General News

31st Dec event wasn’t to promote anyone – Rawlings


Former President Jerry John Rawlings has denied assertions that the recently held 35th anniversary ceremony of the 31st December revolution was used to promote the presidential ambition of an individual.

Mr Rawlings, who led the 31st December 1981 coup against Dr Hilla Limann  and  formed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) junta, has been marking the anniversary of the uprising every year.

For last year’s anniversary, Mr Rawlings was accompanied by Mr Goosie Tanoh, a one-time ally who was highly tipped to succeed him as leader of the NDC – the party that was birthed out of the PNDC with Mr Rawlings as its founder.

Mr Tanoh parted ways with the NDC in 1996 to form the National Reform Party after he felt slighted by Mr Rawlings’ choice of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills as running mate for the NDC in that year’s elections.

Mr Tanoh’s showing at Saturday’s revolutionary anniversary alongside Mr Rawlings got Good Evening Ghana host Paul Adom-Otchere to suggest  that the event was used by the former NRP presidential candidate to re-launch his bid for the leadership of the NDC.

“This is the re-launch of Goosie Tanoh’s presidential ambition; that’s what truly happened,” Mr Adom-Otchere said, explaining that: “Goosie Tanoh has been primed for the presidency within the workings of the cadre movement of the PNDC and NDC for a long time. The Professor Mills interruption and interference is what got Goosie off the path of inheriting the Rawlings political platform, and out of the Professor Mills interruption, President Mahama also emerged. And, so, Goosie had always been on the sidelines. In fact he returned in 2008 to help Professor Mills win, but has really been on the sidelines and I get the sense that he had been looking for the opportunity because he, all the time, had carried this narrative of probity and accountability and had become the hero of the cadres who actually built PNDC and NDC and the so called time tested values they have been talking about. So what I take out now really is that this certainly is a re-launch of Goosie Tanoh’s political and presidential ambition.”

Responding to the claims, Mr Rawlings’ in a statement signed by Mr Kobina Andoh Amoakwa said  “M. Rawlings wishes to inform the general public that the 35th anniversary event held at the Revolution Square last Saturday was not an avenue to promote any individual’s political ambition or agenda. The head of the anniversary planning committee for the June 4 and 31st December events has since been asked to step down. A new head will be announced after consultations with cadres and other planning committee members.”


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