…as TEIN hoots at Kuagbenu
By: Emmauel Akli
The persistent attacks on members of President John Evans Atta Mills’ government by the pro-Rawlings bloc in the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by the former President himself and Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Vice Chairman of the party, has now been met with equal-force by Vice President John Dramani Mahama.
Addressing a conference organised by the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the party at Winneba in the Central Region over the weekend, John Mahama took strong exception to the unwarranted attacks on the government by these personalities, without mentioning names.
According to John Mahama, no matter what the communication team of the government would do, it would be very difficult to propagate the achievements of the government if members of the party were not disciplined.
He wondered how the party and the government could trumpet its achievements if leading members continue to describe ministers and other government appointees as ‘Greedy Bastards’ and ‘Team B’, among others.
The founder of the NDC, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, sometime last year, described some of the Ministers serving in the Atta Mills’ government as ‘Greedy Bastards’. This was after some of the footsoldiers of the party had called on him at his Ridge Residence in Accra to complain that they were being denied contracts by the government.
A few weeks after this infamous statement, Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah also authored an article in the ‘Daily Graphic,’ where he described Ministers serving in the government as ‘Team B,’ insinuating that NDC members who deserved to be fielded had been by-passed in favour of those who, in football parlance, should have warmed the bench.
Apart from these two diatribes, the two personalities have also, on many occasions, spewed unprintable words against the President and his Ministers, with Mr. Rawlings in particular, accusing President Atta Mills of packing his government with ‘strangers’.
He also described the President at a June 4 rally held in Tamale this year, where the presidential ambition of his wife, Nana Konadu, was unveiled, as a ‘Konongo Kaya,’ who could not carry his load, yet would not allow others to carry it.
The Chronicle has learnt from sources within the government that President Atta Mills took strong exception to this attack, but was compelled to keep quiet for the sake of peace in the party.
Apparently, it was with all these attacks in mind that John Mahama took the podium at Winneba and warned that divisions in the party front had the tendency of giving their political opponents ammunition to fire back at the NDC.
He made reference to the way the opposition parties had been using some of these words to launch blistering attacks on the government.
According to John Mahama, the history of this country could not be written without mentioning Rawlings’ contribution, contending that he achieved a lot for the country during his nineteen year rule.
He, however, argued that the former President was able to make the mark because the entire party supported him throughout his reign. “The history of this country cannot be written without his (Rawlings) name being there in bold letters.
He achieved many successes, but in all the achievements that we made in the PNDC and NDC era, we did it because we had discipline in the party. We learnt how to handle our disagreements, and above all, we were united as one party,” he added and, therefore, called for the same support for the Atta Mills government to also succeed.
Mahama regretted that the turbulence and divisions in the party had raised its ugly head within TEIN too. “I want to urge you, as our younger brothers and sisters, to maintain the solidarity, truthfulness, your advocacy for justice, and the discipline that has brought you this far,” he said.
Meanwhile, TEIN members shocked the full-to-capacity hall at the University College of Education, Winneba, when they refused to allow the Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat, Vincent Kuagbenu, from addressing them, amid hooting.
They accused him of being arrogant and would, therefore, not allow him to address the meeting.