Rawlings was too cozy with Akufo-Addo – Afriyie Ankrah laments bad blood with NDC founder



General Secretary hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has opened up on the reservation he harbored on late President Jerry John Rawlings’ relationship with President Nana Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the founder of the NDC was too cozy with President Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) stock in his later years.

Although he did not give details on his concerns about the friendship, he said he was much opposed to it.

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Elvis Afriyie Ankrah was responding to a question on why he wants to become General Secretary of the NDC in an interview on Joy News on September 19.

“I want to be General Secretary of the NDC because I believe over time, I have garnered a lot of experience, I understand the party, I have a passion for the party and I have been at the forefront of many developments in the party and where we are now as a country…after 17 years of the venerable Asiedu Nketia, I think that I am in a pole position to take over that position and move the party to the next level.

“Our party has evolved over time. We have the Rawlings people. Everybody knows that I am a big fan of Rawlings even though at the latter part of his years, I didn’t agree with him because I thought he was too cozy with President Akufo-Addo but that’s a different story,” he said.

Elvis Afriyie Ankrah continued that despite his disagreement, he still maintains a close relationship with the Rawlings faction within the NDC and other factions as well.

He detailed how he was committed to late President John Evans Atta Mills and former President John Dramani Mahama, having worked closely with them.

The one-time Sports Minister further disclosed that his relationship with late former president Rawlings hit a snug when he announced John Dramani Mahama as running mate to John Evans Atta Mills in 2008.

According to him, Rawlings did not speak to him for three years because he was not happy with the choice of Mahama.

He stated that Rawlings felt outwitted by the decision. He indicated that old guards such as Betty Mould Iddirsu were widely seen as frontrunners for the running mate to pair John Evans Atta Mills for the 2008 elections, however, that did not happen.

“So, the Rawlings so-called people, I am close to them. I was like a son to President Mills. We worked very very closely together. When he came back in 2001 for the primaries, I was the deputy campaign coordinator…took him around the whole country so I know key people that he worked with and some of them…not all of them, have sat back.

“As for JM [John Mahama], he’s my brother, my friend…we have worked very closely together. But I announced him as running mate even though at that time my mentor Rawlings was not happy about that. In fact, we didn’t speak for about three years. The circumstances of announcing it…he thought that we dribbled him. Indeed, we dribbled him. This was in 2008,” he added.

The NDC is expected to hold national executive elections on December 17. A number of names are springing up as persons interested in particular portfolios.

For the General Secretary position, the current deputy to Asiedu Nketia, Peter Boamah Otokunor, has also expressed interest in moving up the ladder to become a chief scribe.


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