Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama’s absence at the funeral ceremony of the mother of former President Jerry John Rawlings sparked new rumours of discord between the leader of the opposition party and its founder.
Though the former President Mahama was absent at the funeral service of the founder of the NDC at the forecourt of the State House on Saturday, he appeared at the burial service which was held in Dzelukope later that day.
Mr Mahama and his entourage arrived in Dzelukope after the late Madam Agbotui had been laid to rest and all guests were seated.
Madam Victoria Agbotui, mother of the Founder of the NDC was laid in state at the forecourt of the State House on Saturday October 24, a ceremony which was attended by many statesmen from all political divide.
Vice presidential candidate Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, NDC National Chairman Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for Ketu South Constituency, Fiifi Kwetey and some other members of the NDC were the ones present to commiserate with the party’s founder.
However, the flagbearer of the NDC did not attach any importance to the occasion and probably did not think the late Madam Agbotui deserved any State burial.
Mr Mahama rather saw political capital in attending the burial service in Dzelukope which according to close sources was intended to prove that he had a good relationship with the founder.
“The former President and his team arrived when all dignitaries were already seated because he knew that there is more political capital in attending the funeral in Dzelukope than the one held in Accra”
“Once he appeared there, party sympathizers would believe that he has a good relationship with the founder”, the source intimated.
There is a seeming power struggle within the NDC with John Mahama poised to strengthen his grip on the party and is seeking to eliminate the Rawlings-factor within the NDC.
Former President Mahama is said to be unhappy with the founder of the party for allowing his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings to contest the 2020 Presidential Elections.
Mr. Mahama believes the presence of the former First Lady could affect the NDC’s fortunes in the elections and is believed to be on a warpath with the Rawlingses.
The strategy of the Mahama-camp within the NDC has been clear, to reduce the role of the founder at party events and make him irrelevant in the party.
This was strategy was laid out when Ex-President Rawlings was blanked out when the NDC unveiled its running mate, Prof. Naana Opoku Agyemang.
For the first time since the formation of the NDC, Mr. Rawlings has not been seen campaigning for the NDC and appears to have been sidelined.
With barely 6 weeks to go for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, it will be interesting to see if the NDC founder joins the party’s campaign or if he’s still ignored in the steam of affairs.