…in NDC internecine war

By: Issah Alhassa, Kumasi

President Atta Mills (left), Gabriel Agah, National Coordinator, Friends of Atta Mills and Prof. Mills Movement for 2012 (middle), One of the controversial banners (right)

INTRA-party hostilities between the camp of President John Evans Atta Mills and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings over the presidential slot of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is threatening to develop into a full scale internecine war.

Members of the Movement for Konadu for 2012, a pressure group championing the former first lady’s presidential ambition, are seething with anger over the erection of posters and banners projecting the image of the sitting head of state.

Banners have suddenly appeared at vantage points in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, seeking to portray President Mills as the NDC man for 2012 elections, and this has irked supporters of the former first lady, who are calling on the national hierarchy of the party to bring the President and his supporters to order.

The posters, which were erected by the pro-Mills groups, Friends of Atta Mills and Prof. Mills Movement, give publicity to a fund raising programme to be held on December 5, 2010, at the Prempeh Assembly Hall, to map out strategies towards Prof. Mills’ flagbearership in the 2012 general elections.

The Founder and National Coordinator of the movements, Gabriel Agah, explained to The Chronicle in an interview that the programme was specifically designed to project Prof. Mills as the ideal and obvious choice of the NDC for the 2012 elections.

He said the movement would be seeking to brainstorm and mobilise resources towards ensuring a successful flagbearership campaign for President Mills, when the battle begins for the party’s flagbearership slot.

The national hierarchy of the ruling party recently took strong exception to posters seeking to portray the wife of the founder of the party, as a likely contestant to the NDC presidential primary for the 2012 presidential slot, and threatened to apply the necessary sanctions against those promoting the Konadu for President Campaign.

The national executives subsequently issued a directive banning all interested groups and individuals from engaging in any form of campaigning.

The argument of the national executives was that the time was not due for campaigning, and that anyone who decided to campaign or mount a platform to project a prospective candidate, was acting in contravention of the party’s constitution.

The flooding of President Mills’ banners on street corners, and the seeming quiet attitude on the part of the executives of the party, has angered the pro-Konadu group, which has also threatened to hit the streets if the supporters of the President are not called to order.

The President of the Movement for Konadu for 2012, Henry Oware, contends that failure on the part of the National Executive to take any action against the pro-Atta Mills movement amounted to discrimination.

Oware told The Chronicle that he could not fathom why the top hierarchy of the party had failed to apply the necessary sanctions against those promoting the President, when the party had not signaled the beginning of campaigns within the party for the single slot to face the electorate with presidential nominees of other political parties.

“These posters and banners have been on the streets for close to two weeks now, and we have not seen any leading member of the party talking about it. Is it that some people are more NDC than others, or the rules apply to only certain people,” he queried rhetorically.

The spokesman for those promoting Mrs.  Rawlings argued that since the party’s constitution was superior to any individual or group within the party, the national executives ought to, as a matter of urgency, come out and take the necessary action.

“If the party executives fail to do anything about it, it would mean that they have opened the floodgates, and any group or individual can start campaigning,” he charged.

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