Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings

The battle for the heart and soul of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taken a new twist, with the wife of the party’s founder, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, laying claims to the ownership of the single most powerful emblem, the red, green, white and black umbrella with the head of an eagle atop it, which represents the party.

Nana Konadu, President of 31st December Women’s Movement, has subsequently caused her lawyer, Stanley R.K Ahorlu of Amitlaw chambers, to write to the party chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, threatening to stop the NDC from further use of the logo if the party continues to infringe on her rights over the logo.

The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, confirmed to Joy FM that the party has received a letter from Nana Konadu on the issue.

He said the letter had been forwarded to the appropriate quarters of the party for an appropriate response.

The letter, dated May 7, 2012, and copied to the Copyright Administrator, stated, “As you may be aware, our client holds the copyright to the political party logo being used by the NDC party as its registered political party symbol and known as the ‘Akatamanso’ (umbrella)”, an intellectual property said to have been registered on 12th April 2010 under the Copyright Act (2005), Act 690.
In spite of granting the NDC an unhindered access to the use of the logo, Nana Konadu indicated that her rights continued to be infringed upon by the leadership of the party both in their public utterances and deeds, and thereby denigrating the symbolic value of the emblem. She recalled how she had cause to warn the party leadership against the infringement of her exclusive moral rights in the logo as stipulated in sections 6(a) and (b) of the Act after the Sunyani congress.

What seemed to worry her most was the fact that the denigration of the logo had further manifested itself in gross disrespect to her husband, former President Rawlings, founder of the NDC, coupled with the disunity in the party.

She also complained of the virtual neglect of egalitarian values of the NDC, lack of accountability by key party leaders to the membership of the party, leading to disaffection among the rank and file of the party.

The former First Lady has asked the leadership of the party to make amends before she takes a decisive action to withdraw her permission for the use of the logo.

“Unless steps are taken by the party to that effect, our client will feel compelled to withdraw her permission for the use of the logo by the party,” her lawyers warned.

DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the former First Lady may head to court to restrain the NDC from using the logo.

The move is considered as part of plans by Mrs. Rawlings and her supporters to claim ownership of the logo and subsequently use it for their much-speculated political party that they intend to form, the National Democratic Party (NDP), even though Kofi Adams, spokesperson for the NDC, had ruled out the possibility of a new party.

With six months to elections, political analysts have expressed fear that Mrs. Rawlings could throw the entire NDC party into disarray if she decides and is able to carry through her decision to take back the umbrella logo from the ruling party.

Kofi Abotsi, a lecturer at GIMPA Law School, said if Mrs. Rawlings had indeed registered the logo, she could claim it.

But Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, Richard Quashigah, who spoke on Accra-based Citi FM, said the party would study the concerns of the former First Lady and take a decision on it.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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