|Audio Attachment:Listen to Ghana’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic and former Special aide to ex-President Rawlings, Victor Smith in an interview with Kwami Sefa-Kayi|
Ghana’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic and former Special aide to former President Rawlings, Victor Smith, has expressed his frustration over the current internal wrangling in the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to him, the crisis in the ruling party was "preventable if not avoidable", but the leadership of the party did not put in much effort to reconcile the differences between the founder and the current flagbearer.
The perceived tension and resentment between President J.E.A. Mills and former President Jerry Rawlings is worsening by the day due to incessant criticisms of the Mills administration by Mr. Rawlings and his apologists. The former president has threatened not to campaign for the NDC in the 2012 elections should President Mills win the party’s flagbearership race of which his wife, Nana Konadu is also contesting.
Speaking in an interview on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning show, Victor Smith said though the NDC is for democracy and respect for the opinions of others, the current situation where some members have decided to run against the sitting president in just his first term does not augur well for the party.
According to him, it was wrong on the part of the party leadership to ignore the concerns raised by Mr. Rawlings even though he did not use the right procedure to register his concerns.
“The situation that NDC finds itself in at this present time was preventable if not avoidable. The party leadership should have done everything within their power to have prevented the power struggle in the party now, whereby other members are contesting the sitting president who by all indications is doing so well for this country…As much as we are a democratic party and welcome everybody’s opinion on how the country or party should be run, when things get out of hand, we have to adopt approaches of resolving the grievances. The issues that lead to Nana Konadu deciding to contest the sitting president who is doing well by all indications are resolvable; we are human beings so we can sit down, discuss and reach a decent conclusion that will make everybody satisfied in order to move forward for the unity and the success of the party and its future,” he added.
The former aide to the ex-president also noted that some people have capitalized on the rivalry between President Mills and Mr. Rawlings to deliberately create problems in the party just for their parochial interests.
Though he was upbeat about President Mills' emerging as the party's flagbearer in the upcoming congress, he stressed that if the rift between President Mills and former President Rawlings is not resolved, the NDC will face dire consequences in the 2012 elections.
He added that even though he was unceremoniously sacked by former President Rawlings, he (Rawlings) was the same person who advised him to go and work with Mills and therefore will always respect him.
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