Asiedu Nketiah addressing the press conference. With him is Mr. James Asante, Communications Director of the NDC
Douglas Akwasi Owusu
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated that the participation or otherwise of former President Jerry John Rawlings in the party's campaign for Election 2012 will not make any difference to the fortunes of the party.
"Nobody can say that Election 2012 will be won only if the former president is part of it. This is because all the evidence available does not support any positive or negative answer to that effect".
Mr. Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the party said these at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
"Historically, former President Mills virtually nominated Professor Mills around 2000 and he threw his weight behind him unconditionally and with incumbency added to it. We went into the elections and lost.
In 2004, he repeated the same thing, supported him fully but we lost in the elections. So in 2008, our going in to win suggested that there was something more than the contributions of the founder to get the party the victory", he stated.
"So one cannot tell that his coming on board will get us the victory because he had been on board and we lost the elections or that his non participation will make us lose the elections because there has never been any elections we have gone in which he has not participated", Mr. Asiedu Nketia said.
He stressed that former President Rawlings' participation or non-participation would certainly not lead to a situation where the NDC would abandon the elections, adding "We are going into the elections with all our best efforts and we are not locking the door to him. At any stage he decides to join in, he will be welcomed".
Mr. Asiedu Nketia stated that "If the former President does not join in and he does not campaign for any other party and he remains in the house praying for us, he continues to be our founding father and we think that the victory that we will achieve will be a victory that will be in the service of what he has done and in the service of the nation".
He pointed out that it was becoming very clear to everybody that Rawlings did not intend to participate in the campaign for the Election 2012.
"We are not locking the door on him but we are saying that we are picking this signal especially calling your party members and Presidential candidate a traitor publicly and then later go and mount a platform and call him a perceived enemy and call on Ghanaians to vote for a traitor or a perceived enemy", he stressed.
According to him, by that conduct, the former President was blocking his own opportunity of participating in the up-coming campaign because it would make his campaign ineffective.
"NDC has not departed from any principle of probity and accountability he knows as well the challenges that the NDC has been facing in running a government in a different milieu from the revolutionary days. We are now working in a totally different milieu so if his expectations are that we should be doing things outside the national constitution, our message is that it is simply not possible".
He noted that when the 33rd anniversary of the June Fourth came to be celebrated. The head office of the NDC was totally ignored by the office of the former President, our founder, in all the planning activities.
"Just a day or two before the actual event, we received a letter inviting us to a programme which we should have taken ownership of, because June Fourth is a day that is enshrined in the constitution of the NDC so we did not think that we should be invited to its functions".
"We should be planning the function and inviting others to join us. I am not surprised that majority of members of the party’s national executive did not show up at the function".
He said during the main event, another statement came out describing President Mills as someone who happened to have come into the Presidency by chance and that he did not deserve a second term.
"It did not end there when he went on to describe Nana Akufo Addo as somebody who is also competent enough to be supported to become the President".
He said if these statements were coming from the founding father of the NDC, it clearly indicated that the battle lines were drawn and that he had chosen not to be part of the party's campaign.
"And we are saying that much as he remains the founding father of our party, we cannot accept his message", he said.
"We are doing it not out of disrespect for him nor are we doing it because we are showing ingratitude, we are doing it because we are matured in the teachings that he has given us for the past 33 years, also the party itself is 20 years old and so therefore we should know what is right and what is wrong. We are saying these things on principle", he stated.