Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, has joined the teeming Ghanaian populace decrying the harsh economic conditions in the country. She has accused leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of “doing little” to rid the party of corruption and thievery.
In an interview on Accra-based Adom Fm yesterday, Mrs. Rawlings, who is also the President of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM), said the signs of mismanagement were obvious and that’s why Ghana had gone to the IMF for a bailout.
Resort To IMF
“No country goes to the IMF when you are doing well; if you are doing well, you won’t go to the IMF.
“It is when you are collapsing that you go to the IMF”, she told Captain Smart, host of Adom FM’smorning show programme.
She likened the current situation in the country to the early 1980’s when the then PNDC government, a military junta led by her husband, Jerry John Rawlings, had to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.
“At the time, Ghana was a totally collapsed state”, she said.
Looking at prevailing conditions in the country, she noted, “We are heading in that direction now.”
Mrs. Rawlings revealed that the then PNDC government went to many countries for help but all efforts yielded no fruits. In the long run her husband had to put together a team to seek assistance from a place where there would be strict adherence to certain things.
“So when you are going to the IMF, it is because you are not a strong country; you only go there when you are a weak and collapsed country,” she stressed.
She wondered why a country like Ghana, which opted for the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative and later came out successfully under the Kufuor regime, would suddenly descend into the ditch.
Even though she did not want to go into the details of what had accounted for the woeful economic situation, Mrs. Rawlings indicated that in her position as former First Lady, she was feeling the pinch of the hardship in the country.
“It is very important that when we are governing a country, we will ensure that the country develops for people to be comfortable. But if you stand on a ship and you think that things are well, yet Ghanaians can’t afford to eat a meal a day, please that’s questionable,” she said in virtual reference to the situation in the country.
Mrs Rawlings denied rumours that she wanted to go back to the NDC – a party she left to form her own National Democratic Party (NDP) – and claimed that her husband wanted to contest for the National Chairmanship position of the NDC he founded.
Konadu said she had no such intention since the very things that compelled her to leave the NDC still persisted.
Those things, according to her, included lack of respect and discipline in the NDC, and the high incidence of bribery and corruption.
She also denied having been approached by the NDC as a party or any leading member or Ibrahim Mahama, the President’s younger brother.
“I am not moving away from the NDP and I have not changed my mind,” she insisted.
NDP And 2016 Elections
Asked whether the NDP would contest for the 2016 general elections, she responded, “I hope so; I do hope so because we are putting our things in order… We are systematically building a party, so definitely we want to be on the ballot paper.”
She did not say whether she would contest for the flagbearership position of the party or not, but she added that she was one of those helping to steer the NDP in the right direction.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu