The former president, Jerry Rawlings last Saturday sounded mature, prophetic and philosophical when he energized the spirits of Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the NDC presidential candidate as well as the party faithfuls that Mills did not lose in the Central Region as was portrayed by the 2004 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Rawlings assessment of Mills contrasts with that of Dr Obed Asamoah, the more analytical National Chairman of National Democratic Congress who has observed that Mills is not a winnable candidate. Political analysts were surprised at how Mr. Rawlings handled election matters in the region as was unusual of him and were anticipating he would blast the supporters of the party in the region for their inability to propel Mills to power.
He surprised his audience who were holding their breadth expecting the Koforidua treatment; he gave to Bede Ziedeng and other NDC top shots. Surprisingly, he rather embarked on a sober on the episode. "Mills never lost the presidential slot in the central region. It's never happened," he charged as the large audience broke into rapturous exultation and contentment and smile were written all over the faces of the delegates and supporters who had gathered to elect new regional executives at their 6th Biennial Conference.
The result was made to appear that Mills was rejected in his own backyard, portraying him in a bad light to both national and the international community. According to Mr Rawlings, Mills was one of the finest men he had ever worked with and there was no way the people in the region could reject him as such. He said Mills won massively in the region but the polling agents were not vigilant to prevent the rigging machine of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) when he foresaw it and warned them to be extra- vigilant during his keep-fit exercise with them in the wake of the elections.
"I warned you that your victory was clearly written on the wall so you must be vigilant yet you went home and slept while some of you thought on your stomachs and forgot the future," blaming the party members for sitting back and allowing NPP to steal the verdict in region. Mr Rawlings pointed out that the NPP spent millions of dollars in printing ballot papers and stuffed ballot boxes with them and careful examinations of the papers will reveal replicate fingerprint as it discovered in Togo recently.
The former president recollected that soon after the keep-fit exercise, President Kufuor summoned a three-day meeting at the regional office in which Nana Awuku, an elder of the party as well as some chiefs attended. According the former President, at the meeting, Mr. Kufuor barked at them and charged "you told me the NDC was dead in the central region," and questioned them about their fate should the NDC regain power?
It was there the plan to rig the election in the region was hatched. Apart from that there were several reports from outside which indicated that the NDC was coming back after four years, adding that the same reports were asking whether the party could stand the rigging machinery of the ruling party. After telling his strange story, he asked the party members in the region not to repeat what they did in 2004 to show to the world that something good can come from the central part of Ghana.
Earlier on, National Organizer of the NDC, Ofosu Ampofo, reiterated the need for the party to unite but when Mr Rawlings took his turn, he replied that unity is good but truth must be the bedrock, warning that the party would never tolerate dishonest people. "I proposed Mr John Asiedu Nketia as the person suitable for the post of general secretary because of his honesty and people were saying I was campaigning for him."
He said NDC believes in quality and honesty that was why the party still possesses the best, stressing that the fight between the NDC and the NPP was about truth and lies. According to Mr Rawlings, NDC has no money to fight the NPP but it will use truth as a tool to defeat them as they were already crumbling.
Prof. Mills, who gave a very short speech, remarked that he knew those who worked for him during the elections. He said it was sad that they allowed such rigging strategy to overcome them. He called on the supporters to work with truth and not allow money to take the better part of them. Mills tickled the delegates when he said: "I am NDC and I will die NDC."