Former President Jerry John Rawlings’ hope to re-ignite another verbal diarrhea contest with functionaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ahead of the crucial November polls has suffered a big blow following a decision by party leaders to, henceforth, disregard his tantrums.
The NDC, according to a dependable source, arrived at this decision to avoid a repeat of a similar situation in the run-up to the 2012 elections, when kingpins of the party were embroiled in “needless exchanges with Chairman Rawlings.”
A senior member of the governing party (name withheld), in the heat of Mr. Rawlings’ recent attack on late President Mills, NDC and Nkruamahists told this paper that, “we’ve realized that he will never change. He is someone who always wants people to talk about him, if even what people say about him is negative…all that he wants is to be the subject being discussed.”
The source continued, “we have decided to ignore him and not to respond to his criticisms anymore. We are not into any attention seeking contest with our founder. We have an election to win and we are focused … no amount of unprovoked attacks from our founder will shift our focus from the target we have set for ourselves.”
Asked if the party regrets responding to former President’s invective in the past, another kingpin of the party who has variously been at the receiving end of Mr Rawlings’ diatribes, said “life itself is a learning process; as we grow we get to learn a lot of things. We have resolved that we will not repeat what we did in the past. So, the matter ends there.”
Former President Jerry John Rawlings last week renewed his vitriolic attacks on the late President John Mills and some leading members of the NDC.
Rawlings claimed some heavyweights of the party schemed to stop him from holding onto to power after his constitutional eight years mandate came to an end in 2000.
Mr. Rawlings unwittingly proffered reasons for his unrelenting criticism of the party and many senior members of the NDC including late president Mills.
Some elders of the party he has variously been described as ‘greedy bastards.
The former air force pilot said his plans to keep NDC in power for additional 16 years after his tenure in office was flatly rejected by persons he referred to as “intellectuals”.
As usual of him, and in his bid to lure the NDC to respond in harsh manner, the former President turned his guns on the late President Mills who was a beneficiary of the NDC capos’ decision to ‘stop’ Mr Rawlings in his elongation plot to hang onto power. The late President Mill’s short-lived term in office was described as a “disappointment” by former President Rawlings.
The former president noted “we did everything possible to lift up this country and that’s why people kept wishing we were back. But as soon as we handed over; the guy turned the wheels one 180 degrees. Some of the most outrageous things were happening. I remember trying to tell Mills and giving him details about some of the issues but it surprised me though that for a brilliant man like him (Mills), he couldn’t see.
“He was so shallow. Crime perpetuates itself, if you don’t deal with it, and how Mills couldn’t see through this is something I couldn’t understand. It was so bad that even those who had been misused to jail innocent people some in Ghana, some in Ivory Coast were on standby to escape and this (happened) as we were approaching the 2008 elections.
“But our brother Mills had been so badly persuaded. As he put it to me, he had been advised to let things be and the money will flow. Mills was disappointing. Some of your so-called intellectual creatures are dumb,” Rawlings concluded.
While many were expecting that some leading members of the NDC will go after their founder like they did in the past in defense of the late President Mills, no single member of the party has come out to take him (Rawlings) on.
This, a source explained was because “we have decided to ignore him. We are no longer bothered by what he says. We have heard of these things in the past.”