Story by Emmanuel Akli
It all started during this year’s June 4th celebration in Tamale, when a group calling itself Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings (FONKAR) displayed placards describing the former First Lady as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate for the 2012 general elections. Despite the furore that accompanied the display of these placards, Nana Konadu and her sweetheart, Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, kept quiet and never made any public comments on the issue.
Just last month, the same FONKAR members pasted posters in some parts of the country, displaying the effigy of Nana Konadu as a potential candidate for the NDC in 2012.
The decision compelled the National Executives of the ruling party to summon the former First Lady, who is also a Vice Chairperson of the party.
She reportedly told the executives that she had nothing to do with the group, and that she would only publicly disassociate herself from FONKAR, if those who insulted her when the posters emerged, apologised to her.
Despite this repeated public denial by Nana Konadu that she had no links with FONKAR, her husband, Jerry John Rawlings, recently issued a statement denying media reports that quoted him as saying that his wife had no presidential ambition, but still fell short of telling the public that the President of the 31st December Women’s Movement would contest President Mills in the 2012 presidential primary or not.
Though the activities of FONKAR are said to have undermined the authority of President John Evans Atta Mills as leader of the party, the group has not relented on its resolve to campaign for Mrs. Rawlings.
Latest information reaching The Chronicle indicates that FONKAR has now designed a website to promote the presidential ambition of its mentor. The new website – www.fonkar.org – has a big picture of the former First Lady with the caption, “Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Presidential Candidate for 2012.”
The website also catalogues the various schools the NDC founder’s wife attended, and her political achievements. Part of the CV reads: “As first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings accompanied her husband, President Jerry John Rawlings, on official and state visits. In 1995, she travelled with President Rawlings on his extensive tour of the United States to promote investment and trade.
As part of the visit, President Rawlings and Mrs. Rawlings were awarded honorary degrees from the Lincoln University, alma mater of Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah. Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Social Science by a University in Pennsylvania for her exemplary work in championing the cause of women empowerment.”
All attempts by The Chronicle to contact the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, to ascertain whether the out-dooring of the website to promote Konadu’s 2012 presidential agenda contravenes party rules and regulations proved futile, as his mobile phone had been switched off. Mr. Kofi Adams, who speaks for the Rawlingses, could also not be reached on his phone.
Though President Mills has publicly declared his intention to seek re-election, the founder and his wife appear not to be amused, and have resorted to underground work to torpedo him.
Mr. Rawlings has on many occasions harshly criticised the President for failing to jail former New Patriotic Party (NPP) functionaries.
Mills has also come to state that as a Professor of law, he had no power to send the said functionaries to jail, without taking them through the due process of the law.
The Chronicle is keeping an eagle eye on the drama as it unfolds, and will keep readers informed.