President John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday picked up the nomination forms to contest the flag bearer slot of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) with the message that “I know I am going to win.”
President Mills, who is being challenged by former First lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, said the campaign should be carried on in a clean manner. Speaking at the NDC headquarters where he was accompanied by a host of leading members of the party, he said many people had worked hard to make the NDC what it is.
The campaign, he said, should not be about who can hurl insults, adding that the Ghanaian electorate was a discerning one. At the end of the day, “we have to come together to prosecute the Better Ghana Agenda”, he said, adding “whoever wins will have to build on the foundation that we have built.”
He promised Nana Konadu a clean fight. Among those who accompanied President Mills were Mr Eddie Annan, an executive member of the party, Mr Goosie Tanoh, who broke away from the NDC in 2000 to form the National Reform Party, Mr E.T. Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Minister of Education, Mrs Shirley Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology and Dr Hannah Bissiw, Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
As early as 0600 hours, a milling crowd of party supporters faithful to President Mills had thronged the NDC headquarters anxiously waiting for his arrival. There was also heavy security and media presence. Television crews mounted cameras at the roads leading to the NDC headquarters to capture the moments of his arrival and activities of President Mills who, the party faithful believe, will get an overwhelming support at its Congress scheduled for Sunyani from July 8-10 and lead the party again to victory in the December 2012 elections.
The party faithful, in a jubilant mood, drummed, sang and danced as they waited for the arrival of the president. They were dressed in “T” shirts and held placards with various messages. Some of the placards read: “Atta Mills will deliver cadres”. Cadres declare Atta Mills for 2012” and “Cadres trust Atta Mills for 2012”. Inscriptions on some of the “T” shirts read: “Ghana will not die” and “Ye Tuaso.”
Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, one of President Mills’ bitterest critics, recently resigned from the NDC executive as vice president and picked her nomination forms on Tuesday to challenge the president. She launched her campaign on Wednesday.
In an interview Mr Danny Annan, a vice president of the party, said he believed that the Rawlingses would return and give their
support to President Mills after the Sunyani Congress. He said the NDC, a democratic party, was open to a healthy contest within the party, adding that the party had survived such troubled times and emerged stronger.
“We have seen the Goosie Tanohs, the Obed Asamoahs and now the
Rawlingses. We hope and we are sure that the party will come out stronger and decisively win the 2012 elections. “Remember ours is a Congress. We have come from many places to form a family. Thus we welcome everyone who goes out and wants to come back.”
According to President Mills’ itinerary, after picking the forms, he would proceed to his Campaign Headquarters at Kuku Hill, Osu, where he would outdoor his campaign team and address NDC delegates,
supporters and the media.