, said he had heard rumours that he was dead and wondered the basis for such rumours. Questions had been asked about the whereabouts of the president after he had not been seen in public for close to two weeks whilst communal violence ravaged parts of the country.
Mr Asiedu-Nketia in an interview with Joy News claimed members of the NPP were responsible for the wicked rumours.
Whilst not mentioning any names, the NDC General Secretary said it was obvious that the NPP felt their chances of winning the December polls were brighter without President Mills as leader of the governing party.
In a swift rebuttal, Sammy Awuku said the first news item on President Mills' health emanated from the inner circles of the NDC itself when Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah sent a text message to former President Jerry Rawlings expressing doubts as to whether the then candidate Mills was capable of withstanding the vagaries of campaigning in the 2008 elections, given his state of health.
Sammy Awuku also referred Mr Asiedu-Nketia to public statements by NDC Member of Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo, Michael Teye Nyaunu in 2007 that the NDC ought to organise an emergency congress to replace Prof. Mills as candidate of the NDC for the 2008 elections, citing his poor health.
With this background, he said, it was absurd for the NDC General Secretary to concoct rumours of Mills' death and attribute same to the NPP.
Mr Asiedu-Nketia in his interview with Joy News' Sammy Darko, dismissed a statement issued by the flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo wishing President Mills well as fake and part of the NPP's tradition of shedding crocodile tears.
But Sammy Awuku said it was curious that the NDC General Secretary was condemning the statement of the NPP when both the NDC itself and the government that President Mills headed had failed to wish the president well.
He said the NPP saw President Mills as an opponent and not an enemy, for, 'politics is a contest of ideas.'
The president according to him, 'is the embodiment of the nation, we want him to come back strong, fit and alive; we want Professor Mills to live to see 2012 so that he will see where the NPP will take Ghana to beyond 2013.'
The NPP Deputy Communications Director said the NPP disagreed with the direction the president was leading the country but it certainly did not wish him dead.