When Rawlings met Nana Addo
Something fundamental to the evolution of politics in Ghana took place yesterday, when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, paid a courtesy call on former President Jerry John Rawlings at his official residence at Ridge in Accra yesterday.
The news in the meeting was not so much what the two leaders said. The fact that the two adversaries met in a cordial atmosphere is significant for the evolution of politics in Ghana.
The two leaders have existed like the cat and mouse since the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) seized power and declared himself Head of State of the Republic of Ghana, more than three decades ago.
Since the coup d’état of December 31, 1981 brought about the military junta of the Provisional National Defence Council, which in turn begat the NDC Mark One administration, Nana Akufo-Addo has stood like a pillar of resistance to the authoritarianism unleashed by the military dictatorship, led by the former Air Force pilot.
When former President Rawlings ended his term as Head of State of this Republic, he unleashed verbal assaults on the regime of the NPP, in which Nana Akufo-Addo was a key player. The cat and mouse game reached a crescendo, when the NPP regime, with Nana Akufo-Addo as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, withdrew courtesies reserved for former heads of state from former President Rawlings.
Yesterday’s camaraderie atmosphere that enveloped the meeting of the leaders of our time, told the story of democracy taking firm roots in this land of our birth. It is cheerful to take note of the recognition given by former President Rawlings that Nana Akufo-Addo could be president of the Republic of Ghana by the time the 2012 presidential election was over.
Trust Mr. Rawlings to be populist. The former junta head was said to have taken advantage of the meeting to appeal to Nana Akufo-Addo to look on grassroot members of the NDC as if they were members of his own party. We would like to believe that the essence of leadership is to view all Ghanaians as one people, with a common destiny.
Politically, Mr. Rawlings made it emphatically clear that the days of mounting political platforms were over. The Chronicle is not sure whether the statement could be explained to mean that he would not be on any political party’s platform.
As enigmatic as ever, Mr. Rawlings took advantage of the meeting to chip in the relevance of the National Democratic Party in Ghana’s evolving democracy. Whatever the rational for the NDC founder’s assertion, one fact is clear, he is not likely to be in the trenches with the party he founded, which means that he is not likely to share the same podium with President John Draman Mahama and his party Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, on the campaign trail.
After over 20 years of fighting for the NDC on the campaign trail, evidence is emerging that former President Jerry John Rawlings will not be in the trenches with the NDC, as President John Dramani Mahama seeks to extend his presence at Government House through the ballot box.
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=48361