Information available to the New Statesman indicates that the recent merger between the National Democratic Congress and the Democratic Freedom Party was part of an elaborate plot by the leadership of the ruling party to strip former President Jerry John Rawlings of his status as the founder, and eventually kick him out of the party.

According to Kofi Adams, Spokesperson to Mr Rawlings, the national executives of the NDC did not inform their party founder about the decision to merge with the Obed-Asamoah-led DFP.

The founder of the ruling party was said to have been deliberately sidelined from the party’s Council of Elders meeting which agreed on the merger, in view of his continued attacks on the Mills-Mahama led government.

Per the laws of Ghana, when two or more parties merge, they cease to exist and are therefore required to re-register as a new party.

Our sources within the NDC say the party has planned to undergo all the legal requirements with respect to the merger before June 4 “and the argument of the party executives is that because the party has merged with another one, the position of the founder should be scrapped.”
The hawks in the NDC leadership, who are the chief loyalists of President Mills, are convinced it will make political sense to strip Mr Rawlings of the founder title so that his expected June 4 attack will not be taken as “the founder’s verdict” on the NDC.

According to sources at the presidency and the head office of the party, campaign strategists of President Mills are particularly worried about the uncertainty over whether or not the bad blood between Party Leader President Mills and Party Founder former President Rawlings could be resolved to pave the way for a united campaign front with Mr Rawlings on board.

And while hawks like Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary, and Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Director of Operations at the Castle, think the party can ignore Mr Rawlings and go ahead to win the election, the moderates think otherwise.

The argument by the Asiedu Nketiahs and Nii Lanteys is that even when Mr Rawlings played a central role in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns, the party still lost, an indication that the absence of the former President from the campaign train would not have any adverse effect on the second term bid of President Mills.

They also think the so-called ‘unprecedented achievements’ by the Mills-Mahama led administration should be enough to convince the electorate to renew the mandate of the government.

But, Spokesperson for Mr Rawlings and suspended NDC deputy General Secretary, Kofi Adams, has warned that the national executives of the party would be living in the fool’s paradise to think that they could win the December polls without their party founder.
Speaking on Asempa FM Monday, the embattled Kofi Adams maintained that the ruling party would lose the crucial December presidential and parliamentary polls if it went into the contest with a divided front, and more importantly without the party’s founder.

Mr Adams regretted the current crisis in the NDC, wondering whether there was a leader in charge of the ruling party.

He therefore charged Kwabena Adjei, NDC National Chairman, to take serious measures to renew the reconciliation process between former President Rawlings and President Mills, instead of allowing himself to be influenced by self-centred people who seek to benefit from the growing rift between the duo.

Source: Kwabena Amankwah/thestatesmanonline

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