Mr. Ludwig Hlodze, a Presidential Aide yesterday reacted to an accusation by the Former President, Jerry John Rawlings that he was among persons who drove around with dispatch riders.
Speaking to the “Times” in a telephone interview, Mr. Hlodze, who is also the National Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said he has never used the services of any dispatch rider.
“In fact, no dispatch rider at the Castle knows my house and that is what I can tell you for now,” he said.
“I will not make any further comments on this because Mr. Rawlings is a high party figure.”
It is recalled that Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, on Tuesday, night called on President John Evans Attah Mills to discipline the people around him because some of them, including persons who do not deserve to drive around with dispatch riders but who are doing so, are creating a bad name for him and disgracing his government.
He said he knows the president to be a disciplined person but he must also learn to rein in the people around him and stop them from doing ‘foolish things around him,” and if they refuse to be disciplined, he should boot them out.
Addressing a gathering of largely National Democratic Congress party foot soldiers and a number of parliamentarians at his Ridge residence during a reception he and his wife, Nana Konadu orgainsed, the former president urged support for President Mills but called on him to also do the right things for positive results.
"That Ludwig, who comes home using a dispatch rider... what does he need a dispatch rider to go home for?" he asked.
“I said it the other day, the people he surrounded himself with, most of them have worked with me before. That’s when I said who born dog. In my time, none of them would dare do the foolish things (they are doing) around him.
I’m disciplined and I know Prof is a disciplined man, but why is he not putting his foot down to make sure the nonsense going on around him is brought to a halt? If I could do it why can’t he do it?
If he can do that, we will begin to see some change and if they are not changing, he should boot them out. If not, if not, he will go down with them. And if they want to take us with them, I’m afraid we will not go down with them.”
The former president said he was at least gratified that President Mills acknowledged that things were not in their best, however what he needed to do, was to address them quickly, “for if we continued at this rate for another year, the third year would be difficult, and the fourth year would be very, very difficult. We’ve lost one precious year, we’ve got one more year to prove that we can turn this thing round.”
“I want Professor to understand that, that seat at the Castle, that throne, I’ve had it before for 18 years. I want NPP (New Patriotic Party) to know, I want everybody to know, I’ve had it for 18 years.
I had no time to hold it – that you know, I’ve put my foot on it… and it’s like I’m grabbing it, don’t come and take it off me kind of thing. I had no time to even sit on it.
The way I consolidated my hold over the seat was actually to leave it alone and concentrate on the work that needed to be done…Nobody could touch it because the power was where productivity was – the power was where we were providing water, the power was where we were providing electricity, the power was where we were providing schools etc, as we were empowering people.”
He said sometimes when he looks at events in the party, it appears to him as though a new spirit other than what unites every member and bonds each in a communal spirit has taken over the party, where like the NPP, its members would be waiting anxiously to pick the crumbs after their leaders have eaten.
“No, this is not the spirit of the NDC. NDC, like we did, we sit together at the table, and we eat together and we talk together. ..”
Former President Rawlings said he had hoped that the party would be allowed to renew and restore itself with the emergence of the best brains within the party, however certain forces within its ranks “are using the backdoor to bring some of the old, troublesome guards around him (the president and) into the new party machinery.
“The very reason why Ghana is celebrating and hopeful that the new NDC – when I say new NDC, you know the revival of the spirit through the more experienced, dedicated ones re-emerging – through the backdoor they have to bring in some of the old names that create problems for the professor.
Ladies and Gentlemen, never mind, let us see how we can turn this situation round.
Our colleagues are strong on all those sub-committees and I’m sincerely hoping that they would stand their ground and to convert them to make them see reality in those sub-committees so that they can wake up.”