Late Jerry John Rawlings and former President John Mahama
The National Democratic Party (NDP), whose presidential candidate is former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings has accused former President John Mahama of seeking to use the death of former President Jerry John Rawlings to jolt his “dead campaign” two weeks into the 7 December 2020 polls.
At a press conference on Monday, 23 November 2020, the General Secretary of the NDP, Alhaji Mohammed Frimpong, said: “With what he [Mr Mahama] did with the demise of former President Mills, he should not be allowed to do the same with the death of our beloved former president Rawlings”, adding: “Ghanaians should not oblige to that”.
Alhaji Frimpong also accused the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), whose founder was the late President Rawlings, of hypocrisy, saying when the late military leader was alive, “John Mahama desperately wanted to silence him and now that Rawlings is no more, Mahama finds it expedient to utilise his death to galvanise support for his weak base within the NDC rank and file and the country at large to salvage his 2020 campaign which is going nowhere.”
“Suddenly, the individuals within the NDC under the current leadership of John Mahama, who publicly vilified Rawlings, have rediscovered a new voice proclaiming themselves to the true adherent of his ideals and those who used foul languages against Rawlings are now hailing him”, Alhaji Frimpong added.
The NDP’s accusations tie in with similar ones made by Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia on Saturday, 21 November 2020.
According to him, the NDC is a party of hypocrites and dishonest people who denigrated their founder but today, after his death, are marching for his values of probity and accountability.
“When Jerry John Rawlings was alive, they [NDC] were not marching for probity and accountability; they were rather disrespecting him, they were calling him ‘barking dog’, ‘the Volta god’, isn’t that the case?
“They were disrespecting him, they got babies with sharp teeth to attack him; isn’t that the case? Today, now that he’s dead, they are saying they are marching for probity and accountability.
“Their march should be named ‘the march for hypocrisy and dishonesty’. That is the march that they should be marching – hypocrisy and dishonesty”, Dr Bawumia told supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the auditorium of the Yendi Senior High School in Yendi, Northern Region, on Saturday, 21 November 2020.
Mr Rawlings died on Thursday, 12 November 2020.
As part of activities to commemorate his passing, the NDC has been organising a series of activities such as vigils and marches in the late president’s memory.
The party’s General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, at a point, even accused President Nana Akufo-Addo and the government of attempting to “hijack” the funeral of the late military leader.
Dr Bawumia, however, said for a party that “disrespected” its own founder while he was alive, he found it “dishonest” for the NDC to profess the values of Mr Rawlings now that he is no more.
“Today, after the death of the former President, may his soul rest in peace, Jerry John Rawlings, they are now there saying they are marching in his honour for probity and accountability.
“Where was the probity and accountability when they were chopping the SADA money?
“They should be marching for the SADA guinea fowls not for probity and accountability; that’s the march they should be doing and we will see what accountability they have given.
“They should be marching for the bus branding scandal, they should be marching for the Airbus scandal. That is the probity and accountability Ghanaians want to see”, Dr Bawumia noted.