Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings
FORMER PRESIDENT Jerry John Rawlings has stated emphatically that he is not obsessed with political power as some people perceive him to be.
For instance, he said it was never his intention to contest the 1996 presidential election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but he was forced to do so.
According to him, it was his grand plan to step aside after serving as a civilian president from 1992 to 1996 for then Speaker of Parliament, Justice D.F. Annan, to lead the NDC to the 1996 elections, but his decision was rejected.
He explained that after his long stay in political office, it was possible that the NDC and himself would not continue to enjoy the goodwill from the people, hence his decision to step aside.
Addressing the National Cadres Conference at Ejisu last week, the former President said the NDC would have been in political office for about 16 years running had his decision to step down worked.
“Going into the 1996 general elections, I suspected that the people (electorate) would be bored with me and that would affect the fortunes of the NDC in future elections. In this regard, I suggested that I should step aside during the 1996 elections to allow Justice Annan rather to be the NDC presidential candidate in the interest of the NDC,” he claimed.
“I suggested that strategy because I realised that naturally the people would be tired of me but you know black men; they refused to accept my positive idea. The NDC members did not understand my point so they rejected my plan to step aside and insisted that I should contest the presidency again. Ideally, my idea was that people would become bored with me so if I allow Justice Annan to go for eight years then I can come and finish my last four years,” he said.
Mr. Rawlings said if he was power drunk or obsessed with power, there was no way that he would suggest to step aside for Justice Annan to lead the NDC in 1996.
The programme was used by the National Cadres to make thorough assessment about their group and the NDC for the 2020 presidential election.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi