Former Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur does not side with the view that former President Jerry John Rawlings is in bed with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Mr. Amissah-Arthur said the outspoken National Democratic Congress (NDC) founder must not be vilified for speaking his mind on issues of national interest.
Mr. Rawlings has, in recent times, offered praise to President Nana Akufo-Addo, whilst remaining critical of the leadership of the party he founded.
This has led to public utterances against Mr. Rawlings from notable NDC members, with some even blaming him for the party’s 2016 election defeat to NPP and further calling for his expulsion from the party.
Since the NPP’s election victory, Mr. Rawlings has been seen to be offering public support to President Akufo-Addo on many fronts, including the latter’s commitment to fighting corruption leading to concerns from some NDC sympathisers that he is siding with the enemy.
But Mr. Amissah-Arthur, who was on the losing side of the 2016 election as a running mate, said suggestions that Mr. Rawlings is disloyal are farfetched.
“I don’t know what this thing about romancing is. When he attends the State of the Nation, people say that he is romancing the NPP. I say that he is a former President of the Republic. We paid him as President for eight years. It means that we have taken his life as ours and for the next 20, 30 years, as long as he lives, he is our property and he should participate in all those things.”
“So when he attends national events, I don’t think he is attending it because he is romancing one side or supporting the other side,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said.
Rawlings says it as it is
The former Vice President also reminded that Mr. Rawlings has never shied away from attacking his own party, even when he occupied the top office.
“Even when he was President, he would take his own government appointees on at rallies… he is a non-conformist. He believes in such things that he will talk his mind. Whether you like it or not, that is how he thinks.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings
Mr. Amissah-Arthur said despite the constant opposition he faces, there are still people within the NDC who appreciated Mr. Rawlings’ approach.
“I think that we in the NDC, we appreciate it so much because we know where [Rawlings] stands so we don’t think that he is being disloyal to the NDC. We also see him as a beacon who says it as it is.”