Dr. Obed Yao Asamoah, a foundation member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has stated that former President John Mahama should not have gone for the December polls because President Akufo-Addo will be given another term by Ghanaians.
He buttressed his stance on the unwritten convention by Ghanaians to give political parties two terms in office.
Speaking during a ‘Joy FM’ interview at his residence on his reaction to the sudden death of former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, the former longest-serving Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney General recalled telling the NDC flagbearer not to go for the election.
According to Dr. Asamoah, in the likelihood of President Akufo-Addo going for a second term, the NDC will have to look for another candidate in 2024 and be faced with the task of marketing that person.
“There is a tendency for each political party in Ghana to be given two terms. It is likely therefore that they will have two terms. Then it will be NDC’s turn in 2024,” he said.
He said that had somebody else been picked for the flag bearer, that person, he said, would have become a household name by 2024.
NDC Running Mate
On the suggestion that Prof. Jane Nana Opoku-Agymang, the running mate would be available for that consideration, he dismissed her chances saying “she is a new face. There are lots of problems about her.”
Turning to the wrangling about the late Jerry John Rawlings’ death and matters arising, he first spoke about the death of Rawlings’ mother, Madam Victoria Agbotui, whose funeral in Accra former Mr. Mahama did not attend.
The former President should have been in the State House arrangement and not Dzelukope for Rawlings mother’s funeral, he said.
“NDC did not feature much at the funeral. Mahama did not come to the State House. He should have come there.”
Book of Condolence
On the controversy surrounding former President Rawlings’ book of condolence, he recalled how the NDC delegation was directed to the State House to sign it. “When they got there, they were told that the room was closed. They went to their office and opened their own book of condolence.”
What happened, he said, was between the NDC and the Rawlings’ family and “NPP could not have done that.”
The veteran lawyer and politician said that he broke ranks with the NDC to form his own Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) until much later when he returned because of what happened to him during the party’s congress in Koforidua.
There was a scheme to splash acid on him—information which got to him from some security personnel at the venue of the NDC congress—he recalled.
“They told me that they would get me out of the place before the end of the programme,” he said.
He also said Mr. Rawlings and his wife, former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, were humiliated at the Sunyani congress.
“They were deliberately brought in during prayers. It was manipulated,” he said.
He said he did not agree with those who think that it was Mr. Rawlings who caused the demise of former President John Evans Atta Mills.
Mr. Rawlings, he said, towed the line he did because he found out that prof. Mills was unwell for the position he held, adding, the former late President did not have the toughness required of a President.
The relationship between the late President Mills and the man he served under as Vice-President became frosty because whereas Rawlings wanted some action taken against former officer holders under Kufuor, the former was not in favour of that, Dr. Asamoah said.
According to him, perhaps the late Prof. Mills was uninterested in the practice of chasing former public office holders.
“JJ wanted Mills to take action against NPP elements but Mills was unprepared for that,” he said, adding “Mills was unwell and could hardly speak. I think toughness is necessary to maintain discipline in society.”
For Dr. Asamoah, the former late President Rawlings set the tone for the system we have today.
“Rawlings revolution came with its indiscipline. The concept of cadre helped the Rawlings regime to be stable,” he said.
The drawback of the concept, according to him though, was that they interfered with the management of state organizations.
Rawlings, he recalled, was tough and took decisions such as the order for the execution of Lt. Kojo Lee, his friend, because he had killed somebody.
The Agyapa should be abrogated and thrown out, he said. On Osafo Maafo’s son board membership of the deal, he asked whether there was open competition for the position.
He said there was not a specific mention of John Mahama as Government Official One and added however that the NDC could not extricate itself from the Airbus issue.
Dr. Asamoah recalled that Mr. Rawlings did not brook corruption, and under him, appointees who were enmeshed in it would be dismissed via radio.
The late former President, he said, was uninterested in amassing wealth; adding that he did not also want to perpetuate himself in power.
He said the ugly side of Mr. Rawlings was the executions of the Heads of State and the generals, adding that it was unfortunate.
The good side of Rawlings, according to him, was that he was an honest man and as he put it “he believed in the good of the country. He was selfless. In terms of transformation, he is next after Kwame Nkrumah.”