A former Attorney General and veteran politician, Dr. Obed Yao Asamoah says Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is more qualified to be the flagbearer of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) than President Mills.
The astute lawyer and immediate past chairman of the NDC believes the former first lady has contributed more to the development of the party and the nation than the sitting president
Dr. Asamoah who was speaking to Adakabre Frimpong Manso on Adom FM at his residence Wednesday, said Mrs. Rawlings’ role in Ghanaian politics and the NDC’s political development has been crucial to the sustenance of the party.
He refused to make a definite statement on whether or not the former first lady will defeat the sitting president during the election of the next flagbearer of the party as she has not declared her intention to contest for the position yet.
The founder of the Democratic Freedom Party, who spoke on a wide array of issues touched on President Rawlings’ position as the founder of the NDC.
He said “at the time that the NDC was formed he was still in the army and under the constitution he could not have been the founder of the party. So he was not a founder of the party. In fact his name being linked with the founding of the party did not arise until later, after his term of office was coming to an end and we felt that [look] let’s find a role for him after he left office… He cannot claim to be a founder as per the Political Party’s Law”
He explained that the constitution of the party was amended to indicate that the party was founded on the ideals of former President Rawlings, adding that “it was founded to promote his ideals. But he [Rawlings] was not a founding member in the sense of the political party’s law.’
Obed Asamoah said Mr. Rawlings and other elements in the PDNC were not in favour of the establishment of a party. “Some elements did not want a party to be formed. But people like myself felt that we should form a party…NDC was formed largely through the ideas of some of us. The question arose as to whether we should just leave the scene and allow political parties to be formed or whether, infact, there was something in the revolution itself which needed to be preserved.”
“There was therefore a justification for setting up the party to promote some of those ideals of the revolution. This became a matter of disagreement among members of the government of the day.” he added.
Dr. Asamoah says while in office he maintained a professional relationship with the former president as they both had mutual respect for each other. He said his influence on the party was great. As such, ”I was virtually in charge of the party even though there were officials occupying various positions.”
Dr. Asamoah indicated that he fell out with Mr. Rawlings because the former president did not like the idea of another person standing against Mills as he chose to support Dr. Kwesi Botswey. He stressed that he supported Mills’ candidature when Mills was chosen as the running mate to Rawlings in 1995 and therefore has no problem with him.
He said his tenure as the chairman of the NDC was difficult because he was constantly under attack by opponents. “People who did not want to see me as the chairman of the party were doing anything to undermine my authority”, he lamented.
Dr. Asamoah gave President Mills a thumbs up for managing the economy well under difficult conditions but pointed out that the macro economic stability is not reflecting in the pockets of the Ghanaian populace. He urged president Mills to spend on the productive sectors of the economy to create more jobs and to stimulate economic growth as has been done in some countries.
He added that President Mills should be given time to complete his projects: “Lets wait until after the four years to see if we can qualify him [President Mills] as a failure.”
On the issue of the performance of the Attorney General, Dr. Asamoah who occupied the position longer than any other minister stated that “all governments have lost cases. Even when Rawlings [be]came [president] in 1992 we lost a number of cases.”