Home » How Rawlings Was Sidelined in Choosing Mills’ Partner in 2007

How Rawlings Was Sidelined in Choosing Mills’ Partner in 2007

by Motoni Olodun

Martin Amidu, the former justice minister and attorney general, has revealed how the late Jerry John Rawlings, the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was ignored in the process of selecting the running mate of the late John Evans Atta Mills, the NDC flagbearer, in 2007.

According to Amidu, who wrote an editorial on his website, he had a discussion with Rawlings about the potential vice-presidential candidate for Mills, and Rawlings sent him on a mission to Burkina Faso to consult with his friend, President Blaise Compare, about the nominee.

However, when Amidu returned from the mission, he learned that Rawlings had been snubbed when he went to inquire from Mills if he had offered the position to the nominee. Amidu said the offer was made after Rawlings was rebuffed, and that this caused a lot of tension within the NDC.

Amidu was referring to the events that followed what became known as the “Swedru Declaration”, when Rawlings announced at a rally in Agona Swedru on June 6, 1998, that he would support Mills to contest the 2000 presidential elections. The media reported that Rawlings had declared Mills as the NDC presidential candidate for 2000, even though the party had not held its primaries yet.

Amidu said that Rawlings did not declare Mills as his successor, but only expressed his personal preference and support. He said that Rawlings was still open to other options, and that he had identified another person as a suitable running mate for Mills.

Amidu said that he was eventually chosen as the running mate for Mills, after a series of consultations and negotiations among the NDC leadership. He said that he accepted the offer reluctantly, and that he had a cordial relationship with Mills.

Amidu said that he decided to share his account of what happened in 2007, in response to the recent announcement by the NDC that Mills had nominated his running mate for the 2024 elections, without disclosing the name. He said that this was a wrong and unethical practice, and that it created unnecessary suspense and speculation.

He said that the proper and democratic way was to announce the name of the nominee as soon as the offer was made and accepted. He said that this was what happened in 2008, when Mills chose John Dramani Mahama as his running mate, and in 2012, when Mahama chose Kwesi Amissah-Arthur as his partner.

He said that he hoped that the NDC would learn from its mistakes and correct them, and that it would respect the principles and values of the party and its founder, Rawlings. He said that he also hoped that the NDC would work hard to regain the trust and confidence of the Ghanaian people, and to offer them a better alternative to the current government.

Source: GhanaWeb

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