by Justice Lee Adoboe

Office of former Ghanaian president, Jerry John Rawlings late Monday denied that the ex-president had been bribed by President John Dramani Mahama to support him in the December polls.

A local tabloid, The New Statesman, published in its Monday, September 24 edition that many Ghanaians had been surprised by the apparent ?U-turn? by Rawlings to throw his weight behind President Mahama, after having criticized the same government as condoning corruption.

The paper owned by New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo published, ?The sudden u-turn performed by the founder of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Jerry John Rawlings, only a few months after describing his party as one in a ditch, and now describing it as one that can win the December polls, has baffled many Ghanaians, with some wondering if the former President has been ?bought?,?

?We wish to inform members of the general public that these reports are a complete fabrication, calculated for selfish political gain at the expense of the hard-won reputation of President and Mrs. Rawlings,? said the release issued by the former president?s office, Monday night.

According to the release, ?President and Mrs. Rawlings do not need any influence whatsoever to decide the political course they wish to take. They have for over three decades followed their personal political convictions of integrity and will not allow that to be destroyed by cheap monetary influences.?
The office therefore cautioned those it described as ?such errant media and personalities? who had taken it upon themselves to soil the reputation of the former President and the former First Lady to desist from such devious acts.
For the better part of the last three years, Rawlings had been one of the leading critics of the government of his own NDC party, accusing them of one wrong after another.
This brought strained relations between him and late president John Atta Mills, a man he single-handedly chose to be his successor.
However after the death of Mills, attempts have been made by various interest groups in the party, with pressure mounting from the grass-root supporters of the party, to reunite the former president with his own party before the elections in December.
Indeed, Rawlings was on record to have attended the Emergency congress in Kumasi last month where President Mahama was unanimously elected as the party?s candidate for the up-coming polls and even had few words for the new president as to how to emerge victorious in the polls.
Just last Wednesday, Rawlings told traditional rulers in his home region of Volta, that Mahama could win the polls as he had rekindled the spirit of party supporters.
This assertion brought some joy to the NDC with Rawlings? spokesman Kofi Adams also joining radio debates to shower praises on President Mahama.
The declaration had been described as an endorsement for Mahama?s presidency from the party founder who had been a vigorous campaigner for the party in previous elections.
Opposition New Patriotic Party which had been hoping to benefit from Rawlings? campaigning against his own party has been demonstrating jitters as its leading officials had denied that Rawlings? statement was an endorsement of Mahama.
The publication by the New Statesman edited by Gabby Asare Okyere-Darko, cousin of the NPP presidential candidate is seen as some political analysts as a ploy to blackmail Rawlings morally to dissuade him from supporting Mahama in the polls.
It has however been alleged by another pro-NPP tabloid, the Daily Guide that Nana Konadu Agyemean-Rawlings, wife of ex-President Rawlings would be tendering her resignation from the NDC on Tuesday in order to contest the presidential slot of NDC break-away party the National Democratic Party(NDP). Enditem


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